Friday, October 8, 2010


Dear The Pieces of Me,

This letter is supposed to be written to the person who I wish I could be. There isn't any one person I wish I could be. However, there are quite a few people who have qualities that I wish I could somehow understand so comprehensively that they became a natural part of who I am. I am going to be embarking on an important task. Actually, it is more of a mission, and having these qualities would make things run more smoothly. So, let's get down to brass tacks.

I wish that I had my next door neighbor's bullshit meter. You can read about that here if you want a chuckle. She could smell a lie before somebody finished a sentence. She was that good. Having a fine-tuned bullshit detector is an invaluable instrument, and should be handled with care. I do believe that Life has tried to hone me with this skill by sending several extremely talented liars my way. Time will tell the tale if my meter beeps as clear and true as my neighbor's always did.

You know that line in the song The Gambler, "You gotta know when to hold 'em, Know when to fold 'em, Know when to walk away, Know when to run." Well, from the reading that I have done thus far, running a non-profit is a lot like that. You move too soon and it falls apart. You don't move soon enough (aka take the risk) and it stagnates. Timing is everything. So, I guess I want the quality of the gambler. Obviously one who knows when to move and when to stick.

Most people are not born with the art of listening. They just aren't. That quality is often developed. Nurtured even. It's important to know how to sell your organization. But, you have to listen first to understand the need. If you don't know what the needs are, you don't know how to meet them. I think of Mother Teresa. She did a lot of listening. She didn't run a non-profit insofar as I know, but by listening, she helped people one person at a time. She was so devoted to helping, that you could put her stats up next to any doctor's and... I bet her patients had a better quality of life in her care when she was done with them. Just sayin'. Don't ever underestimate the value of listening.

There is no I in TEAM. I am a serious Type A personality. I am one of those people that would rather do it myself than take the time to explain to you how to do it, just to watch you screw it up anyway. Or not do it at all. Or do it late. College projects were a bitch. I just did them and told my other project mates to go home and watch TV. Or whatever. They weren't lowering my freaking grade with their lameass work. Crap. I am cursing again. Sorority projects were worse. During pledging it was all too much. I had to delegate crap because I was the Pledge Captain. Did you doubt that? Come on. Seriously? I about killed one of my fellow pledges. As in dead as a freakin' doornail. I hated her until I graduated. Sorority love be freaking damned. I just cursed again. This is a bad subject. We had to do something for pledging. She volunteered to do it. Day comes for it to be turned in and she didn't have time. Say What? You don't tell me at the last fucking minute that you didn't have time. If you didn't have time, you tell me the day before, or the day before that, when I can take that bitch back, and do it myself. You biotch hoe with bad hair. As your Pledge Captain I take the SHIT for the stuff you don't do. I am gonna mop the floor with your ass after we come out of that pledging meeting. Let's just say I have delegation issues. I still loathe that biotch and would hit her with my car if I saw her walking down the road. Not kill her. Just break a leg or something.

I think I made my point about delegation issues. This is a toughie. There is no I in TEAM. Well, the good news is that I get to pick the TEAM. I got stuck with the teams I had in class and who the sorority picked for my pledge class. That ain't happening again. So, the key here is to pick people I feel comfortable delegating important tasks to, and not worrying about it afterwards. In other words, I know that these people will do what they say they will do. And, if they can't do it, they will delegate it to someone else, or they will let me know, so that I can redelegate it, or do it myself. Whew. Maybe cursing is therapeutic. I feel tons better. Or maybe it was just the idea of breaking her leg with my car. Broken legs heal people. Don't judge.

I believe that most people will resonate to this non-profit in a really beautiful way. I think it will help so many people, and will be greeted with an armful of love. The flipside of that is there is always someone or several someones who are the haters. There are people who look for ways to hate and try to turn good things bad. Always have been. Always will be. I have no doubt that organizations like the Red Cross, Goodwill, Salvation Army, Boy Scouts/Girl Scouts, etc. get hate mail. Why? Because there are people out there who hate all things good. They hate organizations that try to make this world better. Ignoring the haters will be hard for me. Someone in the organization will say, "Robin, you shouldn't take this personally." They are right. I shouldn't. However, it will feel personal. My idea come to fruition. So, yeah, I am taking it personal. Maybe I should take it as a sign that I am doing something right. If you haven't pissed somebody off, you aren't working hard enough.

