I've signed up as a nominee for my old position of Editor on the AWC board. I had been dithering about it for ages, not knowing what to do, because frankly the year off had felt both good and bad; good because I really WAS burned out on the job and because I really had MUCH less to do, but bad because I felt like I was letting down my team.
I talked to my friend Camilla and was able to begin to better articulate what I was feeling and why I was beginning to lean toward saying yes again. I talked to my friend Kathey about it on a long phone call and got a clear-headed perspective about the whole dilemma and the knowledge that she had my back no matter which way I decided. I talked to my mom and without actually telling her what it was about, got a clear signal that I was heading in the right direction. And then, I talked to my friend Geena at a dinner one night, because I couldn't decide. I couldn't make up my mind that last little bit to take the plunge and say yes, or back away with my resignation and my fears intact.
I told her that in the beginning, when my friends and I were building the club, we were all in it together and it was so much FUN. We were women in similar situations: Swedish spouses, learning a new language, making our ways in a new culture and acclimating ourselves in a foreign country. We became the best of friends and we were close as sisters. Then time and busy lives began to push us apart, a little bit here and a little bit there, until slowly I felt that I was the only one left still doing my part in the club. Each of them had taken a break or moved on to other things, and even though they were still members and some of them were still semi-active, it wasn't the same because my friends weren't helping me to make things happen anymore.
I told her that I missed that part, friends working together in an organization to make things happen, and that I wished I could find that again, and that I was afraid that if I said yes for some of the other reasons that I was also feeling (obligation, distress, control, wanting to help out) that I would find myself regretting it. She sat patiently through the whole mostly one-sided conversation and listened to what I had to say. And then a little while later, when the conversation at the table had shifted to other things, she turned back to me and said, "You know what, Liz? I would like to do that. I'll be your friend on the board."
It was as if a shining light turned on in front of me. She made all the difference in my thought-wrangling process which had stalled in the back-and-forth, pro-and-con tennis game inside my skull. She whacked it out of the court and made the score LOVE. :)
Then I sat down and talked to Anders about it and got his cautious approval and I think it will work. I really, really hope it will work, and I will do what I can to make it work, because I want to, and I have found that generally what I really put my mind to I can accomplish.
Today, I had 2 e-mails from club members, one a former friend and current board member and one a nominee as well for this coming year, and both of them said how glad they were that I was coming back on board. And then Geena wrote me a letter to thank ME, and made me cry because I am the one who should be, and is, thanking HER.
And today I worked in my very own office and got a lot done and had a good day, and then I got my birthday presents in the mail from my sister; 2 shirts from my favorite store in the States, and they were perfect and dinner with my family all together at the table was fun and chatty and I am so happy.
Postcript: And then, with my finger poised over the "Post entry" button as I re-read through this one last time, the power went off and the screen went black... AAAAAAAAAAAGH!! NOOOOOOOO!...and I had to write this whole thing over again in longhand (WITH A PEN! OMG!) from memory by candlelight because we had no power for over an hour. But you know what? The light is still shining, just the same.