My goal for 2015 was to get started in the next phase of my life. I did not know what that would look like, but I knew I was ready for something. I spent 2014 preparing and then the search was on. I went back and forth between volunteer and paid opportunities…..for profit and not for profit….agency work and traditional office work….and on, and on, and on. I joined LinkedIn….becuase that seemed like something proactive I could do…. and documented some of this journey on my blog. Just as I was getting close to returning to a traditional nine to five the holidays hit and opportunities began to pour in.
I should have been thrilled but instead, I flipped out. I became overwhelmed with anxiety and could not make a decision. The change I had worked for came and I resisted. This is what I do. I do not like change…it makes me very nervous.
This quest for meaningful work feels at times like I am doing the Two-Step. I am from Oklahoma and you learn the two Two-Step is the first dances you learn. At its essence it is one step forward and two steps back.
Easy, right?!? As you begin to learn this basic dance, you often do it by yourself and pretty much stay in one spot doing your one step forward and two steps back. You look awkward and your arms often flop around looking for what to do.
Eventually, you move on and do the dance with a partner. Equally as awkward until you become confident enough to find a partner who know what they are doing and then you dance and spin all over the dance floor and feel like a queen…..a rodeo queen, but a queen none the less.
Finally, you get to the point where you can lead and make others feel like royalty. This is a bit more tricky for women since it is the man who leads the dance, but it is possible. I have not ever really made it to this point with my Two-Step dance, but I have witnessed it and it is beautiful at a hell of a lot of fun.
Today, on this short week and more than two steps back on the boy’s school front, I feel like that day in seventh grade when I found myself in a group of four friends learning the Two-Step in front of my 20+ classmates. Picture the Swimming in PE episode of the Goldberg’s…. equally awkward and mortifying.
I feel like I don’t want to keep looking and learning….but I know it is what must be done to get this right.
***To my knowledge, no Rodeo Queen’s were offended by this post.
I am the first born of two CPA’s born on April 14th. That is the closest I get to accounting and finances. I have always hated balancing my checkbook….something that my mom did just for fun. I can create and manage a budget and I do love raising money for organizations that are close to my heart.
I can say without a doubt my favorite thing to do is invest. I like to invest my money, my time, my energy and watch it grow. I keep alluding to something crazy I did a couple of months ago. I am still not ready to share the details, but I will say that it has been an investment that has already paid off. In fact, it has paid off more that four times what I put in.
The trick was that I did not just throw money at something….although there was money exchanged and there are monetary gains coming back. I am putting myself out there, continuing to say ‘yes’ and working very hard to narrow in on what I want to do with the return on this investment.
Today was a big day of ‘Yes’! I wrote a week or so ago about saying ‘yes’. It is my full force effort to find meaningful work.
No, I did not accept a new job. But, I did say ‘yes’ to a training opportunity and then ‘yes’ to a contest and then…..I won. Without spilling the beans too much, I will say it is one of those entrepreneurial contests that does not come in the form a a new car.
It is however the type of prize that is full of amazing tools that I can use to move forward on this quest for meaningful work and hopefully forge a trail for many to follow in my footsteps.
I woke up this morning feeling hopeful. This date had become something sad and mournful since May of 2009….if I am honest, probably a couple of years before. But, today I am not feeling it. I feel full of life and full of promise. It was one year ago today that Skyline Urban Ministry reopened under one roof and with the Mac Thompson Food Resource Center. One year ago the ribbon was cut in the presence of friends and family, clients and board members, community supporters and media. It was a stressful day, but one that I knew would have a long-lasting impact on my life. The day was selected by the church officials, but when it was determined to be on November 13th, I knew that date was for me.
Skyline was the first big commitment I took on outside of my family after my mother died. It was almost three years before I could even think about anything outside of me when I was asked to be on the board. I guess you can say it was love at first sight and every day since then has had some aspect of Skyline in it. This became my passion project and through its ups and downs I have loved every minute of it. In some ways, it saved me. I still see my mother in so many of the people I encounter. I see her in the generous board who makes this ministry a priority amidst their busy schedules. I see her in the clients when their lives are often so chaotic it is difficult to not to feel overwhelmed. I see her in our finance director and the finance committee….numbers were always her thing and it had to be right. I see her in the volunteers who slow down long enough to be the hands and feet of Christ to people they do not know.
I have thought lately about being generous. Where did I get that? It has come from a lot of relationships and experiences. Overall, I think I learned to be generous from my mom. She always said yes to helping others. Our doors were always open to everyone. She always talked to me about looking at things from a different point of view. I had forgotten this about my mom. I suppose sometimes pain and grief jade our view. But, today I see it. And to make it even better…..I had lunch with Jack Thompson, Mac’s son and a dear friend and mentor….to talk about, you guessed it, Skyline.
Mom was born on Friday, November 13th and on this day I celebrate her life, her generous spirit, and the lives touched by the amazing work that has been done and will continue to be down by Skyline. Mom would be 63 today and I know she is celebrating too. November the 13th is a day of new beginnings.