Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Wednesday News

So what's the latest and greatest? Well, let's start with good news- our grant came in from the 200 Foundation and it is $3,000! I am very happy about that, it couldn't have arrived at a better time. Last year, they did a $2,000 grant for Project Smile. It is a great organization and I'm so glad that I was introduced to them.

I've been working steadily these last two days and have been able to accomplish almost everything that is on my daily list. I've been doing a lot of work on outreach, there aren't any results to report yet, but it usually takes a while before I see results. I was doing grant research this afternoon and found a grant that we are a great fit for. The company that is associated with this grant is still doing well, so it is definitely worth applying for. I'm going to focus a lot more time these next few weeks on grant work. Today, someone bought 5 calendars online which was good news. Calendar sales are very small now, so it is great to keep moving them.

In other news, I am worried about the Valentines event- making sure we get enough people there. We are only two weeks away from it now. It is such a cool event, it should be awesome and have a lot of people. It's hard to explain how I feel- its like living with a nervous knot that won't go away. I try to ignore it and focus on the million other things that need to get done. I don't know what else I can do to make the event a success. I'm trying to hold onto the fact that it is a cool event, terrific venue, fun activities, we are getting the word out, it is well priced and it should be a success. We're running a special discount to encourage advanced tix sales- the price is only $20. So please help support us and buy a ticket!

I was thinking tonight when I finished exercising about breakthrough moments. I started thinking about it in regards to building arm muscle- I've been working hard for the past couple of years to build arm muscle (I know I've written about this before), for the longest time I never saw any results, but then I started to see results and now I can look at my arms and feel proud that I have built arm muscle. I still don't have the beautiful upper arms that some women have, but mine have improved dramatically. I don't remember where the breakthrough moment came for that, but I know that with Project Smile it came when we got our $10,000 donation from the Mass Bankers Association in December 2005. The sun rose for Project Smile that day and we have never looked back.

Well, I think that's it for tonight. I had plans for tonight- reading my book, cleaning up and getting things organized for my birthday weekend, but I zonked out in front of the TV for too long, then chatted on the phone- then did my cardio which I promised myself this morning I would do tonight- my body didn't want to move this morning- and now that I'm done blogging it is 12:30 and my eyes are starting to hurt. Anyways, I'm starting to get boring, so I should stop now. Until tomorrow friends..

Monday, January 26, 2009

Rocky Day

Greetings! I'm home from tango lessons and just finished eating the most delicious grapefruit, so I'm feeling quite happy and relaxed- the best I've felt all day actually. Today was a rocky day. This morning, I had a meeting with the event planner, our DJ, the Hard Rock events manager and the salsa school. We were doing a walk through for our upcoming Sugar and Spice. The meeting went well. It was great to meet the Hard Rock manager and the DJ- he is really cool and so enthusiastic. I think he is going to do an awesome job.

It was such a different feeling today when we were doing the walk through. I've never worked with an event planner before, so in situations like this I am usually the one leading the layout discussion and going over the details with the venue host and participants. My natural instinct is to take charge, so I had to keep quietly reminding myself to back off and let the event planner lead. I didn't want to step on her toes- it would be unprofessional on my part and pretty rude as well. She was doing a good job anyways. If I thought that something was wrong, then I would have said something. I like working with an event planner- it is great to have someone share the workload and take responsibility for certain things and also to brainstorm and come up with new ideas and sharing their expertise. There are difficulties too of course, but I think that with clear expectations, good communication and a strict timetable things can run smoothly.

I went into a bit of mini panic mode when I was driving home this afternoon- worried about the event and making sure it is a success. It is an awesome event, so that's not the problem. It's the type of event that if I saw it, I would want to go. I'm worried about making sure we have a lot of people there. I know I go through this with every event that I've done, but it is a bit of a different situation with this one. The marketing is key and I think we're taking the right steps. I know it seems like worry is my middle name- honestly, it's not, I actually have a really pretty middle name. But I feel like I spend so much time worrying about things.

