Building Relationships and Stepping Into New Experiences - Kathryn C. Lang

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building relationships - 3-7-13

Building Relationships and Stepping Into New Experiences

The whirlwind of my week kept me thinking I was a day early – and that can be just as stressful as being a day late. It helped nothing that my oldest son figured out my confusion and kept asking about events that were supposed to take place the next day. “Are we going to Cubs tonight?” He asked me without even a blink on Monday. TUESDAY is Cub night and he knew it – he was just trying to keep me off balance.

It worked. I spent all of Monday thinking it was Tuesday and all of Tuesday thinking it was Wednesday – but knowing the whole time that something was off. It hurt my head – but gave my son some moments of sheer delight. I guess that is worth the trade off now and then.

The week did offer me some great opportunities to connect with new people and to begin building existing relationships to the next level. I also stepped outside of my comfort zone and pushed my writing and speaking to a new level. Carol Marks and Constance Smith sent a challenge to answer 50 TMI questions in a video.

These ladies delight me in their writings and in their friendship. The fact that I was called out by them in something I was secretly considering was perfect. I did not even think about it – I just jumped.

What I learned from my journey into Vlogs:

    1. If it scares you – that butterflies in the stomach kind of scared – then it is probably time to jump.

    2. It will NEVER be perfect – so quit waiting until it is.

    3. Your friends know what you can do even better sometimes than you know – trust their encouragement.

Despite my calendar confusion, I managed to make all of my meetings and events. Even with my meeting events, I still had that confusion. I think I will stick with the excuse that my son made me do it.

One of the meetings was down in Montgomery – just a short, two and half hour drive. My husband took off work early so that he could act as my driver. We talked a little about what would happen in the meeting. We spent most of the time together just being together.

We met with Brian Jones, the Regional Director, North for the Alabama Department of Tourism. Two years ago, I won the first SELTI tourism short story contest. The more I talked about the genre, the more excited I got about the potential. The founder of SELTI, Patrick Brian Miller, encouraged me to keep pushing the boundaries and my Tween series – Scouting Out Adventure – was the result.

We met with Brian to talk about the 2014 SELTI contest, the potential for tourism fiction, and expanding the genre into new areas. Although the results may not have been the expectations we set on the way down, they were still a blessing.

What I learned from my trip to Montgomery:

    1. The Alabama Cattlemen Association has the coolest van EVER (as taken by Keith Lang) – and sometimes you have to be willing to look beyond your expectations to find the cool things.

    2. People will encourage my journey, but I will have to take the steps – nobody is going to do it for me.

    3. I can watch G+ hangouts while going down the interstate – but it is hard to hear over the rain.

My new adventures online – through G+, vlogs and social media – have led me to new people and new relationships. I had the opportunity to meet Shawn Savage and his lovely wife, Caroline Savage. Together they host the Ambassadors for Christ Radio program, and they also work together on the Discipling Women broadcast. It was this program that allowed me to discover how I could view G+ going down the road. It was an experience but a fun one.

I also have been meeting new friends through G+ and Twitter. I have heard that you need to measure your results, and Google Plus has offered the best results for me. But I enjoy the quick wit that 140 characters can create, so I continue to enjoy Twitter as well.

What I have learned from my close encounters of the internet kind:

    1. Social media can be a blessing – if used correctly. Anything in excess is a dangerous thing.

    2. Google Plus hangouts are AWESOME – and allow me direct contact with people that I may never have had the chance to meet under different circumstances.

    3. Sarcasm is always dangerous – but even more so when traveling at light speed.

I survived the week, and I even figured out the correct day eventually – although my oldest still tries to convince me differently. I determined that no matter the journey, as long as I come out on the other side with a few new connections and some growing relationships then all is well.

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