Thursday, February 17, 2011

Speed Friending








So being the Relief Society Activity Leader is my biggest calling yet, and last night was our first event. "Speed Friending." I have been stressing about this for a month.  Anytime a thought about the activity would cross my mind, my stomach would do that nervous jump like when you're zooming down a steep hill on a roller coaster.  To put myself at ease I tried to prepare as early as possible. Writing lists, party blog surfing, food planning, making decorations.  This ended up adding pressure. I came across so many good ideas I wanted to do them all.  Luckily I stopped short of fringing the streamers like this, but I was seriously tempted.  I just felt like the ladies would have a better time if I would just put some extra effort into it instead of throwing something together last minute.

I was totally wrong.  All I would have needed was a timer, couple of plates of cookies and water to drink.  Instead I showed up with 4 bags full of junk. I made paper flowers (from here), confetti, felt bunting, set up a "photo booth", cooked up hot chocolate from scratch with various toppings (chocolate shavings, cinnamon, mint and peanut butter chips, and I whipped cream [after looking at the ingredient list on Reddi whip] for goodness sakes) and nobody even used them. Well, I pressured a couple of people into whipped cream and luckily the Relief Society President talked a few people into pictures.  Okay. I think I'm done venting.  The ironic thing is that one of the main reasons I picked Speed Friending was because of how simple it is.

The activity was a success, thank goodness.  The ladies really seemed to enjoy themselves, judging by their smiles, animated talking, and how nearly impossible it was to get them to switch partners after the timer went ding.

I have definitely learned some things. First, groups of women need no entertainment, they're just happy talking.  Second, don't plan more than one or two things. Getting everyone to be quiet and switch gears is a painfully slow process, and they were even surprised at how assertive I became.  Third, don't stress about the fine details, they won't even notice them. This surprised me since I thought women have an appreciation for niceties.

I'm glad I learned this before the next activity. Supposed to be one of the bigger ones of the year. The Relief Society Birthday, for which I must make 130 formal invitations, figure out a sit down dinner (potluck not allowed), and invite the Stake RS President. Ahhh!!

9 comments:

Anna said...

Have I mentioned my mom helps plan the RS parties? She recently had to do a big sit down dinner. She could give you tips (hint: it involves crock pots!).

Hang in there lady, it'll get easier. Glad all the ladies loved talking.

Sarah Flib said...

I'm glad you came to the conclusion that simple would have worked out just fine, because I was feeling a little not-up-to-par as I was reading everything that you did to get ready. :) You are amazing to me for even thinking of doing all of those things! Everything looks beautiful and/or delicious in your pictures!

I did this same calling for about a year and then I was the RS counselor in charge of it, so I was still pretty involved with the planning and execution of our activities. Now that I'm back in the ward, I just got called to be the activity leader again. Ha. We'll have to chat about ideas.

Also, remember that you can delegate a lot of stuff for that next activity you were talking about. Even if you don't have a committee, you can and probably should ask other sisters in the ward to help with invitations and whatnot. Seriously--even if that's not their calling. Don't make all 130 of the invitations yourself, whatever you do. No RS activity should be too stressful for any one person--you deserve to enjoy it and be uplifted as much as anyone else!

Sky Buffat said...

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Kristyn said...

Yeah Helena! I'm glad you've got a successful activity under your belt. And I'm glad this one's behind you. Great job! And I think you're right that simpler a lot of times really IS better. I forget that sometimes too.

Kristyn said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Kim said...

Wow, I'm so impressed Helena. Sounds like the activity was a huge success. You really went all out...you're amazing. Good to know in the future you won't need to go all out. You're the perfect person for the calling. Good luck planning the dinner. Sounds like a ton of work. I'm surprised it can't be a pot luck. Too bad.

Jeanne Anderson said...

That looks like so much fun. I'm in charge of my neighborhood's next Girl's Night Out. I just might do this! Apparently enrichment activities just aren't enough for us...especially in the winter. Great JOB! :)

Anonymous said...

Hey Lena, How do you speed friend? Send me the rules and other details, please. Mom

Maureen Baldwin said...

Please send me the questions that the ladies talked about. I am going to do this in my relief society meeting in June. Please send me the rules too. I have been looking all over the internet for info about this. Thanks, Maureen Baldwin