Friday, September 28, 2007

Fighting the Funk

Because these days coffee doesn't seem to be cutting it, I bring myself a list of things that should fight my funk.

Having lunch with a friend from long ago and far away, because it's right now and she's not so far away. Being able to rearrange my schedule to do that with relative ease.

Discovering a new outlet right next door to another outlet that I really, really like. If only ATL would move in next door to both of them.

Having the sense to leave a conference part way through it because it didn't fit my needs and the presenter was sucking the life out of me. No, I'm not being dramatic.

Trying to prioritize the reasons that I do what I do. Hearing our treasurer articulate that the congregation didn't call me to deal wtih advertising marketers, and that he'd be happy to call the ah-hem representative back.

Getting over some guilt.

Giving myself peptalks, and perhaps some actual therapy.

Recognizing the funk, even if I don't know what to do about it.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Preaching Poetry

There isn't much
that makes me think that writing
in free form
deep indents
will actually make my sermons any better.
Because when it comes right
I'm not slamming
(not that I was ever good at that when I tried)
in the pulpit
any more than I was when
I fancied
myself a poet far
from any

Last week
I sketched
my sermon
in some sort
of weirdfreeform
that I hoped would
break it (you know, the Word)
if only for me.

And I smiled when I thought about standing
before these nice, church folks,
spitting out words
in a rhythm
of stops
and starts
starts and
stops, then walking away to sing
the hymn of the day.

Then I swiveled
my chair to face the computer
and I typed long sentences
that flowed together and broke only when the margin butted in and made them jump to the next line as if scared that God's grace really couldn't flow like the Gospel promised.

Friday, September 14, 2007

Meeting, Meetings, Meetings!

This week's Friday Five over at the RevGals is all about meetings:

reverendmother writes: In honor of a couple of marathon meetings I attended this week:

1. What's your view of meetings? Choose one or more, or make up your own:
a) When they're good, they're good. I love the feeling of people working well together on a common goal.
b) I don't seek them out, but I recognize them as a necessary part of life.
c) The only good meeting is a canceled meeting.

I choose (a), with the mirror statement of course being, "but when they're bad, they're horrid."

2. Do you like some amount of community building or conversation, or are you all business?
I was once part of a monthly meeting that routinely started 15-20 minutes past the scheduled time as the men swapped stories about sports, building things, etc. It drove me silly. I don't mind a little conversation in the midst of the meeting, as it can build community. However, the total off-topic chatting should be left until the end, so that those who aren't part of it can just leave!

3. How do you feel about leading meetings? Share any particular strengths or weaknesses you have in this area.
I like to lead meetings -- especially larger-group brainstorming, visioning-type meetings. I think I'm relatively good at it, and I try to be respectful of people's time. The weakness or flip-side of that is that I might not give adequate time to a topic or a person because of the overall covenant to be done at a certain time.

Leading standing committee meetings isn't how I see my role in the congregation, and fortunately I don't have to do that!

4. Have you ever participated in a virtual meeting? (conference call, IM, chat, etc.) What do you think of this format?
I have participated in a number of conference calls. It's OK, and often necessary when dealing with a national board. There's so much value, though, in the face-to-face meeting that when possible it's my preference.

5. Share a story of a memorable meeting you attended.
The many, many occasions in which I would call home on my way home from a council meeting and say, "It went well -- we laughed, I mean, really laughed together. I like these people."
The first large-group meeting that I facilitated at the congregation happened about 2-years into my tenure here. In some ways I think it shifted how people saw me as a leader.

I recognize these are both positive meeting memories -- there are also the meetings from which I've come home and put on my walking shoes, or poured a very, very stiff drink.

Let me know what you think about meetings!

Monday, September 10, 2007

And the winner is...

Lovely, humble, peanut butter.

Scoop peanut butter.
Lather. Rinse. Repeat.
Scrub with brush. Be gentle on fibers.
Wash with dish soap.
Wash in washer.
Hold breath.

My pants are fine.

Thursday, September 06, 2007

So pretty. So, so pretty. So very pretty.

I'm rarely as excited to receive a package as I am when I've ordered from See Jane Work. Even though I chose the slowest shipping possible, and Monday was a holiday, and I checked the tracking number, I still asked my office every day this week, "Did I get a package?" My cynical co-everything, upon overhearing me ask this question, responded, "What do you think this is, Christmas?" Hmpf. See if I order him any lovely office supplies.


SJW makes receiving even the most mundane (ie, pencils and paperclips) lovely, not to mention the excitement when it's a new business card holder! *gasp* Or a *can you stand the excitement* financial organizer. If only their products could actually make me work. *sigh* Perhaps tomorrow will be more productive after I'm done gazing lovingly at the blue tissue paper in which everything was wrapped.

In the freezer

As I type, the aforementioned short/pants are in the freezer. Of course I realize (now) that many of you suggested using an actual ice cube, which might be why it felt so strange to be shoving my shorts around my ice cream, etc., this morning. It's a good thing that we haven't completely refilled our freezer from the afore-forementioned power outage. I'll of course keep you posted and thank you for all of your good advice.

With any luck at all, I'll forget that the clothing is there when I leave for the office and freak out tonight when I open the freezer for ice cream.

The ridiculousness (ridiculosity?) of this event to me wins at least top billing, which is why you get to read about it again -- and again when it comes out (or not) in the wash.

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Great. Now what do I do?

Yesterday we discovered that a neighboring community had a parade -- a perfect activity for our little family.
So, we saw fire engines and bands and cheerleaders and politicians. We saw the biggest grocery basket I've ever seen and collected many tootsie rolls and those caramel things with the white stuff in the middle (which I love). We were touched by the number of children passing out things from the parade who walked over to our son and handed him something, realizing that he couldn't scramble for the candy like the big kids who surrounded him, or reach to catch something.
We spread our blanket out on the grass and watched all of it go by in glory. If only I'd stayed on the blanket. Instead, I perched for what felt like a moment on the curb. And when I stood, the wad of gum upon which I'd sat stretched and stretched and stretched.
It's been a long time since I've had gum on anything. How do I get it out? Help, please, dear readers! I was wearing a favorite pair of dark, long denim-ish shorts from AT Loft that I haven't had that long (thanks to the end-of-season sales), and I really don't want to lose them.