The holiday season is the most stressful time of year for me with spring a close second.
As the president of a foundation, I begin receiving scholarship applications the middle of February.
Once received, they have to be time-stamped, opened and checked to see if the proper materials are enclosed.
There is a second date when letters of recommendation and transcripts must be submitted.
Committees have to be formed and then these documents have to be read and ranked, which takes forever, and I have to read every one of them.
Once this is done, all scores are tabulated and the winners chosen.
Letters must be written to the winners and packaged with certificates and instructions on how to redeem them.
I then take these findings to my board meeting at the state conference in April for approval and later pass the scholarships out at an awards ceremony.
This may not sound like a big deal to you, but believe me, living through it is traumatic.
I am completely covered in paperwork from February to April.
The groundhog sleeps in his den all winter and then emerges February 2 to check the weather.
That’s when I begin to be smothered with big brown envelopes being trucked, mailed or flown to my door.
All postal carriers begin to hate me and I want to scamper away into my den whenever I see anyone approaching bent over from a load of paperwork.
When I’m able to poke my nose out for air, I am so pale due to being deprived of sunlight for weeks, I am unrecognizable.
Of course, I am a bit unkempt. After all I am working very hard. Of course, I’ve gained a little weight. I have to constantly nibble to keep my strength up.
Of course, I’ve developed a nervous tic involving the right side of my face. You would, too, if you were subjected to the hatred of the long-suffering delivery people.
Nurse Judy has no use for me at all during this stressful time. She does not help me.
She reads books and eats bon-bons (which doesn’t help my weight problem). She sneers at my appearance and ignores my pleas for deliverance from this paper bondage.
I notice that she seems to perk up at the culmination of all this work.
At the awards ceremony, she pushes me out of the way and takes over. She ends up on stage dressed to the teeth, her hair perfectly coiffed, her face wreathed in smiles as she reads my rhyming tribute to the students.
She bows, waves and blows kisses as they shout, “We love you, Nurse Judy.”
I, on the other hand, am completely left out as I watch this drama.
Trying to cover my tic with my hands, I lean on a post backstage too tired to fight for the recognition I deserve.
As always, that rascal reaps the rewards for all my hard work.
Still, Nurse Judy is happy, the students are happy, and the advisors are happy.
I guess that’s a pretty good outcome.