|Forget the dog, I know a few people I'd like to train to clean up after themselves...|
Image found here.
We all want to be needed. We want to be important, valued, and respected. We want people to seek our advice, ask our opinions, and describe us as reliable.
But being needed has its drawbacks. Sometimes it's enough to try to keep our own lives on track without having other people bring us their problems to fix. When we're staggering under our own loads, it can be difficult to care about someone else's seemingly trivial woes. Other times, we may want to help but simply don't know how. And yet, if we've established ourselves as responsible people we're going to be the ones held responsible for fixing things.
That's right, the other side to the warm fuzzy of "being needed" is catching shit. Scooping the poop your friends, family, and colleagues drop as they pass through life.
Wanna know the truth? I actually don't hate being the pooper scooper. At least, most of the time. I like being the problem solver, and especially if the other party is engaged in what the solution is so they can handle it themselves the next time, it can be quite rewarding. True, there are times the glamour fades, but on the whole it's really not so bad. Lately I've more often been in positions to catch shit at work, scooping the poop for my client or team, but that's as it should be. Moving into my new(ish) role means dealing with that but also a lot of authority & opportunity, and if I scoop well I get a pat on the back at least. So, suffice it to say I generally don't mind being the quicker picker upper in my world, though every once in a while I can get a little wearisome.
Then, there are the days the whole game flips. For me recently, these days are the ones where my ass is dragging as I try to fight through my day until it finally dawns on me that I've changes roles from the scooper to the poop itself.
If the urge to be needed is common to the human experience, the dread of being life's poop is common to the chronic patient experience. We try to avoid it, but know deep down there will be those days where it will happen; when we will be described by the same adjectives used for poop: icky, gross, waste[d], even smelly.
When that happens to me, I've decided that means it's my turn to be the poop and someone else can be the scooper. The best way I can try to help other on those days is doing what I can to help myself so they don't have to cater to me as much. Shawn knows what I mean - on a 'scooper' day, I might run some errand, decide what to do about dinner, or deal with the dog when she barks at nothing. On 'poop' days, he'll have to do all that so if I can at least settle myself on the sofa with my usual accouterments (tissues, liquid, something to nibble on) he won't have to cater to me as much.
This gives me a new idea for a new way to track my general health over time - I think I need a calendar, on which I can put a sticker corresponding to how I feel: a strong, shiny pooper scooper or a steaming, heaping pile of dung.
Did you realize that poop is a noun referring to excrement, but also a verb synonymous to exhaust? A coincidence...I think not!
Happy scooping, fellow Sickies!!