Toastmasters Did This to Me!


So, by now, you’re probably wondering about the blog marathon I’ve been on. I feel like the “Mad Hatter”, only I’m the Mad Blogger. Not to mention, you're probably sick of hearing from me. I don't blame you. Shoot! I'm sick of hearing from me! But there’s a reason for the madness and here it is…

I belong to Toastmasters.


Toastmasters is a US headquartered nonprofit educational organization that operates clubs worldwide for the purpose of promoting communication, public speaking and leadership. Toastmasters organization's membership exceeds 357,000 in more than 16,600 clubs in 143 countries.

Up until recently, I was the President of the club at Pacific Life in Lynchburg, VA. (Don’t worry! I’m still a member. You can only be the president for 1 year). Many businesses offer Toastmasters to their employees to help them grow and improve, both professionally and personally. If yours doesn’t, it should! Let's just put it that way.

Anyways, I’m nearing the completion of my first Pathway in Toastmasters—I’m on level 5, and in order to complete it, I need to complete a project. Not just any project, but one that’s on their list. Needless to say, I was elated when I saw “Create and Write a Blog” as one of the choices.

I remember thinking, Wow! That’s easy! I’ve written blogs before and still have my website set up. How hard can writing one blog be, right?


Wrong!

Long story short, in March of this year, I selected that as my project, and afterward as I read over the requirements, which wasn’t available prior to making the selection, I saw “Write 8 blogs in one month,” and almost lost my Holy Ghost!


Are these people nuts? What happened to write “a” blog— “A” meaning, singular, numerically one. There’s got to be a mistake! Nobody, I mean nobody, can write 8 meaningful blogs in one month. Can they?

I was mad for days, weeks, even months! I wasn't sure if I had it in me to write that many blogs in that short amount of time. There I said it. If truth be known, I said more than that. I told my husband, “Apparently, no one in Toastmasters International has ever written a blog before. Blogs are not conveyer belts! You don’t just spit them out. If I had known up front it would require 8 blogs in one month, I would have chosen something else. Blogs take time—too much time. The kind of time I don’t have!”

Let me clarify. I'm a snail blogger, so when I say, “Time,” I mean, twenty or more hours it takes for me to write ONE blog, except for this one, I'm coming in at a record time with six hours. I know what you’re thinking—That’s absurd! Yes. Yes, it is.

But here we are at Blog #8 with less than four hours to deadline.

In the Hebrew the number 8 signifies “New Beginnings.” For the past three and a half years, I've been wanting to get back to blogging and every day, I would say, "Tomorrow." And since so much time has passed, I honestly doubted if I ever would get back to it. I mean, what was I going to say to my blog followers? "Surprise, I'm back! I know its been a minute." (wink!)


Yup!


So, there it is. That's what these 8 blogs mean to me—a new beginning. A fresh start. This project allowed me to pick up, where I left off, and gave me the push to do so. I didn’t expect to be away for so long, (I'm sorry!) but now I’m back, and I'm glad of it, and for that, I have Toastmasters to thank.

Toastmasters did this to me (Literally!) and I'm super fortunate I didn't know what the process looked like beforehand, or else I wouldn't be here in my office, writing to you.

So, what have you stepped away from, that maybe you're embarrassed or unsure if you should go back to? Whatever it is, it’s yours to fulfill. It’s waiting on you to get up, show up, and pick up where you left off. Today’s your new beginning!

I Am M.O.R.E., and so are you!

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M.O.R.E

Francine Westgate

Marvelous . Original . Resilient . Empowered