I didn't have time to exercise this morning or do New Food Monday today, so I feel really off my schedule. I went to bed freakishly early last night- 11:45, but still couldn't get up any earlier. I was thinking I might be fighting off sickness- it's usually a sign. This has actually been a really tough month- I feel like I've put too much energy into the wrong things and wasted an inordinate amount of time. I'm glad for February to come- not only because it is my birthday on Feb 1, but I want to start the new month on a new foot and get back to the things that I should be focused on. I also felt like I've been bleeding money lately and that also contributed to the mini panic mode this afternoon- the $22 to park in Boston for less than two hours didn't help either.

Anyways, that's it for tonight. I need to check my calendar and see what's on the schedule for tomorrow. I have an appointment in Worcester this week and I can't remember if it is for tomorrow. It is going to snow on Wednesday, so I hope it isn't scheduled for then. I also have to write my list- a very long one. I also need to follow up on the grant that was awarded to us last December. We haven't received the check yet, so I want to make sure it hasn't been lost in the mail. Well, until tomorrow friends...

Thursday, January 22, 2009


Greetings! So what's new? Not a whole lot- I'm a very tired little monkey right now. Today, I had a meeting with a well known PR/marketing company in Boston. The meeting went well. I'm not sure if we will work together, it depends on the package they send over and the financial arrangement. Even if we don't work together, I am still glad that I met with them. Every time that I speak about Project Smile is good practice- there is no such thing as ever having too much practice. Over the years, I have refined what I say and how I say things. I was listening to myself today as I spoke and I think I did a good job in talking about PS and what are goals are- long term vision, event plans for this year and 2010 and our need for increased exposure and funds. I think this company could really help us. I hope they send over a proposal that is understanding of our limited funds. I'll keep you posted on how things go.

Tonight I spoke with a local Rotary Club that recently made a donation to Project Smile. They have supported our work with a donation for the past 3 years and I like to stop by every year and thank them in person and give an update on our progress. I also brought calendars with me as a thank you to the members. There was a funny moment though at the Rotary meeting. They gave me the basket to pick the winning tix from- I picked the tix, but I couldn't read the number properly. I didn't have my glasses on, which I usually isn't a problem, but the print was rather light. So I read the number (or what I thought was the number) out loud- except I was reading it upside down! They were awfully nice about it and we all laughed. I finally managed to read the right number- it was pretty funny.

Anyways, what else is new? I can't remember. I am so tired, my eyes are hurting and I have a bit of a headache. I'm going to go eat grapefruit (really enjoyed it last night) and go to bed. Or maybe I'll forget the grapefruit and just go to bed. The suspense builds... what will Catherine choose??? Grapefruit or bed?? I will let you know tomorrow.. Good night friends.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Changing Direction

What a day! I decided this morning to postpone our Mother's Day event until next year. I know that seems unexpected, but I think it is the best decision to make. So how did this decision come to be? Well, this morning I spoke with an event planner who has been in the business for 30 years. She was very nice- very supportive and helpful and we had a long conversation. She liked our event a lot, but thought this was not a good time to hold it because of the economic situation. She said that this was not the year to try new events, her advice was to stick to the events that we have already been doing- events that have been successful and already have a following and to wait to add new events. She did say that I could go ahead with the event, but it would be for raising awareness and exposure and not a fundraiser, but also said that it was a lot of work for that. I've always believed in listening to good advice- I wouldn't be here if it wasn't for the advice that I've been given over the years. I would be the first to say that I don't know everything and I believe in finding people who know more than I do and learning from them. When I spoke with this planner, I knew she was giving good advice and I knew I needed to listen.

How do I feel? Relieved actually. I was in a state these last few days worrying about this event. I need to work on my events well in advance and 4 months is not long enough. By waiting until next year, I will have plenty of time to put together an awesome event. I may work with an event planner or I may do it on my own, I'm not sure yet. I think that the economy will start to get better by this time next year and we will be in a better position. Now I can focus on our 6th Anniversary Celebration and the Date Auction- our two important events and I can work on the Mother's Day Tea without this panic that I've been feeling. I think the racing event will be pushed to next spring as well.

