What was I going to do in 2019, other than enjoy some celebrations?
I needed a challenge, a new purpose and something that would stretch me. Having succeeded against the odds on the Go Ape Forest Trail in Dalby Forest four years ago, I thought about doing something physical. My grandson, Noah, suggested scuba-diving, his latest skill. I can’t say I was enthusiastic but Scarborough provided learning opportunities and I told him that I would give training serious consideration. To be honest, I wasn’t too disappointed when the activity was considered inadvisable for a couple of health reasons.
Thoughts then turned to the Soroptimist International of Great Britain and Ireland (SIGBI) organisation, of which I’m a member. Women inspiring action and transforming lives of women and girls around the world. What if I took up a position of responsibility within the region? Yorkshire is the largest UK region in the organisation with 21 clubs across the county. Skipton in the west, Richmond and Dales in the north, Scarborough in the east and Sheffield in the south.
It would mean driving thousands of miles to attend events and see project work in action. There would also be opportunities to travel to meetings and events in other parts of the UK and wider afield. I would also need to resurrect my organisational and management skills. Wouldn’t it be easier not to bother? Yes, of course, but I knew that it would be better for the future of both my physical and mental health if I set myself some new challenges and stepped out of my comfort zone.
I discussed with my husband, Adrian, exactly what the commitment would mean and he was fully supportive. Then I put myself forward to start the process, gradually getting used to the increased responsibility.
I became Vice President for 2017/18, President Elect for 2018/19. Next week at the SIGBI conference in Bournemouth, I will become SI Yorkshire President. As a Londoner, I feel it is a tremendous honour.
My theme for the year is ‘Not a... Write Off!’, which I also regard as a personal statement. Are you challenging and stretching yourself?