I started this blog to keep my church, friends and family updated on my year volunteering in Katrina recovery with the Presbyterian Church (USA). I've now signed on for a second year working in disaster recovery and another year living in Mississippi. It's getting good....

Sunday, April 06, 2008

No people, no cars, and I mean it.

How does it fly by? The weeks continue passing and I hardly seem able to keep up. It amazes me how busy we stay down here (which is a great thing!) and how after my 19 months on the coast, my workload doesn't diminish at all. Every week brings a scramble to find jobs, materials, funds, volunteers, permits, etc. EVERY WEEK! Why we can't seem to find a system to keep from scrambling, I will never understand. I love systems and trust me, if there were one that would make sense of this work I'd be all over it. But no one has been able to find said successful system yet, so the scramble continues.

All that is to say that the by the time the weekend arrives I am desperate for some down time. Down time for me used to be skiing, camping, hiking and general merriment with a big ole gang of friends. Now, clearly there's no skiing or hiking here, and since I basically camp every night, that's been out too. But the shocker is that hanging with friends no longer constitutes down time for me. I'm totally fried on people lately. The blackberry on my hip and it's constant buzzing seems to have some effect on my desire to socialize. Daily, I go from meeting to meeting where I listen to a near constant barrage of information and updates coming from a handful of mono-tone voices. Then via phone, email, or personal encounter that intrudes into my Erin face space, I listen to questions and comments from long term volunteers. Sprinkled throughout the day, at the office, at the grocery store or driving down the highway, I listen to homeowners sharing their problems and frustrations. Then, while eating dinner, walking the dog, or stepping in or out of the porta-potty, I listen to complaints from our one-week volunteers.

I am committed to my job and our mission down here, but I come Saturday afternoon, my ears are spent. So now, my weekend downtime usually involves me and some serious time with my trailer couch and some season of Gilmore Girls on DVD. Is this what's best for my mind, my body or my social life- um, well, no. For my sanity- yes. It seems to be working now.

If only I can come up with some ideas for how not to get so sick of driving....

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