Thursday, October 27, 2011

Owning my successes; celebrating the wins

I have to document the events of this day simply because they seem so surreal to me. I certainly have learned one profound truth: When you follow your bliss - when you TRULY choose joy and pursue things you love with passion and abandon - the universe will align to make the path easy.
It started as just another Thursday...that 5 am alarm reminding me that my body does NOT like to wake up when it is still dark outside. Out the door by 5:40. off to hockey. Arrived to see my ex husband there with new pants that had arrived for Tyler. He took on finishing suiting him up and watching his practice. I retired to the warmup room with a heap of Go Green paperwork for our student Green Team.

Some chatting with parents, and I learned someone else is taking on the team manager role. I did this last year, and it is an enormous amount of work, so it was news I took with MUCH relief!

Before practice ended, my phone had rung twice (yes, by 7 am!) One call was a dedicated volunteer mom. This woman has FOUR children, one with severe health issues. She loves to help when she can because her kids are her number one, and she'd rather give to others than dwell on her problem. She's a gifted baker and dreams of opening her own bakery one day. She was confirming donations for our Election Day Bake Sale. Next call, a short term work opportunity for next weekend. Nice to know my reputation and experience precede me.

Back home, smooth morning with the kiddos. Got them off to school, and thought, WOW, it's been a hectic week, I am game for a little indulgence. Stopped at 'Spressos, my favorite local coffeehouse, and there in the case was my ALL TIME FAVORITE, bread pudding. YUM! My warm treat and a mocha in hand, I headed out. Better check the old Blackberry calendar before continuing about my day.

An email had arrived and it threw me for a minute. The grant application I completed for our future school garden came back with "suggested edits." A Tanya of old would have been devastated by this, but I simply took a breath, reminded myself that it's not personal, and that this person was acting in our best interest by offering advice that could ultimately result in us WINNING the grant. A positive spin on constructive criticism.

The advice entailed getting an estimate for necessary materials. Of course, that meant a trip to ACE Hardware. Our local ACE is AMAZING! They are very community oriented and help us whenever they can. (The awesome planters that I put at Staley as my first act as PTG President came from their store at a VERY generous price!) I went in, told them what I needed, and was told to, "hold on while I get the right person for this job for you." I was introduced to Kevin. Through our conversation, not only did I learn that he and I attended the same Ag&Tech College, but that his major was Natural Resources Conservation (Green much???) and that he is currently practicing hydroponics. I just learned about this process when I went to Alumni weekend in September. It is essentially diverting pond water to hydrate and fertilize garden space. The fish waste in the water is an OUTSTANDING fertilizer, and the dual use of the water is extremely a sustainable effort. In addition, maintaining the pond means selling the fish in alternating years as well. This man additionally worked for a local landscaper for 13 years. Did I mention that through his hydro gardens that he donated over 1,100 pounds of produce to our local Rescue Mission this summer and fall? Um, yeah, I was falling over at the wonderful twist of fate that put him in front of me too. We planned out 4 - 4'x12' raised beds and estimated the tools needed to maintain them, along with a Rubbermaid storage shed.

While we were meeting, I was briefly interrupted by a phone call. When I answered, I was given the name of the caller. He chided, "I'm not a bill collector or a telemarketer, so you're already off to a good start!" I laughed, and he then explained that he was given my name and number by both the Mayor and the principal of Staley. They advised that I might be able to help with a very important project. Our local Red Cross, like so many in our country, lost thousands upon thousands of dollars in funding this year. They are in such dire straits that this year, our community would not have it's Thanksgiving Basket brigade. They typically provide 400-500 baskets to those in need each year. I had already been told of this shortfall when delivering canned goods to their location following our CROP Walk collection last week. The man on the phone advised that our Mayor found this unacceptable, and was searching for ways to compensate for this shortage. He has called a meeting of all of the clergy from our community tomorrow at City Hall. The role I was asked to fulfill was in assisting them in having school representation, primarily through Staley, in way of another can drive - this time seeking Thanksgiving specific items. Here's the twist. In my PTG doings, I have utilized PTO Today as a significant resource for advice in succeeding in this role. For the CROP drive, I had ordered a "Schools Fight Hunger" food drive kit. The kit arrived a day AFTER our CROP drive ended. So, I already have 1000 flyers and a banner for our school ready and waiting. This wonderful man just kept saying, "You are a blessing, and I can't wait to meet you." I was invited to tomorrow's meeting, and we're in full swing to help as many families as we can. I am SO humbled to be a part of it.

