I just came from my first Board of Directors meeting. Not actually, my first one ever, just the first one where I feel as though I've recently given birth and am now handing over my beautiful, precious, sweet newborn to random strangers walking down the street. Okay, maybe it's not quite that dramatic, but it's a little like that.
I've been gestating this baby for well over a year now and several exciting things have happened in the past month which have allowed my kooky little idea to become a reality. Money has showed up, people have showed up, and this really is going to happen.
I knew that inviting people to serve on the Board of Directors was a crucial first step toward the future success of the organization. I knew that I was reaching my absolute limit as to how much I was able to pull off on my own. But I didn't realize how terrifying it was going to feel to essentially hand over this baby.
It's not like I'm done. I suppose you could say I'll still have frequent visting rights.....shared custody, even. But I have officially released my ability to be a governing body of one. As of tonight, my dictatorship has become a democracy. Which is a wise choice for an organization, right? Who wants Idi Amin, or Hitler running their non-profit?
But I'm not planning mass genocide....I just had this idea. This really great idea, and I can't make it happen alone. Intellectually, I know it's all happening the way it should. Intelligent, creative, enthusiastic folks gathered around my dining table tonight for over 2 hours to discuss the future of the organization. Important decisions were made. Difficult questions were raised and concerns were addressed. It's all good news. Except that I'm scared.
It's a familiar feeling: Scared that if I let go, things may not happen the way I think they should, or thought they would.......horrors!! Could it be that I don't actually know it all? That there may be some ideas that have never even crossed my mind? Wow..........when it comes down to it, I suppose I should be relieved. It's not all about me.
But I'm still scared....and attempting to let go, and trust the process.
Which is why I'm even writing this post tonight, in the first place, when I really should be in bed. This whole giving birth and then giving away my baby metaphor is really just exactly like parenting, for me, in a life without school. Every single day, I am faced with yet another reminder that this household, these children, this life, is just not all about me. Sure, I've got some great ideas, but I often get myself into trouble when I attempt to perform exclusively in the one woman show. There are three other opinions and viewpoints and perspectives which demand my consideration and attention, and quite frankly life is much more peaceful when I keep that in mind.
It's tempting to play the dictator, especially when I'm in a hurry or grouchy or tired. I'm taller, and older and sometimes have a louder voice. But democracy works a whole lot better around here. My kids know this intuitively, because for them, there has never been another way. It's nice to sit on a Board of Directors that can gently (or not so gently) remind me when I forget.
And by the way, all this talk about democracy reminds me....if you haven't already voted, or if you're looking for more information, check out Colleen's post. It rocks. GOBAMA.