4 Rules To Live A Life Filled With Community, Creativity, and Curiosity
Over the past two years, I have:
Moved from the DC Beltway to the beautiful town of Wenonah, NJ
Worked through my social anxiety so that I am reaching out to bring people into my life more than I used to
Been honored to step into the role of president of the Woman's Club of Wenonah
And all of these things have taught me a tremendous amount about what matters in life and what doesn’t. (Plot twist: a lot of the things I used to care about, I don’t anymore. And things I used to not care very much about are now my top priorities.)
These are my new four rules for life learned over the past year:
#1. Life is better when you include other people.
Despite my 20+ years of focus on nonprofit leadership and management, I have primarily built communities online using digital tools with periodic meetups at conferences and speaking engagements. And that was okay because I suffered from social anxiety that would make frequent in-person meetings stressful. After moving to Wenonah, I found myself wanting to get more involved with my neighborhood and neighbors in a way that would allow me to give back and also be a part of the mechanics of what makes this Borough so wonderful.
Pushing through a lot of the anxiety I still feel, I have learned how rewarding it can be to allow for more people to become a part of my personal life. The friends I have already made, especially in the Woman's Club of Wenonah (WCW), are incredible, and I am thankful for this gift of friendship.
Rule #2. Mediocrity is miserable.
Life can be short, but it can also be excruciatingly long when you don't move past the boring old stuff into a more creative space.
This year, I've been especially inspired by the creativity and enthusiasm displayed by other members of the WCW when it comes to everything from parade float design (we won first place – hat tip to Carol Martino for her design) to reconfiguring where the Farmer's Market vendors will be placed when the weather is unpleasant, and there are suddenly fewer spots to work with.
The Woman's Club of Wenonah members are NOT about mediocrity, and that sure makes things exciting!
Rule #3. Ask. Always ask.
Have you ever heard that old pun about why not to ASSUME – because it makes an ASS out of U and ME? There is an important lesson if we pay attention, which is about the important role that curiosity plays in our lives.
Curiosity allows us to find out for sure. To challenge what we imagine might be true and to discover new, sometimes delightful things about each other and the world around us.
Challenge yourself to ask more questions. You never know what you might learn.
Rule #4. Start with honesty and find the best next step.
Sometimes things don't work out the way we want them to, and it isn't always easy to admit.
Honesty means that we have to say things like, "I don't know what the right answer is," and who wants to say things like that?!? And yet, it's so important for us to face reality and then figure out the best next step. If we can't see clearly where we stand today, how can we possibly make the best decision about where we want to be tomorrow?
So that's it! Four big rules I've embraced this year and why. What do you think about these rules?
Woman's Club of Wenonah, President 2022-2024
Want to get more involved in the Woman's Club of Wenonah? Join the Club here or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org for ideas on how to get more engaged! We need creative volunteers like you!