Double invited leaders?

So, when last we left the blog.. lol

As I’d mention last spring, we changed churches.

It’s a change that has remained, even as the church has exploded in size. It now runs more than double what it was when last mentioned, now running 4 services each Sunday, with kiddo serving in the kids area for three of them and for one of the parenting themed small groups during the week.

I’m not sure I’d say that I’ve bonded there exactly, but I’m comfortable there anyway. We’ve sort of gotten grafted into the family of one of Boo’s friend/maybe more… Who is one of the groups that takes over three rows and Mama in charge has everyone in a place and so I’ve sort of decided it’s best to just go with it. Lol

Most of the staff know me, but if asked who I am, probably every last one would answer "Boo’s mom" and have to take a minute to remember my first name 🙂

Anyway, there’s a story here.

So, the church does this big thing in summer where they decorate the lobby of each campus into a different movie scene for a series that’s based on current movies. It’s a really big deal, and they all really go all out on it at all of the locations.

At ours, each staff member has a project area they are in charge of, them have their main team, then there are a lot of folks who will kind of float wherever something needs done to help with things like painting, cutting, glueing, etc. So we have always gone to this category, working with whoever needs us. We also kind of help out on other random things that come up, like filling color powder cups for the youth group color wars.

So, a couple of weeks ago, my daughter tells me that instead of just the week of building, that there is another night the week before that we need to go to.

That wasn’t what all the info was saying.

So she tells me that she was talking with the youth pastor, trying to get him to give her the theme, and he told her they were doing a night that wasn’t announced, but that he needed a lot of help on painting.

Given my daughter tends to be a bit of a wound up extrovert, I tried to determine if she had basically invited herself. From her version of things, it didn’t sound like it. So I figured that the early night was probably just to keep the chaos down, and that maybe the youth pastor was just doing his team of teens.

Because we aren’t exactly the people I would think you would pick for your team for this kind of thing.

Later, I’m with her while she is asking about staff member about a question she’d sent them on Facebook.. and they ask her about the build. She mentions we’d been invited by the youth pastor, and he tells us he could use us on his team too if we find ourselves not busy.

Ok, now this one, I couldn’t deny. She did not in any way open into it, but it was pretty clearly an invite.

So, I’m expecting to come in to a night with all except the floaters going strong.

I’m not expecting to walk in and find that there’s really only about 30 people.

Out of the church of like 3,000 or so.

There are no other teens on his team, as he introduced us to the other members, and tells them we will be doing painting. Ok, that’s what kiddo had said… Good so far.

So we work with two of the other team members for the night on getting the best strategies and tactics and plans going, as this area had literally 4,000 feet of meter wide paper needing covered in two layers.

No big deal.

And then the first night of build week starts. The workers are all there. And suddenly this went from "painting" to "leading, instructing, and organizing the painting".

Somehow I hadn’t really caught that part of it until about the time we were introduced to the group working in our section as being the ones leading the area.

The next night, the other team member wasn’t even able to be there.

Let’s just say this was an interesting week. A leader is about the last thing I’d volunteer for.. and while my daughter has much more of the personality for it, are sometimes lacks the focus.

It was both filled with moments where it was really cool to see my kiddo step up even while leading a group of adults on a task, and frustrating at others when things didn’t go quite a well. And my thoughts are about the same on how I did, moments I would like to hit myself for and completely erase, and moments I pulled it off even while feeling like a completely awkward duck.

I was very glad for the time the other team person was there too! Lol

But the entire thing still sort of baffles me. Kiddo is kind of used to having her pick of friends, and being the one invited to multiple things at once, of always having something going on with someone.

I’m very much not, and never have been. And fully realize that even in this case I was pretty much a hanger-on addition on kiddos coattails.

But still just so very weird to me.

But I did notice through the week how different things are from a year ago. We are known.

Even when kiddo wasn’t with me, staff are comfortable joking around, teasing, being playful. Sneaking up behind me quietly while I was trying to put my hair in a bun. Just relaxed stuff that wasn’t there nearly as much a year ago, towards us anyway.

The funniest one to me was one night after we left, and my daughter had left her skateboard at the building. She was thinking that she might have, and then I watched a new Facebook video about the build that the campus pastor had posted… In which at the end, one of the worship team skates behind the pastor on a skateboard. Yup, board had been found! (and I didn’t get the full details, but apparently some of them were teasing her riding around the building after she messaged them on Facebook about the board.. and have now decided that they want one.)

That the staff are comfortable enough knowing that we would completely just laugh about it and find it hysterical rather than getting upset… Is a whole lot more than we ever connected to the leaders at a church that at it’s most had maybe 1/10th of the members, and attended for the better part of a decade.

I’m thinking the move was well made.

Just don’t ask me when I’m on the spot trying to teach and assign things to 6 new people I’ve never met before, right as my kiddo has now decided that she’s hot and is going outside for a bit.

I’m glad the week is over. Lol

Friends and safety net building

Ok, I know I came off a bit harsh in that last round.

I wasn’t meaning to include anyone who doesn’t comment, or anything like that. It’s more just a frustration with those that I’ve called friends, but since come to think I was probably wrong in using that word.

Honestly, I think a lot of it still stems back to aftermath from the messy breakup. I’m sure I’ve probably gone into to this some even on the okay public stuff since then…

If, when I needed you, you seemed to almost deliberately become an added issue rather than a help… And I made it through anyway… Then do I really benefit much from having you in my life in the calmer times of life either?

