Ready to wash my hands

Happy anniversary to Shell and Pour Your Heart Out!
Can you believe it's been two years?

Not that I have anything offensive to say today, mostly because I have calmed down a lot before I started typing this out.  I'm quite proud that I didn't drop any F-bombs, because they were surely flying out my mouth left and right earlier in the evening.  But offensive or not, as always, please be respectful.

I'm a busy lady, and for the most part, I love every minute of it. The highs, the lows, the in-betweens.  No matter what, at the end of the day, I feel accomplished.  I matter.  I made a difference to someone, somewhere.

But things are starting to change.  I no longer feel accomplished in certain aspects.  I no longer feel I make a difference.  I feel frustrated.  Fed up.  Ready to wash my hands of it all.

I have been involved in Girl Scout in one way or another for a few years now.  I am now in my second year of being a leader for my daughter's troop.  It's rewarding and frustrating, but it's been fun.  Until recently.  Once a month us leaders get together for meetings to plan events and catch up on what each troop has been doing.  At first I was gung-ho about volunteering more of my time at events.  If I couldn't physically be there, I would offer suggestions to help it be a success.

A few months ago we were planning our Valentine's Father/Daughter dance.  The participation was down compared to the previous year.  Being a publisher for my local Macaroni Kid, I offered to include the dance in our list of events.  As the dance grew closer I learned that participation had increased and the girls were given a larger room at the banquet hall as a result.  Was this because of my listing in the newsletter or a result of other leaders reaching out to troops in surrounding neighborhoods?  I do not know.  All of the thanks was given to the leader coordinating the event.  No thanks were given to those other leaders who helped spread the word.

Lack of appreciation makes me want to volunteer less of my time.  Right then I decided that I would focus more of my time on my own troop instead of the group as a whole.  Selfish?  Yes, but if little or no effort is made to individually thank those who go above and beyond, why bother?

Just I became accustomed to the level of volunteering I was willing to give, cookie sales came around.  Getting those delicious cookies to our area was a living nightmare!  That's a story for another time, but that should have given me a heads up that this whole process was also going to be a nightmare.

We all know how delicious Girl Scout cookies are.  What I can't figure out is why none of those who realize that live anywhere close to me.  Our troop has had great success the past two years with our sales.  We would hold booth sales to make extra profit and those also went well.  Silly us, we assumed this year would be the same.  It is not.  If you are friends with me on Facebook, I'm sure you have noticed me begging people to buy cookies.  We have not sold as many as expected and therefor might owe instead of receive a profit.

To say selling cookies this year has been stressful would be the understatement of the year.  I understand that there are only so many cookies close friends and family are willing to buy.  I don't expect them to go broke trying to help me and my co-leader out, but that won't stop me from bitching about my frustrations.  Which is exactly what I did to a family member.  Her response to my venting was "Lesson learned".

There was no lesson being taught so there was nothing for us to learn.  And really, why would you say that to someone frustrated beyond belief about the situation they are in?  It certainly won't help matters.  It will only make them worse.

Just as I was learning to manage any frustrations I had with Girl Scouts, these cookies came along and became the straw that is about to break my back.  I do not want to let anyone down, least of all my own daughter, but I cannot take much more of this.  My house is a nightmare.  I have barely spent any time with my kids.  I've been staying up later than I should trying to work with the hopes of making a buck or two.

I love being busy.  I love being involved in the lives of my kids and the community.  But I'm not sure how much I can take.

*For most of today,  I won't be around.  I will respond to comments and return visits, but I will need some time.  We are making a last ditch effort to get rid of these cookies.  I hope they all go into the hands of someone else and we can put an end to cookie sales for the year.  That would make the straw on my back feel not as heavy, but my frustrations will still be there.*


Life As Wife said...

It is normal to want recognition for our hard work! I bet your daughter and the other Girl Scouts appreciate you.

Robbie K said...

It annoys me when ppl don't give credit where credit is least the coordinator could have passed on her appreciation! I am in my 3rd year of leading my daughter's proof and I avoid everything outside of our troop b/c it is so drama filled and all consuming!

DysFUNctional Mom said...

You're probably not asking for advice here, but here's mine anyway: if it's too much/too stressful for you, DON'T DO IT!!! Don't try to be Supermom. Do what you can and let the rest go.

Oka said...

Good Luck

Anonymous said...

I completely understand that you want the recognition for all of your hard work. One thing that I have learned is (especially in group settings) to only work as hard as you are willing to work without expecting recognition. That way if your work isn't recognized, it won't bother you, but if it is, it will be a pleasant surprise!

Hope you are a girl scout selling machine!

Anonymous said...
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Ducky said...

I think recognition is important for everyone involved. I would feel less like volunteering my time too if it wasn't thanked every now and then...especially if others were being recognized.

I can't imagine the stress of unloading all those cookies! You have a right to wanna unload frustrations!

Helene said...

There's nothing wrong with wanting some recognition for all your hard work and effort. Everyone wants to feel appreciated, esp when they've gone above and beyond as you have.

We always buy boxes of cookies from the girl scout who lives in our court. And her mother said it's been a freakin' nightmare this year....lots of disorganization within the troop and not a lot of people wanting to buy this year.

Babes Mami said...

You deserve recognition for all that you do!

Shell said...

You do so much. It sounds overwhelming- maybe time to step back from some of it.

Wish I was near you. I want cookies. Good luck with sales!

Brittney said...

everyone deserves appreciation & credit for their effort i dont blame you for being upset. good luck w/ the cookies hun

Chelle said...

Lack of appreciation in any area makes me want to just stop doing it. If nobody can acknowledge and thank someone for their hard work, and more importantly their time, what will push this person to even care about helping out?

Sending you hugs and wish there was a way that I could help out!

Leah aka FFPMaMMa said...

Sounds like you have a lot of balls up in the air. While I like to do things behind the scenes, I completely understand and appreciate the gratitude that should be extended to a TEAM and not one person.

I hope you are able to find a balance.

Jenn [ Crippled Girl ] said...

Just the sound of it is overwhelming! I wasn't in Girl Scouts very long, so I don't remember the cookie sale being such a hassle! I'm sure my mom would say otherwise though. *hugs*