I absolutely hate having long lay-offs and retreats from the things that I love. At the top of that list is time for enhancing my spirituality, spending time with my wife, and my newfound old passion – writing. The past few weeks have been some of the longest and most trying times in my entire career. Our normal work volume went up more than four-fold in a single day, and now, to this day, two weeks removed, we are still dealing with the fallout. There’s no sugarcoating it, the entire experienced sucked royally. Long days, short (if any) lunch breaks, the tension overall would drive a sane man to insanity, which I nearly hit on more than one occasion.
But coming out of it I feel a lot more competent and able on the job, have a newfound sense of camaraderie with my colleagues, and rest easy in the fact that I’m surrounded with a team that is more than willing and able to work hard. Sure, we get on each other’s nerves and at times we’re just about ready to kill one another, but I believe in my heart that the experience has been for the best and we are a better team and individuals for it.
I got to celebrate this momentous passing by participating in an annual event at my church called “The Alternative Giving Fair.” The idea is to promote an anti-consumer driven Christmas season. For one Saturday in December our church becomes a place to make home-made Christmas gifts at awesome prices, and all proceeds benefit a designated charity every year. This year we selected Water for Waslala, an organization providing clean water for a Nicaraguan community. The event was a blast to plan and participate in and I had several “sit back and enjoy the moment” memories, happy to be apart of the faith community that I am.
In giving my time and resources I also received so much more in return. My soul felt filled with joy above and beyond capacity. In talking with people throughout the day I felt connected and a bit like my old self, someone I haven’t seen probably since high school. And when it came to shopping, well, you may classify me generally as an “Ultimate Cheapskate in the making,” but I have never enjoyed or been happier spending my money on gifts than I was at the AGF. I voted with dollars and cents what was important to me for gift giving and that causes like Water for Waslala prioritize my values, not overpriced and marked up clothing at a retailer.
So all in all I’m happy to be back and look forward to closing out the year with more musings and getting back on track to start 2012!