It sounds really incredibly petty to start judging friendships by what I get from them. But, doing as much of an objective balance as I can, its super obvious that balance is not my strength here.

Instead, I tend to go three ways…

1. Relationships where I’m very much the weaker one and end up more in a child role. Not always a bad thing with the right mentor sort of friend, but easily twisted if not.

2. Relationships where I’m the one doing almost all of the relationship work. This isn’t give and take, it’s more like 80/20 at best. Most of these completely dropped off after the breakup when I had nothing to give and no initiative to be the one doing the pursuit.

3. A bit more distant. A bit between friends and acquaintances. Most of the time I don’t really have a good reason why these ones never really developed deeper, or have anything against the person… For whatever reason, it just never did.

What I’ve found in general… Looking at each one… Is that I actually have more benefit and less negative sides with the third group.

For years and years, with group 2 as my primary target, I was ok with spending 80 in effort to get 20 in benefit. It was 20 I didn’t have before. It was a much wanted 20, even if it wasn’t balanced. And generally, there was an element of pretending both of us were all in.

To be perfectly honest, it felt like the best I could do really.

But when I realized the 20 could be 0 when I tried to call on it… I realized I could live with 0 from them.

And when the 80 stopped flowing out because it wasn’t there, when it did come back more, the 20 just didn’t seem worth the effort of spending my 80 anymore.

With group 3, I may be getting only 20 in the first place, but I’m also only spending 20. Really, in a lot of cases, I’m probably a lot closer to 15 or even 10 with this group, focusing all my efforts on the other two.

So with group 2, there’s almost a twinge of bitterness, or maybe offense is closer to accurate. My 80 was freely and willingly given, with the circumstance being what they were. While I was frustrated with the 20, it’s not like it was news to me.. I’ve been venting about it occasionally for years on here.

But, even so, it’s like, that’s all my 80 was worth bothering with to you?

I think, tracing back more, that part of why I was ok with it came out of the earliest rounds of trying to recovery from a dysfunctional family.

In recovery styled groups and counseling, there’s usually a lot of emphasis on building your own family, on building your own net of support.

Part of that is focus on it being a net, not a rope. Of not having all of your eggs in one basket, not expecting any particular person to meet any particular need as then you risked stability if something happened.

I think somewhere that gets translated into don’t expect much from anyone.

It translated into expect little, and try not to put too much weight anywhere to risk snapping the net. Give your effort towards building as much as you can, but don’t be heavy, don’t put your full weight on it.

It sort of translated into earning your keep, realizing that a friendship net doesn’t have to be there, so if they are allowing you the favor of letting you anchor a net string with them, you owe them.

But that’s the key.

That assumes the net functions, that the strings are anchored.

Strings that go loose the minute there is weight on them are worthless to any net.

And I figured out a whole lot of mine were only hooked rather loosely.

Being safely in a non-dangling state, it’s been time to do some trimming of strings that don’t hold weight and cost effort. Trying to avoid tangles in the rest of the bet while I do.

Not because I don’t want a net.. or that I don’t wish for one…Or that I don’t feel like putting in the work to build one. (I’m actually pretty jealous of those who have strong ones given to them and haven’t had to go through the effort of building completely from scratch).

But because it wasn’t a working one anyway.

A couple good strings left is much better than many stands of net to tangle around me while it dumps me on the floor instead of catching me.

Right now, I’m at the point that I would really say that I have no close friends right now. Friends, yes, but not anybody close, let alone getting into bff territory.

Oddly enough, rather than being upset about that at all… I’m finding that the break in effort spent and drama tolerated is rather nice. Saving my 80 feels quite worth the loss of the 20.

Mixed feelings of return

I have mixed feelings about this page… About writing on here.. About making things public.

On one hand, between this page and the open diary page that was before, it’s been an ongoing story, evolving as it goes and as each new chapter unfolds. A chronicle of what has been.

On the other side stands the stark reality. For a long time, this page functioned as a pathetic accommodation for so called friends who couldn’t actually be bothered to keep up with my life and my thoughts if it meant actual interaction with me.

This is a large part of why I stopped making anything public or hitting publish.

Let’s face it, if you never ever comment, but sometimes just randomly tell me your thoughts on mine at some random time instead of actually interacting, that’s basically reading as entertainment.

Either that, or stalking.. but given that I was willingly putting up with it..

I don’t know… But what I do know is that when I stopped easily providing, very very few were willing to make even minimal effort to seek out what was going on in my life.

And so have almost entirely been removed from that life.

But, with this few posts, it’s not too likely that anyone outside of the few remaining subscribers are reading anyway.

At one point in my life, I cared about who was reading, and the possibility of those in my real life reading and taking things the wrong way. To attempt to minimize the damage of a dysfunctional dramatic family and the possibility of ghosts of the past finding ammo to use against me.

This is not that time. This is the time of my life that I couldn’t care less what they think. If they are hurt or offended it whatever, good. They probably should be, and maybe it’s not that they shouldn’t be on my virtual page but actually that they shouldn’t be in my real life. (You know who you are, but probably will never understand why.)

And 15 years later, the ghosts have no real bite anymore.

I make no promises here. But we may see how it goes.