November 8, 2014
It’s midday on a Saturday afternoon. I haven’t accomplished much other than change a couple of diapers on the grand baby and take over a castle on a game I play on the computer.
What I SHOULD be doing is either signing up for NaNoWriMo and actually working on my book or doing some grocery shopping. Since the grocery shopping would require me to get dressed, climb into a vehicle and actually leave the house ? I’m pretty sure that’s not going to happen any time soon. Writing? Nope–not going to happen today either. My brain is still fried from the other night. Let me tell you about it…
A good friend of mine called me on Monday asking for my help. He recently left his position as the choir master/organist for St Giles Church, located in the chapel of St Mary’s College, and he needed to move all of his music from the church to his home. Three file cabinets. Forty five years worth of organ and choral music. In the organ/choir loft of St. Mary’s Chapel on the campus of St. Mary’s College in Moraga, CA. Go ahead–look it up. I’ll wait…..
See that steeple? See the window below it? Yeah. Two and a half stories up AND down. On a staircase that turns several times. I agreed to help because 1)I love my friend and 2) I was told there would be some strong young men who would be doing most of the heavy lifting and 3) no one else had a vehicle large enough to accommodate three file cabinets. Oh, and 4) I’m a sucker.
I finished work for the day, got gas with my last $50, and headed off to the Bay. I trusted my GPS on my phone to get me to Moraga–I knew it was near Lafayette, having seen it when I took my friend to a doctor’s appointment there a year ago, but I wasn’t sure so I typed in the address and set off.
I got a little concerned when the GPS directed me off the freeways and onto a side road. That took me into some woods. That twisted and turned and wiggled and wove through what appeared to be a rain forest. I was beginning to doubt the veracity of the GPS unit, especially when the road narrowed to no more than a mule track, when suddenly the road widened and spit me out on the outskirts of Moraga. Apparently my GPS thought it would be fun to go OVER the mountain instead of AROUND the mountain and sent me via Chabot Regional Park. Next time I’m taking a map…
I finally made it to the college and found my friends–by themselves. Now this wouldn’t have been an issue except they are both ten years older than me and neither is in great health. My one friend broke his hip a few years back and can’t lift anything, and his husband has diabetes. Did I mention they are older than me and not in the least bit athletic? I glanced around, looking for the promised help, and seeing no one with them I realized with a sinking heart that I was it. Sigh….
So while my friend supervised, Claude and I carried down those stairs 12 file drawers loaded with music and books, one at a time, three file cabinets (one of which was HUGE), four crates of miscellaneous music and books, and one small wooden cabinet. Of course it all wouldn’t fit into my Yukon in one trip so we loaded up what we could and headed back to their apartment in the city in Merced Park. Traffic was a nightmare, even though by now it was after 8 PM, and the half hour it should have taken to get there stretched into almost an hour and a half. Then we had to unload the truck and shoot back across the Bay Bridge for another load. We commandeered a rolling cart that we found at the bottom of the stairs and were able to utilize it to move the last two cabinets and six drawers to the truck, because frankly my arms were about ready to fall off!! Cramming the last crate into the truck I slammed the tailgate and we all crawled in for the journey back. We were all tired and cranky by now and I just wanted to be done with it all. Traffic had all but disappeared by this time so we flew back to their place. I figured we’d get the stuff unloaded and I could head home and be in bed by 1 am. Yeah. I should have known better.
Since this is me, it didn’t go as smoothly as I had hoped. In the midst of moving the cabinets upstairs my battery died on my truck. I had left the hazards on, since I was parked illegally in front of the apartment complex, and my battery just couldn’t handle it. It needs to be replaced but I have been trying to baby it along until I can afford a new one. Fortunately one of their roommates happened to still be up and he graciously came downstairs and used his car to jump-start the truck! We moved the cabinets into place in their room and left the drawers to be done the next day. We were all exhausted and I headed home.
I drove into my driveway at 3 AM–12 hours after I had left–and realized there was no way I was going to make it to work at 530 AM so I called off. I wanted a soak in a hot tub of water–my arms and back and legs were pretty sore by then–and when I stripped off my pants I was horrified to see that my thighs were covered in bruises from lugging those stupid file cabinets down the stairs!!! All I could think was thank God it’s fall and I won’t be wearing shorts for a long time!
So today I am feeling almost human again and in a little while I’m going to put on some comfy clothes and head over to the grocery store to get a few things for dinner.
I’ve come to the conclusion that I am just too nice and I need to recognize my own limitations and just say no. I had no business trying to lug all those files down those winding stairs–I’m not 20 years old any more! But I always feel guilty when I do say no and then I usually cave and do it any way.
How do you get around doing things you really don’t want to do? Can you say no and mean it? Or do you eventually give in and do it anyway, against your better judgement? And if you do, does it backfire on you? (I look like I’ve been beaten with sticks!! ) Let me know!