Last night I slipped into my chair at a committee gathering. This is a committee I started over four years ago and have been active in ever since. The first four years were hard and I have spent hours on the projects this committee oversees. Every member of this committee has put in sweat, ideas and love for the outcomes. It is without a doubt, the best committee I have ever been involved with. We spend our time enjoying each other’s company while we plan hard.
We’ve been on hiatus for about three months. Truth be told, in December, we collectively kicked around the idea of disbanding because the amount of work we do is enormous. After four years, we were just plain weary. But last month, I started getting calls from the members. “Are we going to meet again?” “Have we decided to scrap the committee, because I might be ready to give it one more shot.”
And so we met. As I slipped into my seat, I looked around at everyone who came back again. Only one person was missing. We even had someone return who had been battling a terrible illness and we added two new members. It was a big and raucous group. The meeting lasted four hours. Now, normally, meetings lasting more than 59 minutes are painful, but not this one. We laughed, reviewed and got excited again. Everyone brought fresh and outstanding ideas.
For the first time since the formation, I did not say much. I took the minutes, nodded and put in a few comments, but mostly I listened while I soaked in the enthusiasm.
And you know what? Never once did I feel overshadowed or ignored. I watched the group play off one another, picking up cues from each offered idea to go further, to get more creative. And basking in the loud chatter, I felt good, really, really good.
To me, the purpose of creating committees to oversee projects or events is to find those who genuinely believe in the work, those who will bring their creative chops and revel in the outcome. It doesn’t hurt to like or respect each other either.
This group is all of that and a cherry on top. Honestly, I like the feeling that I could quietly slip away and they would continue on beautifully. It’s not mine anymore and it probably never was. It has a life of its own.