Have you ever been so busy that you run to meet yourself – coming and going? I’m sure that’s how everyone feels at the start of a new year. Organizing, hearing our own self-talk about eating better, walking more, drinking more water, etc., and then there is the calendar! As I look at January, February, and March I can see all the fabulous meetings we’re going to have with our Provinces and I’m so excited. Then, I’m a little sad. I know your International Council members would like to be at every Province meeting – but that’s just not possible.
I have a funny little set of memories about Province meetings: No matter the past International Officer that I talk with, I always ask, what was your favorite part of being on Council? The answer is always the same: The friendships and meeting all the women at their Province meetings – and then seeing them again (and again – year after year) at convention. When I was new on the International Council I wasn’t sure that this would be my answer. You see I travel so much for work – I’m with artists, educators, business leaders, and legislators all the time – every single day – and my refuge is often being alone or at home with my husband. I could not imagine if I were asked that question that my answer would ever be: going to Province meetings (driving an hour to the airport from my home, flying somewhere, driving to a hotel, reviewing reports – you know the drill).
But then, back when I started asking that question (What was your favorite part of being on Council?) I was new and had not yet fully realized the many women whom I would meet only because I was at their Province meeting. These women who I call Sisters, friends, and often mentors – are in my life because we shared one thing – Sigma Phi Gamma!
Our friendships start in a variety of ways:
• The Province meeting cocktail hour where 30 women are sitting around a hotel room with two beds and one desk chair – all very comfortable as if the space were a grand salon.
• The huddle in the corner after Saturday night dinner where you laugh at silly stories until you are ready to pee your pants.
• Or, the moment you realize you’ve raised your hand and volunteered again, knowing your husband and kid are going to kick your butt when you get home (but secretly they are very proud of you and support your efforts).
So as we go about our busy lives, managing expectations and calendars, I hope you will be in the moment at your Province meeting. Take advantage of not answering your cell phone, don’t play a silly game on your tablet, and don’t spend too much time on business (just enough but not too much) so that you can enjoy the company of your Sisters.
Share stories, laugh, play cards, enjoy a beverage or two, and soak in the love of every woman at your Province meeting. Find the links of friendship and extend your best piece of jewelry – the friendship chain!