I've been having a bit of a grumpfest, and as a result, I've decided that I will no longer give out open invitations. If you ever hear me say the words "any time", please slap me upside the head. If you ever hear me offer to do someone a favor without putting a time limit on it, same thing. Slap me.
I keep getting into these situations where someone needs help, and either I offer to help or they twist my arm to get me to help. Then, at the absolute worst possible time, they take me up on it. Then I make all kinds of sacrifices to keep my word... begrudgingly.
I have a set of ideal circumstances in which I like to ride horses. Some are obvious ones like good weather, me not being in pain, the horse not being in pain... Others are just perks, like all the neighbors being out of town so that no one can be around to spook my horse, and not having to deal with bee swarms and cholla balls. It is truly a rarity for all of these things to come together on one day out of the year, none-the-less several days, so when everything does actually come together, I want to ride. Simple as that. I don't want anyone getting in my way.
But, true to form, someone always has to cash in their favor on that one special day. Unfortunately, I can't always know when that perfect riding day is coming, so I make plans other than riding. Then I'm in a pickle because I promised to help, yet that particular day turned out to be the perfect day for horseback riding, and I can't just go ride because other people are involved and they spent weeks orchestrating my schedule. Sometimes I wish I had it in me to just blow people off. Then maybe they'd be less likely to ask me for favors.
I'm a true horse addict. Whenever I know it's the perfect day for riding, but I can't ride, I literally start shaking all over, as if going through withdrawals.
Anyway, I'm in this situation where I gave some people an inch and now they are taking a mile. Somehow, one little favor that should have taken up no more than ten minutes of my time has turned into me having to block off days on my calendar to handle items on their agenda. It's not totally their fault, but I'm still grumpy about it.
We are having such awesome horseback riding weather, and it's not going to last. I told them that I postponed all of my own appointments until summer, because I don't want to lose my window to ride. I was hoping they would consider postponing the favors they need me to do for them until summer too, but my desires are not relevant to their schedule and goals, and apparently there is no one else who can help.
I keep telling myself, "Just say no."
However, it's never that simple. I always have to feel sorry for people who can't do things for themselves, and guilty when I can't or won't help them. I suspect other people sense that about me, which is why they take advantage of me.
Anyway, the really unfortunate part of this story is that, in the process of helping someone else, I caused two of my most painful health problems to resurface, so now I'm in too much pain to ride even though no one needs my help today. The effects of being a good Samaritan are far reaching.
I can just see myself the next time someone asks for a favor...
"No, I can't, because it might turn out to be my one perfect horseback riding day, or maybe the next day will be, but I won't be able to ride because I'll hurt myself in the process of helping you. Can you understand that?"
(Cue the crickets.) Chirp chirp. Chirp chirp.