Eat That Frog

There’s a book with this title and the author talks about going for the biggest, hairiest task that you need to do first. But in the terms of eating my frog, it’s a bit different. It wasn’t the biggest or the most difficult. It wasn’t horribly time consuming.

To me, it was scary. You see, I have spent the past seven years and ten months thinking that I’m too new in the family to take on tasks. There are other people who are more…..more….more family than me. I didn’t think I was family enough, yet, to do some things or to be taken seriously as part of the family.

Now that I’ve eaten one of my first frogs, I chuckle and think, what the actual fuck is wrong with me. When would I have been family enough to be taken seriously? What is the time frame on that? How is someone more family to a family than another person? Is it because they are blood or married in years before? Is it because they are more involved in the day-to-day lives of a group within the family? Is it because they are liked better? Is that even a thing??

For years, I’ve thought it was. Why? Maybe it’s because I’ve been told how family thinks I’m standoff-ish because I don’t jump into everyone’s conversations or that I am actually an introvert that is shy and doesn’t know how to be part of a large conversation about something that was before my time, is about kids or and event I wasn’t there for, or even a topic I don’t know about. I’ve thought that if I had a kid, I’d be more part of the family. I’ve thought that if more time goes by, maybe hitting that five year wedding anniversary will be enough time to be more family.

I don’t know what I was waiting for. But last night I ate a frog that made me encounter that fear. You see, there was an event recently that we needed a list of emails quickly to send out an announcement. There wasn’t one readily available so I compiled it from old emails that my husband had from his family and only included the ones that had identifiable names with them. I sent that on to be used and I missed people.

That got my mother-in-law thinking. She said we needed a list because the person who had maintained one before passed a few years before. I volunteered and told her that I could use Google and make it editable and always available. She okay, let’s do it.

I put off compiling the list based on the information I had from my wedding guest list and my husband and I’s contacts list for weeks. I was afraid that if I sent it out, people would scoff “Why is Crystal doing this? She doesn’t know all the family. She isn’t involved in planning all of the events.” And on and on. And on.

Then I ate that frog last night. I had fun working in the Google Sheet (I love creating in Excel). I got it all together to the best of my knowledge. Then it was time to share. My anxiety went through the roof. I had the horrible feeling in my gut of fear. I added all the people I had emails for, typed a note, and hit send.

It was out there in the world. I couldn’t take it back. A couple hours later, I got a text message. Just the notification noise made my stomach drop. My mind started running amiss. Then I looked at the text. My mother-in-law was thanking me for putting it together. Anxiety washed away.

Then this morning I found a reply with an update to add and another family member thanking me. Anxiety even less now.

My frog was organizing a living document for the family. My frog was being the owner of a family directory for a family I married into. I ate that frog and I can’t wait until I can get more information to add to it. I don’t care if people update it or send me updates. Working in Excel files and maintaining them makes me happy. I LOVE doing it. I ate my first frog towards feeling as family as every other family member. Bring on the frogs!

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