I can't believe it is only Wednesday night- it feels like it should be Friday. These last few days have been so hectic. I need to get things back on track tomorrow and focus on everything else that needs done. I have an appointment in Boston in the morning, so that will take a part of the day, but it is important. I did finish my January newsletter today, I have to email it over to Lisa for her to format.

I spoke with the woman who runs a PR company again today- the same person I spoke with yesterday who I thought was being negative. She had commented on my blog- it was a very nice comment. So we talked today and had a really good conversation. By that point, I had already decided to postpone the event. She was very supportive of our work and said she wants to help out in the future. I am really glad that I spoke with her today.

Well, that's it for tonight. It is only 11pm- can you imagine I'm finishing my blog so early? I should go and work because I feel really behind on things, but I think it might be best to read for a little, write my list and go to bed. I feel really behind on things- I've spent a lot of time this week focusing on the Mother's Day event and I'm so behind on other things. Anyways, I don't want to think about that right now- I'm going to go eat grapefruit- I find eating grapefruit very relaxing for some strange reason. Then I'm off to bed- so early! Until tomorrow...

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Moving Along

"Make no little plans, they have no magic to stir mens' blood."

Isn't that a great quote? It is from Daniel Burnham, renowned architect and the principal director of the Chicago World's Fair in 1893. I believe in big plans- big dreams, big plans, big goals- I love them all. So what's new? Not very much today. I had a personal appointment this morning which took an hour's drive, so it gave me plenty of time to think. Last night's news about the event planner not working on our Mother's Day event threw me off and caused me to panic because all of a sudden I was all alone with a huge event sitting in my lap. As I drove, I started breaking things down into smaller pieces- thinking about what we have done so far, how to find an event planner and the fact that if I had to, I could do this event by myself (as I've done all the others so far) and it will work out great. I haven't had a dud event yet, but that is also because I've worked extremely hard to make each one a success and was cautious about not trying to do too much. This afternoon, I was calling event planners and as I started speaking with them, I became even more confident about the event. I was listening to myself as I spoke and realized just how much I already have done and what a cool event it is. The event planners I spoke with were very receptive about the event, so I will keep you updated on how things go. There were some planners that we are not a good fit for, but the woman I spoke with who owned the company was very supportive, loved our event idea and recommended other planners who would be a better fit for our needs. I need to find an event planner who will help find financial and in-kind sponsors for the event and assist with marketing- that is our primary need.

I did speak briefly with one person who owns a marketing and public relations company. Her first response after I told her about what we needed was, "It is very hard to find sponsors now." Her negativity was somewhat surprising especially since she works in public relations. Now, anyone with half a brain knows that things are difficult, I'm not arguing that point- I deal with that everyday. However, this is the year of the "yes, we can" attitude. There are still sponsors out there, the world is still revolving, people are still attending events- it may be harder to find, but it is do-able. I don't need people living in a dream world where everything is peachy, but I'm not having people on team Project Smile that are negative. Negativity is a life sucker, it is contagious and accomplishes nothing.

Well, that's it for tonight. I'm going to write my list- tomorrow, I'm off to a local bank that did a collection drive for us. We are doing a photo together for the local paper and I'm picking up the items. Then I'm back to work on contacting more departments, finishing our January newsletter, contacting more planners, working on events and there is some networking research that I need to do. There are probably a few other things that need to go on my list as well, but can't remember right now.

It is so nice to know that people care. A friend called me today after she read yesterday's blog just to check on me and make sure I was feeling OK. There is something so special when people take an extra step and let you know that they're thinking of you. She is already stressed with her own stuff, so to take time out to call me meant a lot. I try to do that for people I know too, sometimes I feel kind of useless though- particularly when people are going through things and there is nothing that I can do to help. From my own experiences, I know that just listening is usually enough- a sympathetic voice on other end of the phone can make a big difference.

Anyways friends, that's it for tonight. It is a few minutes past midnite- I would like to go back and do some more work or read for a bit, but I think I need to sleep- what an early night! Until tomorrow..

