Monday, April 28, 2014

Super Powers, Storytellers and Cancer

Over the course of the last two months, I've had the opportunity to help a friend compete for "Man of the Year" for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society.  The other evening, I co-hosted a shopping event at a local women's clothing store.  Fifteen percent of sales during our two-hour window would to be donated to the LLS.

NASCAR Vintage Tees and Scarves!
Turnout was amazing.  The mood was uplifting.  The clothing, shoes and accessories alluring.  The wine was delicious.  (I made two trips into the fitting room: one before wine and one can guess which landed me that new pair of jeans.)

I found out that we made nearly $1,500 for the LLS.

When I heard the number, I was actually a little disappointed.  I mean, the amount of shopping that was taking place was CRAZY!  But, then I did the math and realized that in a 2-hour window, this group of about 30 ladies spent nearly $10,000.  Okay, THAT is an impressive number.

Shopping by committee!
And, I tapped into a part of myself that I hadn't even realized had gone dormant.  For as long as I could remember, I adored being in big groups of people and finding connections.   I hate small talk (HATE) and I'm really not very good at it.  But as a hostess, you don't have to participate in it.  You have to facilitate it.  And that, I'm actually good at.  I am an excellent rememberer of details.  I believe at times, it's made people uncomfortable, that I can recall specific details about one thing or another from a conversation over a year ago.  But, I'll remember when you tell me your uncle's dog has been suffering from hip displasia.  And, by the way, you should meet my friend over here, who is a dog-lover and also owns a large dog that is currently suffering a malady.

My husband refers to this remembering of details as my 'super power.'  I usually refer to it as a curse, because information sort of feels trapped in my brain.  But, I realize now that it's rooted in my love of stories.

Strike a pose, ladies.
It doesn't take a best-seller to please me.  I think everyone has a story.  Everyone has some interesting experience worth hearing about.  Things far more interesting than the weather or their workout.  And, when you meet someone new, it's a chance to tell someone else about that trip you once took or your brush with fame, or even sledding with your kids during the long winter.  

So now I've found an appreciation for this skill I possess...I just need to put it to work.  And, who knows, maybe next time, we'll top $2,000 for cancer research.  And, maybe that $2,000 will fund the the research project that finds the cure...won't THAT be a story to share!

Friday, April 18, 2014

Remember me?

Well hello out there! 

It's been such a long time since I've posted.  I was reviewing my last blog post (which is 18 months old!) and I realized that not long after that post, I started writing for pay instead of pleasure.  I'll admit, it wasn't financially lucrative but the experience is priceless!  I haven't published anything in a few months though.  I've spent the last few months stepping back into retail, as well as participating in multiple volunteer activities, all of which is rewarding in it's own way, blah blah blah.  None of that is the point of this post.  It's just required because I haven't put anything on this page in so long!

A few weeks ago, I found myself with an unexpected day on my own.  Meatball, in all her popularity, went on a spontaneous playdate so I had no prepared-in-advance to-do list.

So I spent the next few hours shuffling (yes, I actually shuffled...) through the Target Clearance shelves, purchasing $5 vases and various kitchen utensils that we really don't need (well, we DO need a pie server, for that one time each year when we serve pie and say, 'gosh, don't we have a pie server?').

The aimlessness of this unanticipated time to myself led to an epiphany of earth-shaking depths.  This fall, she will be heading to full-time school with her siblings and I will be on my own.  And I'm unprepared.

Yes, I'm emotional that my youngest is heading out into the grown-up world of elementary education.  But, mostly, I'm excited for her because she's ready.  I'm sad that the PBJ sandwich phase of child rearing is coming to a close for me.  But, like my kids, I'm ready for what is coming the workforce.  At least, emotionally and mentally, I'm ready.

Technologically, not so much.  I left work in 2007.  At the time, I had a job that paid for me to attend  conferences about marketing to the MySpace crowd.  Yeah,  When I left, Mark Zuckerberg had only recently left Harvard to pursue Facebook full time and was still battling litigation from the Winklevoss Twins.  Congressmen were 'tweeting' during the 2008 State of Union while I was trying to figure out what birds had to do with US armed forces in Iraq.  Um...insta-huh?  SEO?

For the last few weeks I have been trying to narrow down exactly what I need to learn.  (I still don't tweet.) And there's a lot out there. (It's possible most of it is Google-related.)  So much, that I find I've had to re-evaluate where I fit into this new marketing community.

Because I know I want to work more in creative than I have in the past, you'll be hearing from this blog more now.  (Of course, that's if I don't change to wordpress, in which case, you will hear from me over there.)  When I titled this blog, I wasn't really crazy about it, but in retrospect, it's pretty perfect, huh?

I knew 'going back in' would be difficult after so much time off.  I just had no idea that I would be re-entering as a dinosaur (the shuffling should have tipped me off).

I have deep gratitude to a network of people who have shared their knowledge so openly.  I also find myself grateful for three children, who will soon find a new item on their daily chores list:  Help Mom access_____________________.