Thursday, January 26, 2012

Thankful Thursday: Opportunity

Photo by Tracy S. Williams

I received a rejection letter last week.

A person who gave me a reference suggested it was a conspiracy and I should "be on the lookout for a hitman for at least six months." I don't believe either point, so I immediately laughed.

Back to that rejection. I was one of 37 people, who applied to serve on a city committee about oil and gas development. I know I said in my goals that I had come to terms with the idea that I most likely can't attend many public meetings on a topic of hydraulic fracturing.

To refresh, goal No. 10:
Frack — I mentioned this issue of hydraulic fracturing to obtain oil and gas deposits last year. While I would like to get involved more at a local level, I've decided county and city meetings and my baby sitting budget (zero) don't go together. There are plenty of ways to stay involved, despite my inability to attend 10 a.m. meetings. I can watch meetings on TV/online; read city, county and state regulations proposals and offer comments; and stay informed on national issues. My frack blog is not a priority, but has been a good place to store articles on the topic. It's personal research really, but who knows — maybe I'll write a fiction piece on fracking in 2013.
Two days after I posted this, I saw a news article asking for committee volunteers. Hubby and I talked about it. I fretted. If we didn't try, how would we feel? While it would be expensive to find a babysitter and a significant investment of time, how could we not afford to do this? Would there be any regret?

Yes. I would have regretted not trying.

I plotted out different scenarios to make it happen. By talking to lots of moms, throwing out ideas about bartering a day of childcare and squeezing out dollars in the weekly budget, I felt comfortable to submit the requested two-page resumé, letter of interest and three short essays. I admitted I am not a fan of fracking and disclosed my blog commentary on the topic.

By the time I turned in the material, I had several babysitter options lined up and had mentally carved out time in my schedule for three-hour long meetings for 19 weeks plus homework assignments.

On Friday, after a nice dinner with my family, I saw an email that I wasn't selected to serve. The city selected seven strong candidates to work on the issue. While I won't be serving, I can continue to stay informed on the issues and speak my mind to our elected leaders.

This wasn't a futile exercise. Several fun things happened along the way to rejection:
  • I tried a new recipe for a breakfast pizza. Yummy.
  • I met a neighbor, who also liked the breakfast pizza, as we talked about babysiting. 
  • Instead of attending the oil and gas committee meeting today, I'm going to spend my morning writing. I scheduled a baby sitter to watch my son, just in case I was selected. I didn't change those plans. 
I was disappointed I wasn't selected, but I am grateful I had the opportunity to try. 

Have you had any opportunities fall in your lap recently?

Today, I'm also thankful for Mark Koopmans at Aloha, and Hi! from HI. He gave me the Versatile Blogger Award. He's a stay-at-home dad of three boys, homeschools his oldest and is co-writing a memoir. With everything going on, I wasn't able to participate in this cool "Follow Your Dreams Contest" he's hosting at his blog. You have until 11:59 p.m. EST, Friday, Jan. 27 to enter or just stop by to say Aloha.

21 comments:

  1. These experiences are never wasted and I am so glad you did go ahead and apply, demonstrating in a very concrete way yours and your husband's concerns about Frack.

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    1. Thanks. Yes. Our concerns are note over and over again.

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  2. Do you know what Stacy that sounded a huge commitment. I bet the people chosen aren't writers. It sounds like you've done a lot for it and gained a lot in the process. Good effort!
    I'm collecting for heart and stroke soon. That will be interesting!

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    1. Oh, it was a huge time commitment. When I wrote this post, I discovered that one of the city council members dropped off the committee, because it was too much of a commitment. Please let me know about your heart and stroke efforts. My late husband had a catastrophic stroke. It changed our lives.

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  3. I think it's great that you tried, Stacy. So many people don't bother. I'm sure it's disappointing that you didn't get selected, but I know there will be other ways you can help and maybe it will work out better for your schedule and your writing and your budget that you don't have to give such a big time commitment. Hope you got lots of writing done while the babysitter was there :)

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    1. Thanks. Many things happen for reasons that are unknown at the time, so we'll see. I can hear Enzo laughing with the babysitter now. As soon as I finish here, I'm off to that blank Word document.

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  4. I think your effort is the key part here and I imagine that everything you put in will eventually come back around in some form. Maybe you will write a book featuring this topic!!:)

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    1. Funny you said that Coleen, because a short story idea popped into my head last night. I think fresh ideas may be the good karma from my efforts.

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  5. I agree that it was important to walk the walk & apply, & now you might be more aware of what's going on with the committee. Your background prep certainly will make you more qualified to watch the group work and perhaps add your opinions to the public news. I like that you didn't change plans but are using this 'found' time in other ways.

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    1. Thanks Linda. It's a one day treat. Then, we'll return to our regular routine. Plus, I learned all kinds of useful information about baby sitting options.

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  6. Congrats on your awards Stacy. I think it's great you tried and have no regrets.

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    1. Jennifer, I do my best to analyze the regret factor. It helps make for a happier life. Thanks.

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  7. Hi, Stacy. Nice to meet you. Thanks for stopping by my blog after the virtual BBQ. CONGRATS on receiving The Virtual Blogger Award and good luck with the A - Z Blog Challenge. I've been busy trying to get a head start on my blog posts for the challenge.

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  8. Hey, at least you were out there trying to get involved. That's more than most people do.

    Nice to meet you!

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  9. Hi there - I'm visiting you back from Lynda's bbq. I'm sorry to hear you weren't selected, but I think you should hold onto those babysitting bartering arrangements and have some time to do what YOU want to do - I remember the days when my kids were small, and those few hours are precious!

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  10. Well, they lost out, Stacy. But I'm glad you'll have more time to write!

    ~Debbie

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  11. I admire you did so much to get involved with an issue you feel passionately about. Sorry for the rejection. Those sting. On the plus side, it's good to know there are so many others out there fighting. Yes?

    I came over from Lynda's BBQ. Nice to meet you.

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  12. I like how you look at the good things that happened even when you were not picked. It is a good way to look at things! Congratulations on the award!!

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  13. Bummer about not being selected, but I think it's awesome that you went for it! That's impressive and a smart move.

    Also congrats on the award! :)

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  14. Commiserations for your rejection and congratulations for your award :)

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  15. Well, I am proud of you for taking a stand and taking a chance. Nothing is ever for naught (sounds like an oxymoron, I know). By sharing your goal and the outcome of your attempt also inspired the rest of us - so good on you!

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