Column: Another week of activity overloadI’ve come to understand there are certain times of the year when I just have to let all of my friends and family know I’ll be missing in action for a few days. Or weeks. It depends.
By: Michelle Leonard, The Farmington Independent
I’ve come to understand there are certain times of the year when I just have to let all of my friends and family know I’ll be missing in action for a few days. Or weeks. It depends.
Some of you know those weeks. You look ahead at your calendar, and you’ve got multiple things scheduled, and they all seem to be happening at the same time. Or, at the very least, one right after another. And all you want to do is get to the end of it – the day when there’s nothing else on the calendar. The mental break day.
Last week was one of those weeks. I have to preface myself by saying that I enjoyed the events once I was participating in them, but I’m still waiting for my mental break day.
The annual Minnesota Newspaper Association convention was held last week. I’ve been going to MNA since I was in college, and I’ve enjoyed it every year. Since I’ve become involved with the Minnesota Newspaper Museum at the state fair, MNA has also included a booth at the convention’s trade show. Over my time at the museum, I’ve kind of become the volunteer and operations coordinator up there, which means I’m multitasking at MNA – I’ve got new volunteers to recruit, after all.
Finding linotype operators isn’t as easy as it sounds, but that’s another story.
I left Farmington Wednesday afternoon for a pre-convention meeting about the museum. I was late, of course, because I was also trying to wrap up my normal Wednesday tasks at the office before I left. When I got home from the meeting, I had to round up all of the items I’d brought home from the museum at the end of the fair – things I’d brought home for the MNA booth – and have that all ready to go Thursday morning.
I spent the better part of the day at MNA, and was joined by my coworkers Thursday evening for the Better Newspaper Contest awards. We did pretty well, by the way.
After Friday’s MNA sessions – and taking down the booth – I loaded my car and headed home so I could write a report for Saturday.
I don’t know how this happens, but it seems our mid-winter conference for the Third District American Legion Auxiliary is the day after MNA. Every year. And since I’m a committee chairman, I have to give a report at the conference.
So there I sat, Friday evening, exhausted. Trying to think clearly, trying to zero in on what I thought was the most important thing about National Security to share with my ALA sisters. And it turns out, there are a lot of programs offered within National Security, so zeroing in on something easier said than done.
Running on four hours of sleep, I made my way to the Bayport American Legion on Saturday for our conference. I gave my report. I had lunch with friends. I went home and fell asleep on the couch.
Now, Sunday could well have been my mental break day, but for the fact we had errands to run and laundry and dishes to do. It never ends, does it?
I’ll be okay now for a few months. My endless days and weeks won’t come up again now until probably June or so, when we go from graduation to Dew Days, and I have to start sending out my letters to volunteers for the museum, and I volunteer to shoot pictures for the American Legion Auxiliary Girls State program at Bethel College in St. Paul.
At least I don’t have my part-time job anymore.
The thing is, as daunting as the calendar seems, and as little sleep as I get during these time crunch marathons, I enjoy myself immensely. During MNA, I spent time with friends I only get to see a couple of times a year, and I always come out of my American Legion Auxiliary functions feeling like I’m doing something good for someone other than myself. And that makes it all worthwhile.