Monday, December 19, 2016

To the Burned Out Leader

Oh, sister... or brother... my fellow volunteer for any organization where you are in any type of leadership role... I'm going to be honest here and tell you that I'm not sure where this post is going. I'll just say I have been struggling. Struggling to stay positive. Struggling to stay afloat. Struggling to wrap my head around where my head has been. Struggling with decisions that I have struggled with for over a year. I'm SOOOO there.

To my fellow burned out leaders... you are not alone. I guess that's the message. You aren't alone. You aren't the only one that feels like you can't answer one.more.question. about any topic that you have answered 30 million times. You aren't the only one that wants to scream "Use Google! I mean, really, how do you think I found it? I'm not a walking encyclopedia. I'm not a plethora of information... that's Google's job. I did it... so can you!" Okay... that IS a little snarky and mean, right? But, you know what I mean. You've been there. If you haven't, you're a saint and I am humbled in your presence. 

This was pertaining to an embarrassing moment, but I can apply it to the way I feel today.  "Well, if it's not bad enough you need to go cry in a cave, what are you worried about?" 

Instead of making a resolution this past year, I made a phrase my motto. I decided if it wasn't so important that I would stake claim and die on the metaphorical hill, then I'd let it go. For the most part, I feel I have kept that in focus.  "Is this the hill I want to die on?" There are very few things that are worth dying for.

For 2017.. I want to add one more life phrase "Is it bad enough to crawl into a cave and cry?" Don't think I'm going off the deep end... I'm trying to shock myself to keep perspective. However, as a very wise 8 year old told me "Sometimes you just need 30 seconds to whine and get it all out." There are solutions for most problems we face. Even if they are tough decisions.

I can think of a few things that are that bad, but most things aren't.

Where do we go from here? What works for me, may or may not work for you... These are the steps I plan to go through... think about it... what will get you back to the land of the living... YOU are important enough to make yourself the priority. Even if it means everything doesn't get done.
  • Allow yourself 30 seconds to whine. (or 20 minutes sitting in your co-leaders car ranting and griping and whining and sighing)
  • Allow yourself to sit in the cave and cry it out... but make sure it's cave crying worthy. 
  • List your blessings without thinking. What are your top 3 blessings. Is this where you are spending your time? 
  • Learn to say "no" and learn to let go. 
  • It's okay to take time for yourself. Do it. 
  • It's okay to tell people you aren't available 24/7. Do that!
  • Re-evaluate the roles you currently have. What can you stop doing? What can you ask for help with? What are you doing just to do it and it really doesn't need to be done? 
  • Don't take on any new projects, until you regain your strength... and then evaluate it to see if it's something you REALLY want to do...otherwise...don't!
  • Schedule some time to catch up with a friend or have time to just laugh. Continue to make this a priority. 
I'm not going to tell you not to quit doing something you are struggling to enjoy. Life is too short for that. But, take a moment. Sleep on it. Think about it. Are you really willing to give up the good parts along with the bad parts?

Bring on 2017... I'm ready... fresh year... additional life phrase... clear perspective on priorities. Let's hope I can keep them. 

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Junior: Simple Meals badge

This is a blast from the past... Troop 70258 completed this badge with a journey sleepover and fieldtrip WAY back in 2013.

I worked with the nutritionist at our local HyVee grocery store to plan a tour and cooking class for the girls. It was really very cool.

Here is how we got it done:

1. Step up your skills with a pro 

HyVee covered this for us. We had a tour of the HyVee kitchens and spoke with a couple of the chefs about their daily routine and how they got into being a chef.

2. Breakfast – boil in the bag omelets

We did this for breakfast at the sleepover. If you haven't ever made boil in the bag omelets, they are so easy and so good and the girls get to customize their breakfast... great for picky eaters. We had eggs, ham, bacon bit, green onion, tomatoes, and two types of cheese. They broke their eggs into the ziploc baggies and then put in their ingredients and smushed it around until combined. I had the girls write their initials on the bags with sharpies and it did hold up through the boiling process.

My co-leader and I did the boiling in the hot pot of water part, because I was concerned about burns and... well... don't use a stainless steel pan. The bags will melt on the side. Aluminum pot would be the way to go... 

Here's a more detailed explanation:

3. Healthy lunch or dinner – HyVee to the rescue

The nutritionist at HyVee came up with a great menu for a healthy lunch for the girls. We made zuchinni fries, parmesan crusted chicken fingers, side salads, and a sherbert smoothie. This was really fun and the girls loved cooking in the HyVee kitchen.

4. Delicious Dessert – banana boats Friday night

A campfire treat! Definitely not the healthiest, but very fun. 

Slice a banana in the peel down the middle. 
Load up with mini chocolate chips, mini marshmallows
Wrap in foil to resemble a boat
Cook over the campfire for 3-5 minutes. The longer, the meltier. Yummm... 

We ate those with a spon right out of the foil and peel.

5. Make you own meal – campfire Friday night

The girls were super excited to cook their own meal over the campfire. 

Corn on the cob
Soak your corn in the husk in water for an hour or so. Then, you can lay the corn in the husk right on your coals. Don't put them in the flames... around the edges works best. Turn every 5 minutes of so. When the husks begin to burn off, remove the corn. The cool part is, the silks will be gone. Butter them up and enjoy. 

Onion bombs (meatballs)
This is one of those foods that you really don't believe it until you see it... these are all over the place now on the internet with variations and bacon... We didn't use bacon. We wrapped in foil. The girls loved mixing the meat ball mixture and packing the onion. They could do most of this all on their own. I did help cut the large onions, because little girls and sharp knives scare me at times. 

Potato packets
The last food we had was a foil packet of potatoes. We chunked the potatos, added onion from the middle of the onions from the bombs, and salt/pepper, cheese, and bacon bits. Wrap up in your packet, tenting a little for steam, sharpie with initials, and toss on the coals. These took about 15-20 minutes.