Thursday, May 31, 2007

Are You Walking a Mile or Just a Few Inches?

I had a business meeting tonight. I was perturbed. This particular group is an alumni association I am a part of after having done an intensive business training workshop a few years ago. There are over 300 grads of this program and yet only a faithful few of 10-20 people show up at the monthly meetings. There is the notion that a lot of these other grads realized they couldn't hack it and that's why we don't see them. May be true. It wears me ouot thinking about it so much. But, I like the people. I am committed to attending, so I go.

We had nominations for the governing board tonight and, as expected, quite a few folk weren't there - maybe because they didn't qualify to run for a position; maybe because they didn't want to get tapped because you cannot be nominated unless you are there to accept it. So there weren't many in attendance tonight. I knew someone would nominate me and they did but I declined.

Prior to the nominations, the head of the program was pretty much lecturing everyone on the disappointment in attendance or the lack of good, dependable participation when the expos are held or for special programs created for us. And another member concurred talking about passion and how we must have it and hustle, etc. And the president also had her part to say in it.

So after the nominations, there was more from the program director as 3 of the 6 positions had no one to fill them. The president, thank God, stayed on and she will pick people. But this, for the director, was yet another example of people not doing all they can to help and letting their opportunities slip by.

No one said a thing I didn't agree with. But I couldn't help feeling like they were lumping me in with the lumps who don't show. We were there. We are the faithful few who show up. Why were they even directing this toward us? I found myself growing a little resentful because I can imagine they look at the outside of my life and think, "Gee, Village Works could be so much further along than it is now. Gee, Village Works should be taking advantage of all these things." Well, we did. I've done the expos and now I am resting from them. I've shown up for the meetings and tried to help people only to have things not go through. I am not bitter either. I keep going despite the negativity that I see and hear sometimes. I can see what we COULD be and I keep going.

However, don't lecture me on passion. I have plenty, enthusiasm and drive too, otherwise I would not be here 10 years after my partner and I first had our idea. Don't tell me I should help. I am there. That IS help. And when I was childless, I was the everyready volunteer at my church so people know what I can do when I have the energy for it. How dare you even suggest that we aren't further along because of me or people like me who aren't stepping up to be organizational leaders. I am a leader in my home. I am a leader in my business. I am leader on my job. I attend 2 different business groups monthly and that sounds like a little but it's really a lot.

It is irking me that it SEEMS people are silently thinking we're standing on the sidelines, not jumping at the opportunities they think they are giving us but are they living my life? They say, "What about this and this and this? Have you tried that and that and that?" I hear you. I agree they are all very important. I am one person. I cannot do it all! Not at once, anyway! I learned years ago to keep it manageable because anything else causes stress and breakdowns. I'm not breaking down myself for anyone short of my family and CLOSE friends.

There is a season for everything and this is not my season to take on more leadership roles. Darn it! I just became the chairperson in my OTHER business group, mainly by default, because I am the most senior in the group of newbies amd changes have been made to accomodate people with my schedule. So I am trying - for THEIR sake more than my own - to be the leader our group needs. And those of this first group want to chide people like us for not stepping up in ways THEY think we should?

Because I am bigger than that, I will stay and help anyway. Because I believe in us and the people who are taking the charge - again - I will keep on keeping on. Because I want to stay connected for the sake of my business, I will wait and see.

But I am growing very tired of defending people like me. The others with kids and jobs and businesses who are hustling and making it and are saying, if we can do it so can you - to you I say, congratulations. Just don't lecture me on my passion and how I need to give my blood when I'm already giving my heart.

Everyone needs to set their limits. Plan for more. Expect more but darn it BE REALISTIC! Life is not just today, it is, by God's grace, a series of todays so it doesn't necessarily have to be done THIS day. You CAN actually plan your life by age group, for instance. I already know I want to do some different stuff when I get into my 40s, and even moreso when I'm in my 50's. I am whole person, after all.

We live by seasons just like the weather and this may not be the season to lead an army to battle but next season could be. It's hard to predict. But as long as you stay in the fight, good enough, I say. The lumps of the world need to do their part too and yes, we can make it on the initiative of the go-getters but it's not fair to expect that. That's why the good die young. YOU WORE THEM OUT!

Somebody, please, take your lectures to the lazy and translate it into a language they will respond to. I am NOT the one, and how you dare you even try to imply that I am anything other than the hard worker I choose to be. I know the plans of my heart, as does God, and I am proud of me.

I am not going to re-read this. There are probably spelling mistakes but that's what happens when you purge.

Time for me to email our group's president and have a chat with her about all this. Rant over.

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