Monday, January 19, 2009


Today was a struggle. I did have some good things happen, but the negative has overshadowed them. So where do I start? Well, let's start with the good news first. Yelp is on board to help sponsor our Valentines event which I am really happy about. They supported our date auction and it worked out great. It is such an awesome website, I finally started writing reviews on it recently. I'm glad that they are participating. Things are moving along well with the Valentines event. I think as the marketing kicks into high gear, we'll really see the tickets sales jump.

Anyways, the lousy news is really dominating my mind. The event planner isn't going to be able to work on our Mother's Day event. This is really disappointing news. I had already known that her involvement would be limited because she has a big event coming up very close to ours, but I didn't think this was going to happen. If I had, I'm not sure that I would have committed to holding the event. It is too much work to do on my own, plus planning the date auction and the anniversary event and regular program work and grant writing. So now I need to find an event planner. It is hard to describe how I feel. It was a good feeling to think that I actually had help working on the event and it eased a lot of the pressure that I deal with. I don't get much help, practically no help to be perfectly honest. It is very stressful to always be on your own and have to pull everything together by yourself. I started to cry tonight when I was driving home- I felt sad and overwhelmed and I was just wishing that everything didn't have to be such a struggle. I am already concerned about a personal issue, so the added stress of this news was just too much. The tears helped though because it brought out the fighting spirit in me. I'm not going to give up on our event, it is already moving forward, I will find a new planner and it will be a success. I believe that things happen for a reason and maybe this is working out for the best.

I am proud of myself tonight for following my instinct. I had spoken with the event planner earlier and we discussed the Mother's Day event briefly, after we got off the phone, there was something bothering me and my instinct was that we needed to address the issue. So I called her back when I was driving to tango class and the upshot is that she won't be working on the event planning. As much as I didn't want to hear that, I am relieved to hear it now and not 3 weeks from now. Of course, it would have been better to hear it a few weeks ago so I could have already started finding a new planner.

Maybe I should have known this would be a rocky day- I woke up this morning to an email from someone who was upset about comments I made in my blog. I did speak with them and I think that everything has been resolved, but it was upsetting and it got my day off to a lousy start. I know that blogs can be tricky sometimes since it is out in the public. My intention is never to offend anyone or be detrimental to others. My goal with this blog is simple- to let people look inside my work and to see how a non profit functions. In order to be truthful, I do need to share the negative things that occur. Now, there are quite a few negative things that happen that I don't write about because I don't want to offend anyone by writing about some of the lousy people that I encounter and there are times I downplay how strongly I feel about things- particularly when I am annoyed. The reality is that there are a lot of frustrations, a lot of negative things and a whole lot of struggles that go along with this job and this blog would be a fraud if I didn't address them. Of course, there are tremendous highs that go with my job as well, which I share. I have never lied in my blog, I have never exaggerated- I do my best to tell things the way they are while also being fair to others.

Anyways friends, that's it for tonight. There were other good times today- I cleaned my office, caught up on emails, now have a Reiki therapist on board for the Mother's Day event, finished the Awesome Mom award nomination form and did some other things that I can't remember right now. I don't want to focus on the negative, but I am worried about finding a good event planner. Well, I'm going to go write my list for tomorrow- guess what will be number one- event planner search! Let's wish for happier news tomorrow!

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Steady Day

Today was a pretty good day. I went to see the race track today in Braintree- it is a terrific venue. The two indoor race tracks are really cool and the rest of the venue is beautiful. There is a ton of space available, we could have a huge event if we wanted to, but I think we'll start with something smaller. I'm really excited to hold a racing fundraiser and party there in October. It really is exciting to have new events going on- it is going to be a lot of work, but I think they are all going to be very successful. I was at my DWC networking event tonight and the group was very receptive when I talked about our Mother's Day event that I'm working on. I have a lot of planning to do- I'm going to be working with the event planner on it, but there is a lot that I can get done myself. Tomorrow, I need to review the event contracts- date auction, anniv event and mom's day and then sign them and return, some need to have a deposit put down as well, which is fine.

What else is new today? I was catching up on emails, I had a lot of phone calls come in about stuffed animal donations and I was working on some other event planning things. The Single Volunteers of Boston group is on board to recruit volunteers for our Valentines event. They did a good job last year at the date auction.

