Here on Have a Little Faith in We you know more of my home life as a blogger, wife, puppy mom, daughter, sister, and friend. But during the day I hold a totally different role – association professional. Associations are the organizations that represent an industry. Through these institutes education, lobbying, and events are provided to those in that professional to make an impact on the industry as a whole. For instance, in the past I worked for a food science association whose members were big food companies (Coke, Pepsi, Kellogg, General Mills) that would join our organization to keep a pulse on the food science side of their world. In that particular organization we focused a lot on research. In my current role with a trade association for those in the door security and safety industry(doors, locks, thresholds etc), we focus on education, certification, networking etc. When I step out of the DC bubble I explain my work as a club that people/organizations will join to partner with others in their field to influence the future of their profession.
Really the work of association management is the business of people. Getting to know people, helping people, communicating to people- and as you all know I am a BIG people person. I have had the rare experience of being in the association profession for over ten years – yet I am still relatively young in my career. This is because association management is in my blood – my father has been doing this work for over 30 years. This provided me with the incredible opportunity to start as an intern in this field before I could even drive!! To really dive into my career path and the incredible experiences and blessings I have found through this business I will do a separate post – but for today’s story I had to give you a little background: blogger by night and association professional by day!
Thanks to my current association’s goals I have a spent the last year really focused on millennials and what they bring to the world of associations. It has been an adventure, that I did not expect, but I have really enjoyed! This September this subject matter sent me to ASAE, the associatoin for association professionals, Next Generation Summit 2016 in Reno! This was a program for those still young in their career, but interested in a strong future in this industry. After applying back in the spring, I learned of my accpetance to the program in June. It was a really exciting opportunity and I felt a lot of pride to be invited – but I also had this terrible gnawing feeling in the back in my mind: what if I agree to attend and Danny lists? What if I can’t travel because of his health? What if I make them frustrated with my flip flopping? Danny and my parents both really encouraged me to not worry – no one knows what tomorrow holds so to worry about what ifs made no sense. I tucked it away and never really thought about the event or my fears again until a few weeks before leaving.
Of course as the information came through I would have flashes of excitement. I have ALWAYS loved any event ASAE offers, even following just a lunchtime seminar I return to my work and life refreshed, energized and filled with excitement for all the possibilities that I have thanks to my job! But the truth is that lately I just couldn’t shake the feeling that it is so stupid to continue to invest in my life, when where I am right in this moment could change at any second. I might commit to events, work on a big project, take a promotion and never actually see any of it come to fruition because of our lifestyle.
This worry has been something that has fed me evil thoughts for years….. but especially right now. It feels more true than it has ever befoe because life is teetering on being flipped upside down. And the real truth- sometimes I figure if things don’t turn out the way we hope then I will not even return to this life. Quinlan and I will be moving to the islands and hiding away… so why keep pushing this life ahead so hard? The reason – because we are humans and it’s what we do. None of us are guaranteed tomorrow, but it doesn’t mean you stop investing in the future today.
Danny and I have tried to really not let CF and transplant completely dictate our life. In fact I think for many years not having it affect us too much was a badge of honor. But these days to allow us to have some of our regular life remain, we have to be managing more of the health stuff proactively. This trip was important to my career and our future – so we were going to make it happen- even when the night before I left we were given the workbook on what to do if Danny is only alive with the help of life support. Sigh – yup… crazy town some days!
Regardless of any feelings or various distractions, Danny encouraged me and I ultimately decided to pack up, board the plane, head to Reno for Next Generation Summit 2016 and just do the best I could. I figured if I was just there that was good enough. So I gave myself permission to be quiet, hide in the background, and just agree to do what I felt able to do and forget being my energetic, engaged self.
Well little did I know what awaited me…. it was a true Reno Rejuvenation from the moment I cracked open my first book on the flight out there to the last word I read on the trip home… this trip gave me the healing and strength I had no idea I wanted and the gift for hope that I so badly needed to face a tumultuous time. Stayed tuned for Reno Rejuvenation post 2 to read about the trip!
Thank you so much for reading and remember to make it a great day!