Wednesday, December 20, 2023

ADF Mother Grove Retreat 2023

Last time I was on the Mother Grove, we were not doing retreats, so I was delighted to attend this important event, if a little nervous about what to expect. After an eventful trip to Ohio followed by lunch with Eldest Minion (who is going to 25 this year, so I'm not sure how much longer I can get away with calling him that...) and an eventful drive to Toledo, we began the retreat with dinner and a discussion about the budget for 2024. It was robust and engaging, and we made several suggestions for adjustments needed to ensure we are set up for success for 2024. Of note, we will finally be liquidating the ADF store, which has been defunct for years, and investing some of our capital into a certificate of deposit. We also increased the stipends for our paid positions and added a line for paying folks for the work they do for the organization. There has not been an increase to these amounts in a decade, and I firmly believe in pay for work.

Since we had finished the goals we set for ourselves at the beginning of the term in May, we chose three additional goals for the first half of the new year:

Goal 1: ADF International
Create a process for managing applications for association status (NPO status) globally. ADF Germany will serve as a pilot.

Goal 2: Enhancing Annual Reporting
Revise Annual Reporting process and documentation for release to the general public with information about organizational performance in public-facing areas. Annual General Meeting content would cover the officer year (May-May) and supplement the annual reporting.
Stage 2:Once we align the annual report to the calendar year, we will supplement the annual meeting officer reporting to reflect January to May.

Goal 3: Raising ADF’s Profile
Create a committee to work on the various aspects of raising the ADF profile online (includes SEO and PR). We will seek a volunteer from within and if unsuccessful in finding a candidate, we will engage outside expertise.

We are also working on updating the Mission Statement, a process for approving website changes, glossary of ADF vernacular for non-members who are interested in ADF, important discussions about ADF Publishing, and several other tasks of importance to the organization. I am very excited about the upcoming changes to the Newsletter beginning in Q1. 2024 promises to be a productive and fruitful year!

Saturday, December 16, 2023

Honoring Chaos

I am sure anyone who knows anything about Loki and has been keeping up with my newly defined relationship with he and Sigyn will not be surprised when I say there has been some chaos in my life these last few months. Honestly though, it is all stuff that needed to be shaken up in the first place, and I am grateful for the gift of perspective that came in the quiet before the proverbial storm. 

My first walk-in immunization season as the medical administrator was busy! We had our ups and downs, but overall, we ended well, and I learned a lot to help make sure next year goes more smoothly. 

Family chaos can mostly be attributed to having a toddler around and all the fun and "uh-ohs" that comes with it. My grandson is both a joy and a menace, and I wouldn't have it any other way. 

We also had our annual retreat for the members of the Mother Grove, ADF's Board of Directors. I will write more about that later. It was a hard time of year to travel, but it was definitely worth it for what we achieved in that short amount of time. 

Here is a prayer I wrote to chaos in the thick of it last month. May the Spirits of Chaos be purposeful in the application of their craft!

Prayer to Chaos

In my rigidity, in my obstinance,
In the stubborn stick-to-it-ive-ness of my stance,
I call to the spirits of chaos and unpredictability
To aid in my quest for healthy flexibility.
I call to you to shake me up, to deviate my path.
I ask you to exchange my seriousness for a laugh.
When all else fails, I beg of you to open up my mind.
Please show me deep perspectives my rigidness leaves behind.
In our personal lives we seek order,
Believing this is to be the mortar
Keeping us from straying from the path we wish to tread.
But order without chaos leaves our inspiration dead.
Chaos, won’t you save me from a boring life of sameness.
Chaos, join me, help me melt into a mass that’s shapeless.
Only there may I be molded
Only there be better folded
Into the dough of life that bakes up nice
Flavorful ecstasy in every slice
Chaos, reign within, for just a little while.
At least enough my ordered mind to beguile.
And when the ordered-ness of me is taken full apart
Order, take the reins once more, the cycle to restart.
Spirits of Chaos, I honor you.