When I sat down to write today, I had no title…no idea for writing…no inspirations…nothing. I just realized it has been insanely long since last I wrote so I decided to rectify that situation immediately…even if what I post here is pure drivel. At least it’s driveling instead of shriveling into a dried, rotted shell of my former writer’s persona.
Then I tried to figure out exactly what I had been doing since the end of December that has kept me from writing. Well, at first moving was all consuming. Once we postponed our move date from March to June, I became rapidly consumed by my kids’ school. Well, I’m always consumed by that place, in a mostly good way. This time, however, I was involved in the 25th Anniversary Gala and Auction. I was one of the committee members and worked with some delightful women on the project. We began meeting last October to plan for the event which took place last Friday, March 3. It turned out quite well, in spite of the usual and predictable goofs, errors, and otherwise unforeseen bumps in the road. And no, you did not catch me in a contradiction of terms. The only thing predictable in event planning is the unpredictable, unforeseen things that threaten to derail the event.
Regardless, the event wiped me of so much energy that I came home, crawled into bed around 2 am and did not arise until 2:30 p.m. the following day.
The things I learned from the experience will (hopefully) stay with me forever. I have long desired to lead a group of women in some endeavor, whether through PTF (PTO, PTA, etc.) or some event planning such as the auction or a Bible study or something similar. However, the more I am a part of these things, the more I know I have a long way to go before I’m ready to lead anyone anywhere but over a cliff of insanity.
So do you want to know what I have learned thus far?
1. Always, always, always remain calm no matter the situation. I have witnessed events spiral out of control when one or more parties lost their cool (mine being one of them, I must confess). If the leader remains calm at all times then chances are the situation will be resolved to most everyone’s satisfaction in a much less stressful and time consuming manner.
2. Always, always always delegate to others so you are not the only one responsible for getting things done. This is essential in effective planning. You can be many places at once if you have reliable people representing you at those various places, acting on your behalf and carrying out your directives.
3. One does not have to be in control to be in charge. I found that I tend to pull everything close to my chest and then not share my knowledge, pearls of wisdom or anything else for that matter. This excludes not only those who most need to know the information in order to help, but it also cuts one off from the enjoyment of working and interacting with others.
4. Last, but certainly not least…have fun! People’s motivation levels are much higher when they are having a good time. I have learned that following my fearless leader during the past 2 auction events (this year’s and last’s), that the more fun we are having under her direction, the more I am desperate to work, fulfill, please, represent, and inspire others.
In essence, I have learned much but have not yet had the opportunity to apply these nuggets of knowledge. I hope one day I will…and I also hope that one day I will also be able to teach others these things. I also know I have much, much yet to learn.
And once my extreme involvement in the auction passed and I woke up from my long winter’s nap, I became reacquainted not only with my children and husband, but also my laundry room, my kitchen, my house and all the other little things I neglected.
I guess that could be #5 on my list: take a few moments to stop and enjoy your family. In the height of my frenzy preparing for the auction last Friday, I went to McDonald’s, got a healthy (ha) lunch and sat down to eat with my daughter in her classroom. It had a surprisingly calming effect on me, and I felt rejuvenated and re-energized for the rest of my long, long day ahead of me.
I guess no matter how quickly time flies, there is always more to learn.