Saturday, October 20, 2012

Good Intentions.

Oh, how that statement above so describes this messy life of mine. You see, I was born with a really big heart, but with a slacker mind. I love doing things for other people, it just makes my heart all warm & mushy. But, well.... here's a little secret... sometimes things are easy for me to follow thru on, and other times? Yeah, I pretty much stink at it. Big heart + slow follow-thru = not a good mix.

I have to say this has been one of my biggest challenges since as far as I can remember. For some odd reason, the struggle is ususally something to do with the mail. It's weird, this "thing" of mine. You see, I use to be an advid pen paller growing up. Yes, in 3rd grade when my teacher signed us up to have our very own pen pal, Sister over here took to it like super glue. From there stemmed a passion of connecting with other people half way across the world, which then allowed me to form some of the greatest realionships of my life. Beleive it or not, though I don't "pen pal" anymore, I still stay in contact with a lot of these awesome people & my life is forever changed because of it. Because of the hobby of Pen Palling, it ignited a passion of writing within me. At the age of 12, I started my own sticker newsletter. Yes, it's true. Ah, those were the days. Me + my electric typewriter = [love]. I can still hear my Dad yelling at me to stop typing, lets face it.. those suckers were loud. :) And, I remember another conversation that was quite the norm in my house, "If you spent half the amount of time on your homework as you do typing on that typewritter, you'd be a lot better off!". Yeah, that was the artsy side of me that fueled by being creative. Pen Palling wasn't just about "letter writing", oh no! We would exchange things in the mail called "friendship books" and "Slams". Little books you added your own little flair to.. I'm talking glitter, stickers, markers, paint... you get the idea. Then it's passed from one Pen Pal to the other. Oh, those were the days. This little hobby of mine was the reason I ventured out in my 30's and started my own Magazine, PaperART. But, all that rambling aside, as much [love] as I have for the postal service & lets face it, a long-long history with it, one would think I of all people could manage to 1) Box up a package 2) Add the Address and 3) Get-it-off-in-the-mail. It's a crazy thing, this Postal Service hang-up I have. I have been (horrible) with the timing of getting stuff out in the mail. I could even go as far as having something READY to be mailed out, and yet... it will just sit there. What the heck is that about?

Anyways...I'm learning over here, people.. I'm learning. Here's the thing: We might all have our flaws and silly hang-ups but... we also have the ability to learn from them & (gasp!).... change our ways. I've learned that you can't go backwards in life, but you can move forward. If you don't like the way a certain area of your life feels, change it. I mean, easy enough, right? Right.

You see, I was recently faced with that ugly feeling of promising something to a few people, and yet taking forever to follow through with that "good intention". And naturally, it had to do with [the mail].

I have a friend whose little girl was having a birthday & she was asking for an American Girl Doll, and since we have several around here that my girls no longer play with, My heart swelled up knowing I could meet this need & drizzle this little girl with happiness. The Mom too, as I knew she wouldn’t have to pay for this said item, and let’s face it, that makes anyone happy. Well, I had 2 months.. 2 full, stinking months, to gather a cute little doll & some clothes, plop them in a box, seal the box, and then... (the hard part): mail the box. Simple steps in an ordinary person’s brain, dont' ya think?

2 Months past (yes, this is the horrible truth). I coudln't find this darn dolls shoe, I even went as far as making a video OF the doll for my friend (I'm weird like that, welcome to my life.). But... time just got the best of me. Then, it happened. I logged onto facebook to get her address because "the day had come" where that package was going to get sent off if it killed me. I logged onto facebook to get her address and the very, very first post on my status page was, "Happy Birthday, Baily!"...My-Heart-Sank!.. I can't even describe what I felt at that moment. Disappointed, let down, upset, just plain 'ole rotten! I beat myself up (all) stinkin' day. The husband kept telling me to let it go, but I couldn't shake it. I mean, why should I have? I promised something, and didn't follow thru in the timeline in which I promised. It was (my fault) and regardless whether or not if my heart was in the right place or not, not following thru on the timeline that I promised was wrong. And come on, 2 stinking months... 2 months... could I (not) pull it off in two months? Yeah, clearly not. So.. that heavy weight of disappointment weighed heavy on my shoulders, mind, and heart. I thought about it all day. I packaged up that little doll, added extra outfits for the disappointment I caused, and was never, ever so happy to see it on its way.. and ah, I felt PEACE knowing that darnit, I did it! I got the thing together; from start to finish and (deep breath) in the mail.

I sent my friend a heart-filled apology, telling her what a scrub I was, and how this let-down (from both sides) has been a lesson in character building for me. She, of course, was totally fine with it all.. and insisted that it was no big deal, to let it go, that she, too was a slacker. Kindred spirits, ah.. love that! But, still... the disappointment in myself, in my follow-thru still was messing with me heart, and my head.

You see, there was yet another "In-Limbo-Promise" that was out there, yet unfulfilled. Another package, (are you feeling me here??)... this time, for another sweet little girl, out-grown clothes from my girls for her. A promise of, "It's coming in the mail soon!".. which took for[eva] to actually get in the mail. I spent an entire weekend several weekends ago, purging, cleaning, laundry like it was going out of style.... all because I was adamant about getting this package off. After the above incident happened, I was even more eager to hurry along and get this package out as well. I had all the clothes in a box, ready to go for WEEKS... just didn't have it taped up & addressed. That was it! The thing sat there, for the longest time.. just waiting for those 2 last steps. Just 2 steps. Why on earth are those 2 last steps always the hardest feat for me? So the same day I handed off the above package to the husband, I spent the same day finishing up the other. It went out that afternoon.

It's amazing how, even after 40 years of dealing with the same flaws & patterns, you finally just take a long, hard look at yourself... find the things in your life that work, and that don't work, and start to make a valid effort to change. Though ones heart can always be in the right place, it's the follow thru that makes the whole beautiful picture come together. Agree? Yeah, me too.

And oh, PS: Both packages sprinkled big, happy smiles on two pretty little girls. They are happy, so I'm happy!

No comments: