Tuesday, August 23, 2011


A few weeks ago, my Mom and I went to see the musical Wicked when it was here in Calgary.

From the opening song to the closing curtain, I was entranced.  It was fantastic.

Basically, Wicked is the prequel to the Wizard of Oz.  It tells the story of how the Wicked Witch and Glinda came to be, and how the Scarecrow, Lion and Tinman all came to meet with Dorothy.  One of the things that makes the story so wonderful is the hidden pieces, complicated history's and bizarre happenings that bring all of the characters to the story we all know.

In case you haven't seen it, I won't spoil it for you; suffice to say, it really made me think: what if all is not as it seems?  What if we go around making decisions, judging people and situations, without knowing the full story?  Based not on reality, but on our perception - one little piece, our viewpoint in to the situation - but that usually doesn't tell it all.

So, a loved one gets upset with you over something that's normally insignificant; the reality is, they've had a really tragically bad day and this small situation puts them right over the edge.

A driver goes just under the speed limit in front of you, and all you can see is that she's making you late for work; her reality is a nasty accident 6 months ago that she can't quite shake the memory of.

Your co-worker doesn't follow through as promised, leading to you not delivering on a project; all she can think of is her parent, recently admitted to hospital for symptoms that seem life threatening.

Nothing is easy about these situations - not the side you're on, and not the other.  And the reality isn't that we should let other people do whatever they want just because they're having a bad day or struggling with old memories.  Rather, by understanding where others are coming from, or accepting that we may never know and still choosing to perceive and judge them kindly, we can all be happier in our own skin, and more loving to each other.

Personally, I'm committing to trying to see the other perspective sometimes; and when I can't, to simply not judge.  What about you?

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Yikes... a test??

I'm pretty sure I have the best job in the world.  Every day, I get to talk with people who are interested in investing in kids and families in Calgary, and help them find ways to take action to directly and positively impact  the lives of kids and families.  Technically, my job fundraising - though I can think of many other, more descriptive words that could be used - and it's a role I never, ever thought I would be in (which is a whole long story in itself).

Recently, after more than six years of working as a fundraiser, I became eligible to go through the certification process to receive a CFRE (Certified Fundraising Executive) designation.  I was thrilled - a few years ago, after discovering how much I enjoy fundraising, I committed to one day becoming certified.  For me, this not only acknowledges my commitment to my profession and to doing all that I can to do the best possible work, it also is an opportunity and motivation to continually learn, grow and contribute to a greater community of people working to make our communities better.

So, excitedly, I submitted my application and, upon it's acceptance, signed up to write the exam.  And then I stopped.

An exam.  September 9th, 2011.  I haven't written an exam since... well, forever!

To make matters slightly more complicated, there is such a broad and exhaustive list of possible study resources (approximately 40 book recommendations, last time I checked) that it's impossible to cover them all given any amount of time - never mind the three weeks I now have.  So, I'm attempting to focus on those areas where I have less experience... and relying on what I already know for the rest.

For those of you have taken this exam, any advice?  Or, if you haven't - any other advice about studying, exams certifications, etc. in general?  Either way, be prepared for my rants/complaints/inspirations/etc. about studying these next couple months!

Sunday, August 14, 2011

What I'll Do

Turns out, I am a terribly scattered & random blogger.  Timing of my posts are completely random, all over the map - I write tons in a day, then nothing for 3 weeks.  In addition, I let fear paralyze me.  After all, what I write will be out there, for everyone and anyone to read, forever - right?  What if I'm wrong/insult someone/change my mind/etc?

Sometimes, I let all that get the best of me.  I forget the good things about blogging, the reason I enjoy it - the opportunity to start conversations, process thoughts and ideas, and pass on and absorb inspiration.

Clearly, I also forgot that sometimes, it doesn't matter if I'm right, or hold the same opinion forever.  It's ok if things change, and it's alright to put as much or as little as I want to in this space.

Most importantly, I found that I miss the outlet, miss having a great space to write and think "out loud".

So, in an effort to re-inspire myself and re-commit to something I really do feel the benefit of, I threw a question out on Twitter - and got some great responses.

Danelle recommended a blogging schedule (allowing for bursts of inspiration)
Michelle suggested setting a daily goal (a paragraph each day, for instance)
The people managing the U of C's Kinesiology Alumni Association reminded of the importance of focus
And Shannon suggested podcast inspiration - one of my personal favourite sources of gym motivation :)

So, this weekend, I re-committed.  I've written out a loose schedule with some ideas I've been thinking about to write on (with lots of room for new and interesting ideas), and will be doing at least 10 minutes of writing each day.

And, since I've said it here, on the big intranetz, I have to do it now... right?