Today started like most days. Up early, Peloton workout, email starting beeping at 6:20am. So much to do. Do our to-do lists ever get shorter? Nope. No chance.
What do I/we have to say about that?
Maybe today was a little different. I’m finally sitting down here writing something down after a year because I’ve hit an inflection point.
I met a very special friend and mentor for breakfast today. We try to do this twice a year. As we caught up over breakfast we talked about all that had happened in our lives over the last several months – and I was reminded, again, of the power of just connecting. I shared my experience in Italy and my recent time on retreat to just explore purpose. We talked about family and faith. As we finished up, he shared with me a few stanzas of his favorite Yeats poem about aging and specifically turning 50 – right around the corner for me. Eek. It was 60 minutes of connection over scrambled eggs and coffee.
Next meeting and hour later with a trustee of an organization I’m working with. New relationship for me. I was so overwhelmed by the hour previous that I arrived open, disarmed and, yeah, even a little weepy. I shared why and it immediately allowed for our business conversation to evolve openly, authentically and without pretense. Really, the essence of connection and the power of our humanness. Considering we were talking about philanthropy the meeting was ultimately purposeful and wildly productive.
Next meeting about org charts, workload, FTEs. Next a colleague shows up at my door needing to talk about burnout, feeling overwhelmed and without work/life boundaries. Next meeting about data. Then a drive to SF in horrible traffic to Dreamforce. SF at its best and an extraordinary display of capitalism married to corporate social responsibility peppered with a whole lot of excess, party and show. And, in my case, a lot of talk about how technology will effect social change, make fundraising easier and give us more insights into our donor files. Heady stuff. I guess.
Between all of that texts were texts friends in Hawaii, Dallas, New York, Paris and Fiji, scheduling parent teacher conferences, requests for references, coaching my own mentees, answering hundreds of emails and 4 hours in my car.
Our time is our most precious resource. How are we spending it? Perhaps it would be best spent together, talking, and looking each other in the eye to explore what’s possible and sharing – over a meal, and not in our laps in our cars, or over PowerPoint or email. Sure, meetings, metrics, tech and all of that noise might make us more efficient, and I’m grateful for connecting with my friends all over the globe today because of technology, but the power of change is within and among us, together, and nowhere else. Moving the needle on anything isn’t for sale or to be bought – it is to be done, together.
Showing ourselves to each other, sharing and discovering how our values unite us. That will actually change the world. Rant over. All for now.