by Kelly Lee
“Life can be like a roller coaster…and just when you think you’ve had enough, and you are ready to get off the ride and take the calm, easy merry-go-round…you change your mind, throw your hands in the air and ride the roller coaster all over again. That’s exhilaration…that’s living on the edge…that’s being ALIVE!” –- Stacey Charter, 1999
I love roller coasters. And it is a good thing that I do… the past couple of months have SEEMED like a really long roller coaster ride in my little neck of the community Foundation woods!
Between the months of February and June, I have been busy with the hustle and bustle of grant season, starting some new funds, and a not-so-little event that we like to call Fun Run for Charities. The days are long, the sleep is sparse and there is never enough caffeine or chocolate (kind of like an amusement park vacation!). I have probably looked like I have been on a roller coaster as well, big smile, crazy hair and that wild-eyed look that you get when you are running on pure adrenaline.
But, I wouldn’t trade it for anything! It is my favourite time of year! There is always something exciting going on; a new fund created, an organization excitedly sharing pictures of the project that was funded, a community pulling together for a huge event… each day brings new and wonderful experiences. I remember one whirlwind day that started off with a group facilitation of a community event, followed by an affiliate board meeting, followed by a conference call on women’s giving and ending with a chamber expo in another county.
But those days are winding down, kind of like when the ride is over and the coaster train is pulling back into the station. The grant checks are in the mail, the fund agreements are signed, and our giving period for Fun Run for Charities ended last Thursday. The phones are a little quieter, the visits are slowing down and my Blackberry is not threatening to go on strike from the record number of emails…
My family and I will be on vacation when you read this. Now after all of these months of long hours and hard work, I should probably be relaxing on a beach somewhere, but I’m addicted to the energy… so we are off to Disney World! First stop: Rockin’ Roller Coaster!