If you asked me to name the personal quality of which I am most proud, I would probably say that people can count on me.  I rarely miss the boat, drop the ball, or pass the buck.  If I tell you that I am going to do something, it gets done without reminders or prods or check-ins. I am almost never late.  I thrive on exceeding expectations, which admittedly in this day and age are pretty low.  Yet I commit to the Herculean effort nonetheless.

But being counted on has its downside.  People become pre-programmed to rely on you – and you are pre-programmed not to disappoint.  So you take on everything with the false assumption that if you don’t do this, it won’t get done right – or won’t get done at all.  It’s exhausting and at some point, you snap.

It has been a bear of a week.  Jennifer’s loss has weighed heavily on my mind as I feel tremendous sadness for her, while at the same time I am reminded that life is short and unpredictable…and gosh, am I spending my time the right way because I don’t have nearly enough fun being so burdened with everyone counting on me.  A last minute fire drill at work furrowed my brow even further and I pondered my existence, snapping at my family, skipping dinner, and working late into the night.

I do too much. Grumble.  I am not appreciated.  Growl.  This is pointless. Groan.

I decided that I was not going to write a post for today.  Yup, I did.  Jennifer and I have not missed a single day of posting since we started MoB almost two years ago. Yet, I didn’t want to be counted on any more.  Count me out.

I lay in bed feeling sorry for myself and envying that person on the other side of the fence.  You know the person that nobody counts on?  That person is free from everyone’s expectations and probably having a much better life than poor little me.  Perhaps I should hop on over and take a permanent vacation from being counted on.

But you know what?

The other side of the fence isn’t remotely appealing to me.  I don’t particularly like the people who reside there.  In fact, people who routinely disappoint me are quickly relegated to either “necessary evil” or “avoid at all costs” status.  Having people count on you is a privilege, not a burden.  The people who count on you are otherwise known as friends.. and family… and colleagues.  And then I thought about all the people in my life who I can count on – and there are so many, least of which is my husband who took it on the chin last night because he didn’t duck fast enough.  These people lght our way, stand by our sides, and have our backs when we need them.

By all accounts, Jennifer’s friend Carol was someone who could be counted on – and that really is the life I want to lead.  It’s the side of the fence I want to be on and am proud to stand there among all of you who do what you do for whomever you do it for —  even if it is exhausting sometimes.  It’s nice to see you here on this side of the fence.

The work got done.  The post got written. And as for long to do list waiting for the weekend ?  Count me in.

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