I know, you're thinking...all of this before 10 am?? YES! I got to school, and I just had to phone a friend. I was practically pinching myself. I needed to say all of this out loud before I woke up from the dream! Not only was that friend a fabulous listening ear...she offered her help in rounding up support for the basket campaign. I am so blessed to know this woman. (seriously - I've known her since Kindergarten. No Joke. God's hand in this one.)

I headed into the main office to find that a box had arrived. The materials we just ordered YESTERDAY for next Wednesday's Character Achievement Ceremony had already arrived by next day UPS. Really? ONE DAY!

Another email. Oh, there are the order forms for next week's Spirit Wear Sale kickoff. Another item crossed off the to-do list. Phone rings. Scholastic Books telling me they've located 850 copies of the book we want to use in March for our One School/One Book program. Um, yeah, not only can we GET the books, but the grant funding we have to pay for half of them will count as SALES toward our book fair. So we're going to earn a PROFIT from our own purchase. We're $3,000 in sales 12 days before the sale starts...AND we can get all of the copies we need by year end. (hmmm, where am I storing those again??)

Off to the main office to report that fabulous news, and a Go Green discussion ensues. Training for our Green team, and a go ahead to start routine recycling collections on 11/2 is approved. ANOTHER easy-button transaction.

Time to get the boys. Car is acting funny. I've been perusing a replacement, but was really hoping to have a bit more money saved. No such luck. By the time I got home, it quit. By the grace of God, I was in front of my own house. But the misfortune was I missed the boys Parent Teacher Conferences. That has NEVER happened. My aunt called, I told her the news, and she said she was on her way into work, she'd come by, I could drop her off and have her car for the night.

As soon as I delivered her safely to work, I ran to the boy's school. BOTH TEACHERS had openings in the upcoming half hour, and managed to fit in my conferences. Nothing but accolades and good reports and grades. I am so blessed by these children. Darting across town, I made it back to Staley JUST in time for my daughter's conference. More accolades. Did I mention she's getting one of the aforementioned Character Awards next week? I think an image of a peacock would make due here...

Off to the races again, this time to a meeting for our district's anti-bullying plans. State legislation goes into place in 2012 called the Dignity for All Students Act. I was sitting in a room with our superintendent, along with teachers, community leaders, and concerned parents. What we learned in 90 minutes was life altering, and the promise of the progess we have the power to make was overwhelming. I am proud to be on this committee and can't wait until our next meeting!

Back home in time to grab kids and dance bags and get them to rehearsal. Later, I got a call from a mom of one of Kayla's friends to compare notes from the above meeting. She had such wonderful things to say about my daughter. I agree, she is amazing, and I am privileged to share my life with her. That child inspires me EVERY SINGLE DAY. That she is viewed as a good friend to others is a trait that can't be taught. Her heart is just pure and compassionate. She's incredible.

Joy, joy, and JOY!

My little girl has big feet. She sent a text from dance break reminding me she needed new Ugg-styled boots. My girl, ever the smart shopper, reminded me it's BOGO at Payless. Little did she know there was a 20% off coupon in the mailbox today. Off to buy boots.

We all arrived home again, and then, one more phone call. One of the amazing women I met last week at a community meeting regarding happenings in our city, specifically renewal and Green projects, gave me a call. She asked if she could quote me in support of our Mayor. She said she's been so impressed by my efforts that she felt that should be recognized. WOW.

Now - the gift of ALL angelic babies (dog too!) are curled up on the couch sound asleep.

I know that all of these things seem small or trivial or perhaps unimportant to anyone but me...but the reality is that doors are opening for me at such a rapid pace that I'm hard pressed to get my bearings! I had NO idea that abundance could flow so FREELY in matters of making things happen. I'm beginning to live the life of my dreams, all while being KEENLY aware of how truly blessed and fortunate I am. The smallest things make the biggest difference, and honestly, it's like I suddenly found the EASY button. Even the challenges seem small in comparison to the good I've been able to do.

I just needed to write it all down...I need to remember how I got from then to now. I need to OWN my successes and realize that all of the soul searching and finally committing to what REALLY matters in my life has paid off in ways I never could have imagined. I am thrilled and excited to see what each new day will bring. Now THAT is priceless.