Something funny happened tonight at the networking event- one of the members said to me that she thought it was interesting that I attended the events since I didn't run a business. I wasn't sure at first how to respond to her, because I'd never really heard a comment like that before. I explained to her that Project Smile, just like every other non profit that runs a full time operation is a business. We don't show a profit at the end of the year, but this is absolutely a business and it is run with the same care and diligence that one runs any business. We provide a service, we have revenue, we have expenses, we pay payroll taxes and benefits, we file all our paperwork with the Secretary of State and Attorney General and the IRS every year, I market Project Smile everyday- this is definitely a business.

Anyways, there was one frustrating thing that happened today and I don't want to go into the details of it, but there was someone that I was friends with who had acted in a really crappy manner in regards to Project Smile and it made me really annoyed and upset this afternoon. I did learn something from it though- never ask people to make a purchase for you without giving them a specific dollar limit. Because if you don't give them a limit, they will most likely spend way too much money. I had asked this person to purchase some items for an event that we were holding last fall- it was a last minute purchase. He bought the items, gave them to the person who needed them at the event and then never gave me a receipt so that I could reimburse him, he didn't even tell me how much the stuff cost. Now, 3 months later he sends me a receipt for a $150 purchase for the supplies. I had absolutely no idea he was going to spend that much money and no way in hell would I have allowed it. You see, I work extremely hard for every penny that Project Smile raises and I am very careful about every dollar that is spent- $150 is a lot of money and to spend that, without even calling me and asking if it was OK to spend that amount is wrong. If I had known how much he spent when he returned to the event, I would have returned some of the items- but I didn't know. A month after the event, he asked if he could sell some calendars. Of course, I was happy to have the help. I gave him 20 calendars. We hadn't talked in about a month and I called him last week and left a message asking him to send me a check for the calendars that he had sold. Today, I get an envelope containing 8 calendars, along with a note saying that I can deduct the money that I owed him from the calendars he sold and a receipt for $150 from Staples. Now, you don't wait 3 months to submit a receipt for reimbursement, you also don't spend that much money before checking to make sure that it is OK and you sure don't ask to sell calendars, then pocket the money because you're reimbursing yourself. It is wrong on so many levels. I need to account for my calendar sales- it is a separate transaction from the fall event and now I have a biarre note in place of where $120 should be. What am I going to do? Nothing- there isn't much I can do. I trusted him to sell calendars, because that's what he said he was going to do. He never said that he would take our calendars, then pocket the money for himself so he could get reimbursed for an amount that I wasn't even aware of. I trusted him to make a sensible purchase at Staples, because I thought that's what he was capable of, but evidently I was wrong. I know I said I didn't want to go into the details of it, but I guess I just did. It really is hurtful though when things happen like that. Sometimes, I just don't understand why people act the way they do. I would never dream of behaving the way he did.

Anyways, enough on that stupid topic. It is almost 1am and I need to write my list and go to bed- I'm getting a headache. Until tomorrow friends..

Monday, January 12, 2009

Good Start

Greetings! Our week is off to a good start- I wish every day would feel as productive. The dates/locations for our two big events are set. Our 3rd Annual Date Auction will be Friday, September 18 at the same location as last year. They were enthusiastic to host our event again which is great. It was a bit of a turn around since it took a bit of negotiating last year to get them on board for what we needed. Anyways, I'm glad it worked out- it feels great to pick the phone and in less than a two minute conversation, have the date/location set for our big event. Since I was on a roll with event planning, I decided to call the Doubletree and book our 6th Anniversary Celebration which will be Friday, October 2. It is a relief to have those dates set, now comes the hard part- getting sponsors, auction items, participants and eventually attendees. It feels like yesterday that I was starting work on last year's events. Of course I'm worried about how the economy will affect sponsors and auction item donations, but all I can do is work hard and move forward.

