I'm trying to keep my business, my triplets, and my waistline under control. I excel at one of those, fail at another one of those, and one is a work in progress. Which is which is day dependant.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Because I Just Don't Wanna

For as long as I can remember, I've always thought that it was my civic duty - humanity's civic duty, actually - to give back to the community in which they live. Not necessarily your immediate community but SOME community who needs assistance. Since money is nice but time was what I had more of, I'd often volunteer as many hours as I could to various organisations. As a teenager I was a staffer on a suicide prevention hotline. As a young adult I did a lot of work with AIDS Project LA. As a young mother I gave my time to the Australian Multiple Birth Association. As a slightly older mother I gave my time to my kids' school. There are a few other examples, but you get the idea. I'm a joiner. And a do-er.

For the past 9 months or so, I've not volunteered my time (in any significant way) to anyone at all other than me and my family. I lost heart in the parent's association of the kids' school because I'd lost heart in the school itself - so once I resigned from that I didn't pick up anything new. I also, at that time, felt that my resources were better spend on other endeavours - namely my business, my family, my health - and so volunteering took a bit of a back seat. I don't regret it, but I know in order to feel fully complete I'm going to have to find somewhere new to give some time. This idea - of finding a new voluntary project - has been simmering in the back of my brain for a while.

The easy answer would be to volunteer for the Parent's Association at SSOTH. There are about sixty five kabillion reasons for why that's a bad idea, and most of them start with words like "Prada" and "Gucci" and "Helicopter." So that's a definite NO WAY NO HOW.

However. (And with me, as we all know, there is always a "however.")

SSOTH has a kitchen garden which is a massive part of their curriculum, and as an off-shoot (gardening pun totally intended) of that, the Parent's Association is producing a coffee table style of cookbook. So the call went out today for all professional chefs, amateur chefs, photographers, stylists, blah blah blah food industry types interested in helping out on this committee to create the cookbook. OMG- volunteering my time to a project which involves food...and writing...and my environmental bent...and my kids...all rolled into one?! JACKPOT!

I know what you're thinking. Because, hell, I was thinking that, too.

I didn't do it. And I WON'T do it.

Looking around for something new to give some time to...looking for something which I'll enjoy...and I don't take up the opportunity which seems tailor made for me? WHAT THE HECK IS WRONG WITH YOU EMZEE?

I'll tell you what's wrong with this opportunity.

It makes rich people richer, and poor people poorer (coffee table books don't come cheap) and does nothing, really, to support anyone or move anything forward which isn't already doing a great job of it without my input. In short, I can't see how I would truly be helping much of anyone or anything by getting involved in this project. Not that the project does not have value, because it does..just that, for me, it would not quite be meeting my intended purposes in volunteering in the first place. And not that I'm so special I make a huge difference in the organisations I volunteer for (because I'm just a cog in a bigger wheel)...but..really? Exactly what in the world would improve by my doing this?

Not to mention it would involve probably jillions of meetings.

I FUCKING HATE MEETINGS. I'm pretty sure my hatred of meetings is why I went to culinary school in the first place. NO meetings! Coming from a career in higher education, which is ALL ABOUT THE DAMN MEETINGS, I had good reason to want a change. I have no desire to ever sit in any committee meeting of any kind ever again for as long as I shall live. And I especially do not want to sit in a committee meeting with the collective women and men of Prada and Gucci.

So I'm not going to do it - even though an argument (several, actually) can be made for why I should be.

I'm not going to make a big deal out of it, though (okay, one blog post doesn't count as a big deal does it?)...but if someone approaches me about it (which may happen, my career is not a secret among the upper eschelons of SSOTH's Parent's Committee) I promise to resist the urge to screw up my nose, stamp my foot, and whine, "BUT I DON'T WANNA!!!" (Even though that pretty much sums up how I feel about it.)

Selfish bitch? Maybe. Selfish bitch with her sanity intact? Definitely.


adele said...

I could see this cookbook being a nice memento if the project were driven by the kids, but a coffee table cookbook by a committee of neurotic parents screams "vanity publishing" to me.

Sanity's important. If anyone asks you why you're not volunteering, I highly encourage you to excuse yourself, point to the demands of running your own business, and maybe talk about accounting or tax challenges until the nosy parker's eyes glaze over. :)

emzeegee & the hungry three said...

Now that you mention it, Adele...maybe it's just the whole "coffee table" bit of it which irked me. Smacks of just...uselessness..or something. Might have to steal your "vanity publishing" expression as I think it hits the nail on the head! :)

...and I'd try talking about accounting or taxes except I'm pretty sure I'd put MYSELF to sleep as well. :)

Our Life at 31-derful! said...

I have been reading for about two weeks after being turned on to your blog by my friend Tara (who also happens to be your friend Tara in St. Louis). You and I have a lot in common--we are both Jewish women with small kids, juggling the demands of work and home and trying to acheive a healthy weight while also struggling to reconcile the fact that our kids go to school with really affluent children (with really skinny moms). You say everything that I think but dare not say! Today, I learned we also have the same relationship with alturism. I want to applaud you for NOT being involved right now and resisting the urge to say yes to the committee. I am on all these boards that seem to raise money for the richest people in my community (or, and I am not kidding, "nutrition awareness" among families whom I know have been eating fat-free, low-carb, organic and eco-kosher for the last ten years) --it is absurd. I am run-down, overtired, and can't get to the gym becaue of all the volunteer work. (Ironic becuase all the other moms on said committees seem to live there), and it is all for nothing. Cheers to you for saying no!

emzeegee & the hungry three said...

You've just got to laugh at the absurdity, haven't you? The nutrition awareness thing sounds almost worse than the coffee table cook book!! And what, pray tell, is eco-kosher?!

Nice to meet you. :)