The seven lessons I learned in 2011

Things will go wrong and that’s okay

Last week was not exactly a stellar week for me.  I moderated a webinar where the first 10 minutes were marred by a glitch in the software.  The meeting I hosted was delayed 15 minutes as we scrambled to connect a participant via conference call.  On Saturday, I  thought my car had been stolen at the mall only to have security locate it using their cameras. I bought the wrong yogurt. I lost one of my favorite hats. I used to beat myself up relentlessly over things like this.  Now, I take a deep breath and push forward.

Rejection can never be the final answer

I submitted a proposal for ASAE11 only to have it rejected. It was my first experience doing an RFP for any ASAE conference and I swore to never do it again.  Except I did.  I submitted a proposal for the healthcare associations conference and it was accepted.  I submitted a proposal for Ignite at annual and it was accepted.  I just submitted proposals for ASAE12.  Even if neither of them are accepted, I now know it’s foolish to give up so easily.

I am surrounded by greatness 

When I think of the people who I regularly interact with, I can’t help but to feel overwhelmed by how good they are.  Whether it’s the association community or my APA colleagues, I’m connected to passionate, kind, hardworking, thoughtful people.

I still don’t give myself enough credit

I freely admit that it’s hard for me to take a compliment. As someone who has heard all sorts of things from “you’re ugly” to “you’ll never find a better job”, getting the opposite feedback is a little hard to take.  I had my performance review earlier this month and still can’t believe the things that were being said about me.  I know I’m a good worker so why is it hard for me to believe it when someone else says it?  Never fear, this is something I’m actively working on.

It’s time for DELP to step up

Whether you’re a current Scholar or alumni, it’s time we emerge from the shadows of the association community.  We didn’t make this journey into DELP to hide away from giving back.  We are capable, we are powerful and dammit we belong here.

I can make time for the things that are important to me

This year, I’ve made a serious effort towards a healthier lifestyle.  I exercise 60 minutes per day 6 days a week.  How do I do it?  I break it down between morning and evening workouts.  I’ve blocked out time on my calendar to attend regular meditation classes.  Whenever possible, I’ve pushed back meetings so I can participate in Tuesday’s Association Chat on Twitter.  If I want something bad enough, I will move heaven and earth to do it and still get a good night’s rest.

I do have enough content for a blog

When I first started my blog, my biggest fear was not having enough to say.  However, that fear was never realized.  Right now I have a running list of 30 topics to choose from if I ever get stuck. Many inspired by daily interactions, others by some of my fellow bloggers.  Either way, I think I should have enough to talk about in 2012.  Doesn’t seem to be much going on next year anyway ;).

As we wind down to the Holidays, I’m going to take some time to reflect, sleep, write, dream and get a facial. To those who came across Association Advocacy Chick in 2011 either by choice or circumstance, thank you for your support.  Without you, this blog would not exist.  Best wishes for a fantastic 2012.  You deserve it.



8 thoughts on “The seven lessons I learned in 2011

  1. You are such a great motivation and resource in our community, Stef. I am so thankful for you and that you now have a blog so others can learn from you. Thanks for including Association Chat in your plans (and blog post) and for being such an inspiration and friend.

  2. I needed to read this. I love “I can make time for the things that are important to me” — I still struggle with that. Thanks for being an inspiration to me. Merry Christmas!

  3. What a great post to end the year. It definnitely puts things in perspective and I too struggle with so many of those same things. Please know that you are an inspiration to many! Thanks for letting your voice be heard and thanks for challenging your DELP colleagues (including me). I’m blessed to have you in my “inner circle”. Happy Holidays

  4. Thank you everyone for your comments! I’m totally overwhelmed by the response and glad you enjoyed it. Shelly Alcorn’s recent post “Is Facebook Stealing Something Important From Us?” ( has been on my mind for the last week or so. The post talks about how we sometime hide behind Facebook updates or tweets to protect our true emotions. I wanted to reveal some truths in my year-end post. However, the result was a painful reminder of all the things (not material) I felt I was missing in my life. I didn’t want to end my year that way so I trashed it and started over.

  5. DELP stepping up and stepping out only needs to look at you modeling the way. Thanks for sharing.

    And never ever get worked up about not having proposals accepted. It often is as much about what other submitted as it is anything to do with your own proposals. I still get the “no” email quite regularly.

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