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Destinations, Dreams and Dogs - International adventure with a fast-track family (& dogs) of Old World values, adopting the Russian-Italian-American good life on the go…!

How to Become Not-so-Competent

Bartley_2011_3I am in the business of saving and rescuing people, and to a certain extent, I have to stop.  In short, it’s enabling my family to be mediocre-minus, while I shine at everything, and most likely will one day work myself up into a nervous breakdown after a final tap dance into the middle earth of minutiae.

I’m great at nag- nag- nag, and remind- remind- remind.  None of my family members appreciates it, while allowing them to turn off the part of their brain that controls personal responsibility.

So I am retiring.  Yet again.

Usually, they try to saddle me with the lion’s share of all daily duties, as though kids supermomcan’t help straighten the kitchen, or pick up dog hair that rolls like tumbleweeds through the house.

It’s my lot to plan three, three-course meals a day, though in my head it seems more like five, five-course meals being served to a platoon on the back side of the moon. I review spread sheets of grocery lists, and homework lists, extracurriculars and clothing lists, plus so much more.  I looked ahead and organized that everyone would have the right-sized snowsuits this year, even ensuring that I had one after many decades without.  Somehow, my snowsuit was misplaced, while everyone else went out to play.

170855379582895665_13FDcdqf_fThat’s a continuing theme in my life:  rising early, staying up late, working to solve the world’s problems, get the kids into college, make sure everyone is taken care of and provided for before being left in the dust.  I have turned into slave-on-a-string, while everyone waves buh-bye and leaves me to accomplish even more work on their behalf.

I’m just too competent, that’s what it is.  I can answer all of my e-mails and yours, do two loads of wash, check in with several international offices, empty the dishwasher, walk the dogs, and do my exercise routine, and chair a board meeting long before the sun begins to peak over the horizon.  For the children, I prepare spelling tests, and new vocabulary words, Russian dialogs, and items of news interest. 

During meals, I lead in chatting about current events, or a discussion of when individual plates and cups began to be used planning-a-trip-300x199in Colonial America, or why it’s important from a bacterial standpoint that we hang up bathroom towels, or how to act properly at a dress-up dinner party while monitoring if there may be food between your teeth.

My family has no need to know or remember anything.  I am a walking encyclopedia, dictionary, professor, physician, chef, master scheduler, Dear Abby, and Miss Manners combined.  Which all amounts to this:  unless I’m pushing and pulling, they’re failing and falling behind.

happy_woman.282153133_std“Lighten up,” Benedetto likes to say.

You know what? 

I will.

Who knows if they’ll ever eat again, have holidays or clean teeth, change their bed sheets once a year or turn in their homework.  Apparently, I am the only one on the face of the earth that cares if there are dirty socks under the bed, wax in their ears, legible handwriting, or doggy poo-poo picked up when out and about in a public place.

That dynamic is going to change as I am inducted into the “Don’t-Worry-be-Happy” Club.  How long I’ll last in this new footloose-and-fancy-free lifestyle is anyone’s guess.

I give it a day or so before the competent drill sergeant appears again.  Otherwise, not a creature will be stirring, not even a mouse.


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