I was so nervous on my way over. It was already 7:02, and the meeting was supposed to start at 7. I know there's "Mormon standard time" and all that, but would it apply to a meeting with the Stake President for Bishops and Relief Society Presidents? (Before you worry-- don't. I'm only a counselor, and was filling in for our President who's home for summer. Phew!) I feel that of all people in the Church, leaders are the busiest, but still most likely to show up to a meeting on time. But I could be wrong.
It wouldn't have been that big of a deal to be late, except that I was representing my ward and the YSA of the stake! Shouldn't I represent them the way I would like to be represented? Actually, it would have been a more truthful representation of my ward if I had purposely shown up halfway through the meeting instead... or not at all. But if the door was closed and the meeting started I'm not sure I would have had the courage to walk into the room... I'd look and feel like a tubby 12 year-old walking into a hang-out of undergraduates, graduates and doctorates.
But Uncle Bryce would be there. That was reassuring, right? Even if he's been suffering the consequences of my recently ended nannying, combined with the release of school and the onset of summer boredom and mischief adopted by all school-aged children... four of which are his. Plus the one year-old who's recently acquired the ability to get into whatever she wants, whenever she wants. He may or may not be less a fan of me for ditching him and Camille at such an inconvenient time. No, what was I thinking? They're far too gracious for that. I caught my reflection in the glass door of the church as I walked in and remembered how homely I looked at the moment.
[You see, I recently acquired another freelance graphic design job. Taking Mormon standard time to a whole new level, a few people from the stake I'd worked with before met with me on a Wednesday and asked me to create for them (from scratch): a logo, with two variations; business cards; 3 maps, each one showcasing one of their locations; and a large leave-behind poster for the offices they visited in an attempt to encourage referrals in the future. They wanted it done in a week, but I got him to push it to a week from that Friday. For a 50% rush fee, of course. "But a week and two days-- that's not so bad. Why've you gotta charge such a big rush fee?" you might think. But then I'd tell you that the "week from Friday" I spoke of is today. And I'd tell you how, since last Thursday I have spent over 20 hours filling Church-related obligations (not including Sunday). And how I don't do work on Sunday. And how I spent 10 hours doing work for Allen Theatres. And how I had been working on a painting for Tiffani's wedding and had to stop (I hate spreading projects out over time). And how I've also been trying to balance all that with obtaining another freelance commission that came my way in the midst of all that chaos. And how I've already put around 50 hours into this commission. (We're nearly done, but not quite yet.) That's over 80 hours of work in 7.5 days, with one Sunday of break in the middle. On top of trying to sleep and eat and shower and live. That's why I charged an extra 50%. They're getting some awesome work, though, and some valuable extras they weren't expecting to top it off. I take care of my customers.]
I heard voices as I entered the building, and was relieved to find the door to the High Council room open with people chatting casually inside. I entered the room and sat down between Bryce and my bishop. I watched people as they filed in. President Robb began the meeting, and as I looked around I felt overwhelming unqualified to be there. The other women there... they were all "Relief Society." The kind of women a Hengen would see in the room and point out to another Hengen saying only "Relief Society!" or "she is the face of Relief Society." I wanted nothing more than to prove myself to these women. Prove that I was 24 years dedicated to Relief Society. How, you ask? By bursting out of my chair, climbing on top of the High Council table, ripping the sleeves off my shirt, wiggling my arms and crying "Relief Societyyyyyyyyyyyyy!!" Apparently the tubby 12 year-old inside me, yearning to prove herself, will never really leave. For the moment I can control her, but we should all fear the day I snap and fail to do so.