Monday, May 21, 2018

Finding Myself Again

In my last post I talked a bit about getting lost in the middle of everything, and I promised I'd detail a few things I've done to combat those feelings.

In fall of 2016 I decided to run for the Board of Governors for my university alumni band. I hadn't been involved in the organization at all for years, but it was something I really wanted to get involved in again, something that was mine. I resolved myself that I would make it work, even though I had no idea how I was going to find child care for meetings and such, and I did it.

And I was elected to the board. As a Governor my duties were fairly light, but then six months later our Vice President unexpectedly resigned due to unplanned life changes that took him out of town. While there is no requirement to be local, all of the executive positions have duties that make working from out of town extremely difficult, and so we were left with an executive vacancy.

You know what I did? I threw my hat in the ring. And the President appointed me to finish the term.

I know it's just a volunteer position, but for me it's been a "wow" kind of whirlwind. I went from not being involved in any activities outside the home, to joining the Board of Governors, to being Vice President of a large organization in less than a year, leading a large cross-functional team and managing a major project.

I was re-elected to the office of Vice President last fall, and am now working on my first full term in office, again leading a large team. My biggest project is to plan and carry out all activities related to Homecoming weekend: reunion dinner, rehearsals, parade performance, on-field performance, etc. It's quite a large undertaking, and it's a lot of work, but I have enjoyed it so much.

Stepping up to volunteer, and then taking a chance and going for (and getting!) this position has given me a piece of my identity back. I'm a band nerd at heart and love this organization. The work has given me a chance to use my brain in a way I haven't had the opportunity to since leaving the corporate life. It's given me a new circle of friends, acquaintances, and even professional networking contacts. I feel a little more like me when I'm there.

Most recently, just this past week I agreed to become the Team Administrator for Jena's soccer team. Mostly it's a lot of paperwork and organization, with a lot of communications thrown in just for fun. But I'm excited for it.

These things: volunteering, taking on responsibilities outside the home, creating new circles of contacts... they all help keep me from getting lost, from feeling invisible.

It's not perfect. Finding child care during my activities is still a struggle. But sometimes I bring the girls to tag along to. They've been to meetings, social activities, and even to a vendor site visit. So far there have been no issues, and I think it's good life lessons for them to sit thru these activities and see mommy "work".

So if you, like me, are a SAHM feeling a little lost in the middle, a bit invisible to those around you, try stepping outside a bit. Volunteer, try something new, get involved in an old hobby or find a new one. Remember who you were and grasp a bit of your identity again.


So what about you? What have you tried to hold on to who you are?

As always, thanks for checking in.

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