The last two are biggies. Yeah, like the others weren't? This one is really hard. Accepting the fact that I cannot save everyone. Change that. Accepting the fact that I cannot save anyone. The only thing I can do is provide tools, and hope that they use those tools to save themselves. That is it. I cannot even get too closely involved in somone's illness if I see that they are not using the tools they have been given. That is me trying save someone else. I have this personality that wants to band-aid the world. It is ironic, since I am having a really difficult time just keeping my head above water right now. That is how I know that each person is responsible for their own recovery. You have to fight for it. You have to use the tools in front of you.

Letting go. As this organization gets bigger and bigger, it will become vital that I train more and more people to do all of the things that I am doing. No one person can be indispensable in a non-profit. If you create a non-profit so that one person is vital to keep it running, and that person dies, the non-profit dies, too. That cannot happen. We all like to think we are indispensable, but it is critical to a non-profit that no one is indispensable.

So, Robin, you need to work a bit on your personality. You are a flawed human being that needs to make some changes in order for your non-profit to get off the ground. However, you really believe in this project and want it to work, so I know that you will do what needs to be done. I have faith in you.

Your Inner Self

Image found here


  1. Dear Flawed Human Being: One more thing. I could use a cold beer. Your Inner Self

  2. that was awesome, I love reading your letters...I think we are all flawed human beings and I have faith in you too...

  3. Visiting from Over 40 Friday.
    I could've written that secion about delegating.
    Still a problem for me...
    It's especially hard now that I have kids. I really, really need to make THEM do stuff for the sake of learning how and being responsible. But, it's SO MUCH easier and faster to do it myself!!

  4. Well I hope this letter was a way to release the anger! Release the needs that will never to fulfilled - and move forward! Wow - sorority chick really pissed you off!!!! ;-)

  5. I found you on a friday blog hop--please come and follow my blog too.

  6. @JJ ~ LOL on the beer.
    @Pam ~ Thank you ma'am.
    @Nicole ~ I didn't even know that I was still so ticked about that until I started writing. I know that what made me the most angry was the nonchalance on her part. Had she felt even a hint of guilt or offered up an I'm sorry, I think I would feel differently about the whole thing. But she knew the crap wasn't going to land on her so she was completely cool with letting someone else take the heat. But, after everything was said and done, I was supposed to suck it up and be "sisters" and "best buds" with her. I just don't roll like that.
    @New Folks ~ I will check you all out tomorrow. It is late and I need some shut eye. But I appreciate you dropping in on my blog:-)

  7. i'm your newest follower hope you'll consider following me too (-:

  8. I love your letter and your music and your blog; oh and your new button! I am a new visitor and follower from Over 40.
    I could have written that letter 3 years ago. I was a board member of a non-profit that got huge..I had the hardest time delegating (actually I still do I just pretend I don't) seriously you are so right no one can be indispensable or it will fail!
    Have a great weekend..

  9. Hi! Following from Java's Over 40 Hop. Had a chance to read this and a few other posts and I think we must share a drop or two of DNA or something. ;~) I can relate to the delegating issues, being a saver and so much more.

    Really like a lot of what you do here, like your "Here's to You Thursdays" and you're header is priceless. (gotta watch out for me though, I might just snarf an idea or two...)

    Stop on by my blog sometime and check it out if you'd like. I'm still somewhat of a blogging newbie, but I'm getting the hang of things. At least I think I am?


    Martha @ A Real (Upstate) NY Housewife

  10. Deligating can be hard...

    Writing theraputic letters to get that old anger out of you is darn good.

  11. Absolutely love your post and in my life also there is no I in team only me, myself and me! I hated team projects in college as well because you always had those that did nothing...thankfully, most of my instructors allowed the TEAM to grade the others and F...for fuck up and failure is what they usually got! Like you, I have no patience for other peoples crap! Your post was so funny!

  12. BTW, I came over from Java's Over 40 bloggers and Follow Friday.

  13. one AMAZING thing about Polish universities? No sorority not fraternity or anything like this at all.

  14. Dear Robin, your letter is honest and revealing...I think you are full of interesting ideas and wish you the best in becoming more the sort of person you wish to be.
    Much love,

  15. That bullshit meter would be awesome.


You can now add YouTube videos in your comments by copy/pasting the link. AND/OR you can insert an image by surrounding the code with this: [im]code[/im]. In the case of images, make sure that your code is short and simple ending with something like .jpg. If you want to use a pic from someplace like Google Images, click on the image, then click on View Image. That is the code you want!

Dazzle Me!