Lisa is working on our Mother's Day Tea flyer and the flyer for our 1st Annual Awesome Mom award which I'm really excited for. I wish I could nominate my own mom for that, she totally deserves an award for everything that she has done, all that she has gone through and everything she still does- words can't describe how much I love her. Anyways, I could go on about my mom forever, but I'll stop. I sent the updates to our web host, so he'll be updating our events page shortly and then we can start selling tix. I also need to locate a salsa band to perform at the Valentine's event, I posted it on the Berklee site but haven't had any responses yet.

In other good news, the event planner and I finally settled on a suitable event name and the flyer is in its final revision. The original name didn't really go with the entertainment at the event and it really didn't jive with the flyer that Lisa did (which did go with the event). Kait got some ideas from someone and from that list we settled on a cool name. It actually took quite a long time. I can't imagine how hard it must be to name a baby if naming one little event took this much work! Kait also came up with another good idea for entertainment- bodypaint. There's a few options on how we can work the bodypaint in, so I'll keep you updated. Don't worry- I will NOT be decked out in bodypaint! We're also having a best lips contest and a tacky pick-up lines contest. I'm feeling better about the event and I feel that as long as we have kick-ass marketing and all the entertainment that we have planned gets put into action- we will have a very successful event.

What else is new? Probably other things, but now I'm getting tired. It is only 12:26, but I need to go to sleep. I was at an event tonight and picked up an autographed book for our silent auction. Tomorrow morning, I'm in Braintree looking at the indoor race track for an event that I want to hold there in October. Then I'm back to work on Mother's Day event, contacting new departments and finishing my 2009 plan- yes, it still isn't done. At the rate I'm going, I'll have it finished sometime in August. I also wanted to read a bit tonight, but my eyes are heavy. I've been reading Devil in White City- such a great book.

Well, that's it for tonight. Until tomorrow friends...

Friday, January 9, 2009

Week In Review

Greetings! Well, here we are- the end of the first work week of January. So what's the upshot? Toe update first- it is feeling much better today and I am almost back to walking normally. My tango days have not disappeared! This was an interesting week- the Valentines event is moving forward with some tangible progress. We now have a salsa school on board to have lessons and dancing at the event and other fun activities. Lisa should be sending the flyer over tonight, then I can have our web host put it on our site on Monday. The date/location is set for our Mother's Day tea and I have our jazz musicians on board to perform at the event. The hotel sent over a contract which I need to review and sign. I also need to have Lisa do a flyer for the event so we can get that on our site and I want to start spreading the word for nominations for our 1st Annual Awesome Mom award which will be part of the event.

Everday, it seems the economic news gets worse and worse. I woke up this morning listening to CNN stating that this is the highest unemployment rate since 1945. I keep hearing that things are going to get worse. So of course, I can't help but wonder who is going to come to our events? Where are the sponsors coming from? Grants? It's a very worrisome situation. However, I still need to do events and I know that our fun, well priced, well marketed events will be successful.

I still haven't finished my 2009 plan- I know its taking too long. Ideally, it should have been finished by the end of last year. I had a lot of meetings this week- they were important meetings, but it really took a lot of work time out of the afternoon. I found myself tired these last few nights and I didn't go back to work the way I usually do. I need to get a better grasp of time management, I feel like things slipped a little this week. That's part of the reason why I need to finish my yearly plan- so I can break things down into monthly plans. I already know most of what needs to be done, but it is helpful to get it written. It would be so helpful if I could go out to meetings and have an assistant here working. I can't be in the office all day, but it is tough knowing that when I get back everything is just the same as when I left- actually worse, since it is now later in the day and my list still has the same items unchecked from that morning.

Anyways, enough on that subject- I feel like I talk about it all the time, but I don't have a viable way of improving the situation. What else is new this week? I can't remember- I say that all the time too don't I? Honestly though, there is so much else that goes on, little things that I think of during the day that I want to include on my blog, but then I forget at night- the worst part is that I'm a total night person. This would be understandable if I was a crazy morning bird, but I'm the exact opposite- so my blogging blankness is really not excusable.

