Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Puttin On the RRRRITZ

Do good and good comes back to you. Most days I live that. Now, mind you, I don't do good things ONLY because I want good returned to me. I simply have seen the truth of the statement over and over again.

Last night is an example. I volunteered with the Bayou City Arts Festival a couple of months ago. Previously, I was a "day-of volunteer" but this year I upped the ante and dedicated a few vacation days to learning what the Artist Support Committee was all about. I had an incredible experience and met some very nice folks.

One of those hard-working individuals was a staffer. Kelly is in charge of many things -- including my committee. Last week she asked if I wanted to be her guest at a performance of Young Frankenstein. They had gotten some tickets and were sharing the bounty.

Of course, I said yes. Not so much because I'm all about the musical but it sounded like a fun night and it included an after party with the cast.

The musical is pure Mel Brooks. That being said, if you like him, you'll like the musical. If burlesque isn't your thing, don't go. The fun part for me was remembering all the great performances from the movie. 'Cause, really, everything is just a caricature when the original nailed it the first time.

I spent the whole night feeling like I was in the middle of a series of jokes where the teller keeps saying, "Wait for it... wait for it" and then the payoff came time and time again. Frankestein's dance with the top hat and the shouted line, the big knockers, the moving hump on the back, and of course ... Oh sweet mystery of life.

Perhaps it's not such a mystery but I'm glad I found that positive things we do with good intentions can surprise us with their results. I didn't expect a night on the town when I offered a weekend of my time. I didn't know that good friends and interesting new stories would introduce themselves. I just did what needed doing.

That's the good life.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Still learning ....

Once the line in the sand was "Where were you when Kennedy was assassinated?" I was in my 20s then and the women with whom I worked would speak of the 60s and early 70s as formative years for their youth/young adulthood. I knew I was but a child and had much to learn because the answer to the question for me was "in a crib."

Now I've become the woman on the other side of the new timeline (though the question varies and is not nearly as dramatic, there's still some point in history that reminds me, "OMG, they don't remember _________" .... and maybe it's when we didn't speak in OMGscript). I spent today with some incredible young adults and I smiled when I realized they were listening to me and working alongside me just as I had my mentors almost 25 years ago. In fact, most of the people in the office today weren't born when I first got into the professional realm.

I thought that when my turn to be the "sage" came due, I'd be bothered by my age. I'm not. I celebrate it. I've managed to do a lot of living and pack in an incredible variety of experiences in a little over two decades. I might wish my curves weren't multiplying and my skin wasn't sagging but other than that ... I'm all good.

So I'm wondering what lessons I've learned that I'd like to pass on to my newest recruits in the "I have to work with Karen so I might as well make the best of it" team. I'm thinking . . .

- When you suspect that life sucks, realize you've got your hand on the air valve. Change is always possible; maybe not practical but definitely possible.
- Go somewhere where they don't eat like you do and chow down. Then, if you must know, ask what you just ate. You'll be a better person for culinary adventures outside your culture. And if getting to that table involved a plane ticket, you get extra points.
- Don't commit to a career; find a path. I am so glad that one day I realized I was more than my resume.
- Grace isn't just a word in an amazing song. Grace offered on a regular basis will forge friendships that feed your own soul. Hard thing is releasing the right to judge quickly and hold grudges. Reward is that grace can be both given and received.
- Keep laughing.

Don't know if I should start making t-shirts or cross-stitching on pillows or if maybe that's not a bad start to some lessons I need to capture in some form. But since countdown-to-the-next-version-of-me has now begun I thought I would at least remind myself of why I like me.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Sweet Notion

Last night I attended an event focusing on "up-cycling" rather than recycling with proceeds going to social change. The group -- Sweet Notions -- is on to something. They do what they do with high quality, even though some of the donations don't always look that way when first received. They also have a conscience and a plan to ethically make an impact on lives and the environment. (Here's their link ...

I'm having a sweet notion moment in my own life. I will soon be upcycling my skill set and embarking on a new career path. I want to pursue development at a non-profit. Trouble is ... just as some of the potential guests I tried to explain the evening to only heard "donated jewelry", thought "chains-a-la-Madonna, circa 1985" and couldn't fathom the beautiful art old broaches and belts can become in the right artist's hands ... so goes it with trying to translate the two decades of experience I've had in the church world to execs and HR folks in my new targeted work realm.

My new notion is to start offering my services on a trial run. "Satisfaction guaranteed in 60 days" with no commitment required. Seems to me I could show my stuff in 60 days.

The irony in much of my hunting to date ... and I've been out there, believe me, is that most of the groups I'm applying with make specific mention of faith communities as being part of their target audience. Wouldn't a former communications consultant TO churches make sense then?

So if anyone is out there still reading this from time to time, and if you are so inclined to pray/think positive thoughts/pitch my plea out to the Universe, then I think that is a very sweet notion and thank you in advance.

And by the way ... once I'm no longer tied to the very public realm as I am now (i.e. when I no longer work for the state's best representative but in a job that is not quite right for me) I will return to a more frequent updating of this blog.