Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Happy Birthday to Me!

So, I turn 60 today. I'm so excited! I just received an incredible amount of messages from friends on Facebook. I'm overwhelmed and awed by all the well wishes. I must have done something right.

I haven't posted in a while -- mainly because I've been so busy. It's because I've been busy that I should have been blogging this past year.

My Toastmasters club just celebrated 20 years June 1, and I've been a part of it since the very beginning. As a matter of fact, when I joined a different club in 1991, members of that club wanted to help start a club where I work. Then a couple of friends invited me to lunch and sat across from me and put the pressure on me to agree to start a club at work. Well, with pressure coming from both directions, I couldn't say no.

That was one of the best decisions I ever made. Toastmasters has changed my life. I'm so much more confident, self assured, and ready to take on the world because of the things I've learned in our meetings. Now, after almost 20 years, I decided to do what was necessary to earn Distinguished Toastmaster. To achieve DTM, we have to work one year on the District Executive Committee. I thought the easiest job would be Area Governor, so I signed up. Well, I don't mind telling you that I was WRONG! At least my job wasn't easy. I had 5 clubs, 2 of which were really new, 2 clubs with 6 or less members, and my home club Slick Talkers that is going strong.

I started out thinking I would set the world on fire. Then I actually sat down and figured the odds of being a Distinguished Area, and I pretty much gave up. I visited my clubs many more times than the required 2 visits a year. As a matter of fact, I visited several club for most of their meetings during the year. Then in November I was assigned another new club. I visited this club 4 times to help them get started. There was a week in the middle of all the chaos that I had 7 Toastmasters functions in 8 days. I was meeting myself coming and going. But, I enjoyed almost every minute of the year. When you read about the requirements of Area Governor, they don't mention the nagging, cajoling, suggesting, begging, the amount of money you spend on contests, and the time you spend convincing club officers to go to training, pay their dues, update their officer lists, send in paperwork, and then there's the members to give enough speeches to earn their Competent Communicator award and their Competent Leader award. Man, I'm exhausted.

A fellow Toastmaster told me that Area Governor was the hardest job I'll ever love. You know, she was right. I loved meeting all the other Toastmasters, I enjoyed sharing my "wisdom," I  was able to give several speeches to achieve Advanced Communicator Silver, and I really enjoyed visiting the clubs and seeing how they conduct their meetings. It really was fun.

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