I was watching Miss Potter tonight- the movie about Beatrix Potter- the famous children's book author and illustrator. I adored her books when I was a child. She was 32 when she had her first book published in 1903. So why am I writing about that? Because it got me thinking about how people work so hard, for so long before they ever achieve success. I'll be turning 29 in a couple of weeks and I've been thinking about that a lot lately. It's kind of funny because part of me isn't sure what to think. I'm happy with where I am and I think that getting older is wonderful in many ways- I know a lot more than I did a few years ago and I'm in a much better position. No way would I want to go back to being 21 or 23 again. But I am also nervous, because I feel so conscious of time and I feel like I don't have enough time- I worry that I'll never achieve what I want to achieve and I worry that I'll run out time with my family. I know that may sound silly and I'm probably not doing a very good job explaining how I'm feeling.

Anyways, enough on that subject. I probably should go and work, but it is Friday night and it is 12:40- I should have been out dancing tonight, but I'm home waiting for the toe to fully recover. So I'm going to go clean up a few things and perhaps read for a little bit. Until next week friends...

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Not Such a Good Day

Well, today was not such a good day. This morning, I was rushing to answer my cell phone and I stubbed my toe on a chair and I think I broke it. I don't know for sure, but is very painful and I'm hobbling. This is especially bad since I just signed up for tango classes! So, I spent pretty much all today in pain and that affected how much I got accomplished. I know it shouldn't have gotten in the way, but it was hard to focus and I didn't get all the planning done that I wanted to. I'm feeling so sad right now, I just finished watching the Patrick Swayze interview with Barbara Walters. It made me cry- it's so sad to see someone so sick and dying well before it's their time. Obviously, I don't know him personally, but Dirty Dancing is one of my favorite movies. Seeing him on television reminded me of how my grandfather looked when he had cancer. It is so terrible to see someone you love in so much pain and not be able to do anything to help.

Anyways, I need to get off this sad subject and onto more cheerful news. The Valentine's event is moving forward- Lisa, my beloved graphic designer, is working on the flyer. We have a salsa school on board to offer salsa lessons at the event and we will be doing a special contest and some other cool things as well. The Mother's Day event is going to be awesome- I'm really excited for that. I was in contact with an indoor racing track today, I want to hold a racing fundraiser there later this year. I'm meeting with the event planner tomorrow, we have a lot to discuss between the VDay event, mom's day and other events. I need to go and write a list of all the items we have to cover, so I don't forget anything.

I think that's it for tonight- the toe pain is really distracting. I know I just have to ignore it, but it is kind of hard to do. It hurts like a bugger even when I don't move my foot. I still haven't finished my plan for 2009 which is really important and I have a list of other things that I need to get done. I feel really anxious about things tonight- both personally and with Project Smile, but I think some of the anxiety is because of the toe pain and I'm worried that it is broken and I can barely walk. Anyways, enough of me being Patty Pathetic- I'm going to go eat some grapefruit, write my list for tomorrow, which will include half of today's list and write my list for my meeting with Kait. Until tomorrow friends... please wish me a better toe day!

Monday, January 5, 2009

New Start

Well, here we are the start of the first official work week of 2009. So what's new? Check for a million dollars? 5 new staff members being hired? All events planned and ready to go? No- not quite. The day did go pretty well though. Last night, I had trouble falling asleep which is really unusual for me- I usually fall asleep as soon as I roll over from watching SportsCenter. So, I was lying in bed and I was thinking of all the money that we didn't receive last year from organizations that usually donate. I thought of one particular Rotary Club that usually makes an annual $250 donation- I hadn't received anything and was disappointed- took it as another sign of the economic situation. Anyways, I went to the mail this morning and guess what was waiting for me? A check from the Rotary Club! It is so nice when things work out like that.

Not much news on the Valentines event- we are moving forward though and will definitely be holding the event. However, we still don't have the details worked out- that needs to be finished this week and we need a marketing plan. This event has run so far off course from the way I usually work, it is a whole new experience and not a good one. I plan my events so far in advance, been doing that well before Project Smile, so to be in this situation is new to me and somewhat disconcerting. We are working on the mothers day event as well and I want things to be completely different for that event in terms of time management and planning.

