1. When I decided this was the year I was getting my groove back, one of my goals was to read more books. To accomplish that goal, I joined a book club at a local Barnes & Noble in January. I'm certifiably a book worm geek because I just attended my 8th meeting this week and get giddy every time that day rolls around. As of today, I've read 12 books this year, already two ahead of my 2008 total, so the numbers show I've accomplished my goal. But the whole book club experience is hard to describe in words of the fun that I have there. The group of ladies I meet with come from all backgrounds of life and we all share a common bond...we love to read. We talk about current events, other books we're reading, and, oh yeah, the book we chose to read the prior month. My goal of joining this club was two-fold...I wanted to also have an opportunity to expand my influence beyond my church and work to new people and be able to share my faith. I can attest that I have been able to do that while discussing plots of books and stories of characters that mirror our real life issues. I always come home and start the next book that very night...as I sip on the Starbucks I buy when I'm at the Barnes & Noble Cafe'...another book club bonus.
2. Another of my goals for the year was to nurture relationships. This has been a stellar week with the friendships in my life. Words can't express what my friends mean to me. They love me, pray for me, hold me accountable and are there for me at a moment's notice. And, even with all my crazy quirks, they still endure my goofy ways when I know I drive them nuts at times. Even when conflict occurs, I know I can weep and go to them and mend our differences and we can love each other even more than we did before. As an only child, I need my alone time, but without my lifeline of friends, I couldn't survive. Oh so many people live a lifetime without even one or two good friends. I am blessed beyond measure.
3. I've developed a traveling trait this year of breaking free and enjoying life. I feel the need to live from trip to trip. After my recent weekend in the mountains, I'm about to embark on a journey to south Georgia to see Chad, Tracy and, the newest addition, Allison. Christie and I make this annual trek and I not only look forward to spending time with the Todds, but having quality time with my sweet sister, Christie. The 10-hour drive can be brutal, but it's one of the few times that Christie and I get uninterrupted time to bond, and a road trip is one of my favorite ways to deepen a friendship. My car and I have an agreement....I'll fill your tank and take good care of you. You keep your hood shut about all the deep, dark secrets that are shared within the four doors of your frame. As always, a Tracy-approved blog post will appear to recap our visit.
4. We are in the final stages of interviewing for a new member of my Inside Sales team. Interviewing can be a wearing process. Gathering resumes and narrowing down the batch to an acceptable amount to bring in for first interviews is just the first step. Then you go through the process of wasting much of your day interviewing folks that, for lack of a better phrase, we're just not that in to. The perks of this process are the funny stories that ensue from the random personalities that we interview. We had just that guy come in for an interview recently. Picture Dwight Schrute from The Office and you've got the visual. My interview time with him was short because I knew quickly, it just wasn't happening. The other member of my Inside Sales team, Matt, followed me and was privy to the humor that makes this grueling process redeeming. The interviewee recently worked for a local publication that dealt primarily with job listings. Matt asked him "So do you think the popularity of Craig's List is part of the cause of that publication's decline?" Fair question and on the mark. Dwight responded "People who are desperate use Craig's List." Ok, Dwight, thanks for playing. I felt sorry for him because he'll have a tough time finding a job with such a limited insight into reality.
5. The singles at our church are having a retreat over Labor Day weekend entitled, "One Life, One Story." The sessions will revolve around how we tell our story in various settings of how Christ transformed our lives. I was asked to lead a session on how to tell your story in the workplace. I'll be honest, I was humbled at the request because I see myself more as a discipleship girl and and not an evangelistic queen. I've got my outline, but I need to start building the content and I'm at an impasse. Maybe this spewing of a blog post will release some spiritual creativity to start pouring out the details I need. As a planner, I'd rather have things done sooner than later. But, God is teaching me more and more to depend on Him. And so I shall.