I have been reading William Zinsser‘s “Writing About Your Life” which is his memoir alongside his ‘how-to’ write your memoirs.  What a treasure this book has been!  Already I have an idea of the path I’m going to go down which is something I didn’t have before.

It’s overwhelming at first to try and decide what you’re going to write about and if you even have the right to think anyone will care.  But Zinsser’s practical advice has helped me REDUCE.  I know I have some great stories and there are people and places who haunt my mind that I would love to tell the world about.

I was so excited last night as ideas coalesced in my mind….I actually began to write things down, to write names down and situations.  My memory is coming back slowly AND  I have several DOZEN microcassettes with hours of stories on them too.  I have been getting to bed at a good hour for about a week now too.  Can you tell I’m getting serious?

Speaking of getting serious, in regards to making sure I manage my time better, I also sent out a notice to all my Toastmasters that I will not be carrying our little club next year.  I spelled out exactly what I would do, which is be our Sergeant at Arms next year.   That entails coming half an hour before every meeting and setting up, and taking down afterwards, making sure the club has the supplies it needs and buying the weekly snacks.  I also volunteered to do the occassional mentorship.  I will do absolutely no more than that.  This is about making sure I am not taking care of everyone else and making sure I am taking care of my needs which is why I came to Toastmasters in the first place.  It felt pretty liberating to put it out there to eveyone I’ll tell you.

Our club has been struggling mightily this year and for the most part 3 of us have carried the entire club which exhausted us.  It wasn’t much fun either.  My beloved Toastmasters wasn’t so beloved anymore.  In fact I began to become resentful about it.  A few weeks ago I was freaking out, thinking ‘what will we do if the club folds?’  But I have let it go.  I really have.  I truly hope it doesn’t happen but I am at peace with whatever happens now.  Saving Sunshine Toastmasters is not my responsibility.  I remember my mentor telling us once that we should serve for a year, and then take a year for ourselves, serve a year, take a year for ourselves.  Well, I have been serving for 4 years straight.  I am willing to continue to serve in a hugely reduced capacity IF the club can meet my needs.  If it can’t, it might be time for me to move on.  I can hardly believe I’m saying this but, as I said, I am at peace with whatever happens.

In the meantime, I’m still the President and I am still going to serve out my term with enthusiasm and with my best effort.  We are putting on an Epic Storytelling Event next Monday and we have invited people from all over the community to come and see what we are about.  We even got some pre-event press (thanks to me!).  So no, I am not giving up, but I am also not giving more than is wise.  When I see my tank on 1/4 full, I will stop to re-fuel no matter what and no matter how long it takes TO refuel.

this is the new limit

this is the new limit

I can’t deplete my personal resources for a public speaking club, no matter HOW much I love it.   Sending out the energy that others will come along and excitedly see the opportunity for growth!