What else is new? I was contacting more raffle winners- that is always fun. I still have a few more that I need to reach. I was also working on our plan for this year, but still have a lot left to do. I didn't get as much done last week as I was planning on. Tomorrow morning, I'm meeting with the events manager at the hotel where we would like to host our Mother's Day event, then I am back to work on our 2009 planning. I also need to set up a time to meet with Carolee, so we can start work on the Halloween event and I want to book our 6th Anniversary Celebration and the date auction, so we can have those dates/locations finalized. Can you imagine it is going to be our 6th anniversary this year? It doesn't even seem real- this is the fist time I've written it down. I was stressed last night and I wasn't looking forward to working on the events- was focused on all the difficult things, but today I'm back to normal and feeling better about things.

Well, that's it for tonight. It is 12:04, so this is an early night. I want to go and read for a bit and write my list. My new years resolutions did not involve going to bed earlier- I knew I wouldn't be able to keep it. I enjoy working late too much! I started tango classes tonight- one of my personal resolutions was to do new things. I've always wanted to learn the tango, it is such a beautiful dance. So off I went tonight and it was fun. OK, now I am going off on a tangent- I should stop rambling. Maybe I won't go and read, my eyes are starting to hurt again, I should just go to sleep- until tomorrow friends.

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Bumpy Start

Well, 2009 is off to a bumpy start and I'm anxious- that's why I'm blogging on a Saturday night. The Valentines event is having issues. The event planner has an idea for another event in March and wants to replace the Valentines event with the March event. The March event has the potential to be really good, but the details of it are still up in the air. I am really concerned about the idea of canceling the Valentines event- for a number of reasons. The first reason is that we already have a terrific venue that is on board and we signed a contract with them. To walk away makes us look unprofessional. I work very hard to always be viewed as professional and I don't want to do anything to jeopardize that. Obviously, I don't want to have an unsucessful event, but I think that Valentines is a wonderful event opportunity and it can be a success. However, the event needs some changes- I think it needs to become a lot sexier and cater to a young singles crowd. Valentines is about sex and romance and love and we need to capture the sexy side. I'm not talking about having a strip show, but we can have a classy and hot event that will appeal to single men and women in their twenties/early thirties. When I was driving last night and today, I had some ideas on how to make our event hotter.

I don't like being in this position- of having an event scheduled 6 weeks from now and not having anything finalized except for the venue. I was concerned about the time issue in November, but the event planner assured me that we had enough time and it would be great and she still does say that if I want to go ahead with it, the event will be great. My instinct is that one can not book a venue, get them to donate the space and food and sign a contract, then cancel two weeks later- without looking like a complete fool and greatly reducing the chance of them hosting another event with us. So basically, we have to move forward on it and put together something kick ass and sexy. I would like to do the March event as well, but I am concerned because it relies on the participation of a famous music group. Financially, we need both events. I have very limited fundraising sources for the next few months and we need the money those events could bring in.

Anyways, that's the update on where things are right now. I still have a lot of '09 planning to do. I'm just worried about things right now- anxious about what is going to happen this year- both personally and with Project Smile. I am excited for all the good things that can happen, all the plans that I have, but I'm also really worried and feeling under a lot of pressure. I always feel quite a bit of pressure- that's hardly a new feeling- just sometimes it feels greatly magnified and tonight is one of those times. Whenever I feel like this, I go back to my baby steps formula- take the big things, break them down into lots of little things and just move through methodically one item at a time- it's what I've been doing for 5 years. It's easy to feel overwhelmed with this job, but nothing good ever comes of feeling overwhelmed. I just wish things didn't have to be so difficult- so stressful and so full of worry. I wouldn't trade this job and I know plenty of people have a lot more stress than I do, and I also know that I'm in a lot better position than people that have lost their job or worried about losing their job, but heck- a little easier, a little less worry, a lot more money- how wonderful would that be?

Well friends, that's it for tonight. I'm going to go finish watching the Colts game which looks like it is going to OT and read the book that I just got from the libary- Our Man in Havana by Graham Greene, I could also go and do some research for work, but it is Saturday night and chickie really shouldn't be working. I probably should be out on a Saturday night, but it was a nice quiet night at home watching a movie with sis. Until next time...