*Deep breath*. I don't relax well, sorry. Actually, the word "relax" usually makes me extremely agitated and angry...but that's another story for another day.
So the Sjogren's Walk is tomorrow! I'm excited, definitely. Let's count a blessing here: I designed t-shirts my dad's helping me make (iron on transfers are one of my favorite tools), and when Shawn and I went to buy the shirts (5 for $10 sales are another of my favorite things) we started counting up who we need them for. I was getting bummed that the only people who had committed so far to the walk were family and a couple friends, but we ended up needing 10 shirts just for us! It's hard to feel bad about 10 people, even if they are people who already had some clue about the condition. (Though, much to my surprise, I found out some had no idea....)
Ok so we counted a blessing...how about remaining hopeful and optimistic. I still think there's a chance some of my coworkers and people from my church might turn up. No one has actually told me they're definitely coming, but a number of people did say they'd see. A number of people - some who I talk to a lot and some I've hardly had contact with in years - have told me they can't make it but took an interest in the whole project; some even tried to pass the information on to their friends. So, there's a lot of people floating around out there who might still emerge at the last minute.
One more 'positive' comes to mind. As I just mentioned, some people have taken notice who I hardly have any contact with (so they have little reason to care about my life). Also, some surprising people have pitched in the effort - a girl I haven't seen since my freshman year of high school (well, I guess that makes her a woman now but I'm having issues with my age so we'll go with girl) apologized that she couldn't make it (I'm touched she even paid attention) and reposted my link for her friends. A man my father knows through an organization saw that my dad reposted the link, went and made a donation through the site, and reposted for his friends to see! A certain inspirational fellow blogger who shall remain nameless even put in her two cents - and a few bucks, too:) It's these people, these people who make me fall in love with people again:)
Ok I was positive three times now. I'm clearly not looking for problems or being ungrateful, right? Good. So now that we've covered that, I really do need to at least acknowledge my more negative feelings. First, I'm a bit disappointed in my Facebook 'friends' who couldn't be bothered to so much as click "share" for the link. Now, lest you think I'm unreasonable, I did not expect everyone to do it, not even most. Maybe 10 or so, out of 200. There's a few people who are always reposting things like this for other friends, or even just things they saw that they felt moved to support. 'Sharing' a link doesn't even replace your current status, so whatever you may have felt so important to tell the world will still be told! I realize many people have more important things in their lives to think about than me and the walk, but as I said I'm disappointed that at least a small handful of people (come on, that's 5% of my friends list. 5!) couldn't be bothered. Whew. Ok at least I feel better getting that one off my mind.
I'm also a bit ... less-than-thrilled ... with some people from my church. This parish suffers a ridiculous case of BO Syndrome (Better-Offer); they almost never commit to something ahead of time, lest a better offer for something to do comes up. I'm starting to wonder if mine were the only parents who felt it important to remind me on a daily basis growing up that I have to make a decision and stand by my commitments. Right now, there's at least 12 people I know of who are 'maybes' for the walk (from my parish). It's tomorrow! Really? They couldn't throw caution to the wind here and make a decision already?
Lastly, I'm definitely disappointed in some things with my employer. Now, mind you, not with my employer as a whole, and not with many specific coworkers. No, I'm frustrated with the woman who heads the activities group that backs every single similar walk/bike-ride/marathon/fundraiser/awareness project that comes through the door. I emailed this person about the walk, and she said let's talk - great! I stopped by her office to discuss it with her, and she took all the information, web links, and contact info, and said she thought we could have some publicity going by the beginning of the next week - fabulous! She emailed me a few days later asking for a two-sentence blurb with specific information that she needed that day, and I got it back to her - holy gadzooks! We're cookin'! NOT. Email after email came out about other events (including two the same weekend). Ads went up around the office for a bike-a-thon and blood drive. Reminder emails started for some of the things in the first emails. The Sjogren's walk was nowhere to be found (nor was the Disability Network logo, which it had been agreed would be placed on all such ads). So, I sweetly emailed her and asked if she had any updates on the walk that I could take to our network meeting...and got the reply that "it's not really a project [that her group would work on], so I'll forward the info to other people". WHAT?! Are you kidding?! EVERY similar event has come through this group. When I told this story to more experienced coworkers who've been here longer, they all said "of course it belongs with that group". PLUS, she herself told me they'd be working on it. Why would she tell me that then act like it never belonged to them? This was after multiple communications about it, including one where she offered to send 'another' email (I wanted to know what the first one was because I never saw one, but I didn't want to be rude and figured one is better than none). It actually crossed my mind that maybe she's losing hers....
So, I finally realized that was a dead end, and resorted to emailing anyone I was friendly with at the office with the details, and asking them to help pass the information along to others. I also found the backdoor way to get flyers and brochures placed around the office (which I do think people have looked at). I have no idea if anyone did pass it on, and no one has contacted me to sign up. I'm trying to stay hopeful, like I said...but boy is it hard.
And the annoyance icing on the aggravation cake - when the weather forecast showed rain, people said they didn't want to go and get wet. When it said cool and windy, they'd had enough of the cold and wouldn't go. Now the forecast is sunny and hot (though we'll be shaded by trees) - and they don't want to go out in that much heat! Just shoot me already. I feel like giving up.
(I won't, and in 10 minutes I'll probably be back to sending more annoying reminder emails to everyone I know...but I can't help but think about it.)
Sigh. *Second deep breath* Well, I hope I haven't over-focused on the negatives. In all fairness, I need to also mention that the recruiting department at work answered a plea for company logo paraphernalia with an overwhelming supply to choose from. (I ended up taking bandannas that I've pre-rolled to tie around our heads or arms, and two backpacks - hey, a Sjogie needs her water on a walk, ok?!) Nine friends and family - ranging from best friends to blood relatives to in-laws - are schlepping almost an hour one way on a Saturday morning to support me and bunch of over-inflamed, under-moisturized dried up little sponges:) And they're willing to wear strange shirts sight-unseen:):) Nearly as many friends and acquaintances have passed on their sincere best wishes though they can't be there.
There is some goodwill, some selflessness, some kindness out there. And who knows, I might get to the walk and be greeted by dozens of coworkers and fellow parishioners! Friends will bring friends! Strangers will have been touched by the flyers and feel compelled to join us! Alright, now I sounds more like my mule-head-in-the-clouds self. Ok, crisis averted! No emotional meltdowns here, not now anyway. Nothing to see, people, nothing to see - move along with your days and try to throw out a few links on the way;)
I'll try to post over the weekend with the result of the walk and some pictures. And I promise to think good thoughts, that everything will be fantastic. It should be a happy post. I will now focus my energies on a positive outcome.... *Ommmmmmm....*