Today was another big day.  I may have slightly overextended myself with St. Louis yesterday and MamaFest today.  However, it was worth it since these were both important to me.  And…I made it through!

1.  Planning ahead.  I’m attempting to work on this fly-by-the-seat-of-my-pants routine, although I acknowledge that it often works really well for me.  However, sometimes there are things…like big events…that need to be planned ahead of time.  Yay for doing that!  It really can make things run smoother.

2.  Having a place to drop kids briefly.  It was fabulous to drop kids at friend K’s house this morning while I ran to get tables for our event.  She’s sort of my go-to for last-minute childcare because my other friend, T, had to go and have a baby! 😉

3.  Birth chat.  After dropping tables, I got to spend some time chatting with K about birthy stuff, which is always fun.  I try to be aware that not everyone wants to talk birth all. the. time. and therefore, I don’t get to talk about it out loud (I do a lot of self-talk in my head!) as often as I would like.  On the flip side, I’m also grateful to have things to talk about outside of birth so those who aren’t as into it can still have a conversation with me.

4.  Tables.  Peggy over at Vessell’s Fitness Complex graciously donated tables for our event, which was a tremendous blessing!

5.  Accommodating venue.  The ladies over at Tara Day Spa and Bella Rouge Boutique offered to help set up at every turn, hosted us with smiles on their faces and treated each mama who walked through like the goddess she is.  We are so lucky to have such a lovely and friendly space to host MamaFest.

6.  Park close by.  A scheduling mishap left me with extra time to kill, so the kids and I went to the park across the street from the salon.  It was a terrific way to wear them out and give them some attention before the hustle, bustle of the event.

7.  Friends with kids.  C didn’t want to go home, but was quickly getting bored…until a friend showed up with a playmate!  It worked out perfectly.

8.  Awesome, amazing, inspiring women.  Oh wow!  To be in the presence of so many cool women at one time is … just … groovy.  All the businesses/organizations who presented were run by women or oriented to women or both.  Can you hear the roar?

9.  Small moments/pockets of connection.  At events like this one, it can be difficult to really connect with another person.  There were a few bit that broke through, for which I am so very grateful.

10.  Empathy.  I recently told a friend that having this, in force, is both a blessing and a curse.  As I’ve gotten older and learned how to deal, it’s more blessing than curse.  This gift allows me to really feel what the person I’m talking to/working with is going through, albeit not in exactly the same way they are.  There are times it can be overwhelming, but I insist it is a far greater thing to feel than to not feel.  I wish I had a better way to describe this.

11.  Learning new things/finding new resources.  Resources are definitely a good thing!  As a doula and someday-midwife, resources are vitally important to my practice.  I want to be able to give the families I serve as many options as possible, so they can make informed decisions.  Learning new things also helps keep me grounded in the knowledge that there is SO MUCH I just *don’t* know.

12.  An event that went well.  Whew!  Another successful MamaFest.  It feels good to have worked hard on something and to be able to rest when it’s done with the knowing that the work paid off.  Now to start planning for next year….

13.  Being able to really, truly listen and hear.  I guess this falls under empathy, but for me, the two aren’t mutually exclusive.  Most of the time, I can’t help but feel empathy with the person in front of me, but there are many times I have to actively work to listen and hear people.  It’s too easy to get caught up in my own reaction to whatever is being said, my own thoughts or experiences on the subject, or advice on the situation.  When I’m able to quiet those and just be with the person, truly listen/hear what they’re saying, the connection changes.  It’s one of the easiest, and yet also one of the most profound, ways to help someone…listen to them.

14.  People who help / Accepting help when offered.  Does anyone else feel like they have to do everything themselves?  I’m getting over that feeling!  I received two offers of assistance at a time when I needed them.  I am grateful that I got them and also that I allowed myself to say, “Yes!  Here is what I need.”

15.  CAKE!