In my "great return to regular blogging" - however temporary it may be - I thought I'd do some catch up on 101 items that I've crossed off the list.
Thus, bubble tea yesterday and today, reengaging with my professional women's network.
Here's the thing: It's important who you spend time with. I realized this several years ago and, along with a friend, organized a group of women in our industry to get together for lunch every other month. We called ourselves "AEC Ladies Who Lunch."
It was a way to talk about struggles at the office, share strategies and simply to build relationships with other women in similar roles. We met for nearly two years and I made some life-long friends in the group.
Then, as happens over time, we disbanded. The recession hit, everyone worked harder and longer hours, families grew and occupied any free time - and so on.
Change is normal. Change happens.
But at some point you realize that you need those people in your life again because you're now in a different place (job, status, situation, challenges) and the people you built trust with years ago are the ones you want speaking into your life in the present.
So, together with a friend, we restarted our group. Nearly a decade later, we weren't ladies who lunch or even ladies who needed to build relationships.
We were women who needed counsel, who needed to share best practices - women who needed a safe space in a small group to talk about challenges.
Our new group has a fun new name, but we're all about business. We're also all about keeping the group small, focused and confidential.
We're the Marketeers - a group I look forward to meeting in person with every month and sharing in the off-times via our closed LinkedIn group.
I guess the point of all of this is that I think it's important to make time for people in your life. Maybe it's a work-focused group like the Marketeers. Maybe it's an accountability group through church. Or friends that know your story and who like you anyway (friends that will go on vacation with you and like you enough to go again the next year).
Input affects our output in ways that we can't easily measure - take the time to find those people and make the community you need happen.