Yesterday was truly a day of new beginnings! You are looking at the new secretary of the American Women’s Club of Dublin, and yesterday we had our first official meeting of the September-May calendar. I originally wasn’t sure if I could accept the position, because I was hoping to get a full-time job and that would keep me from the meetings. However, Rebecca, who was poised to take the position, had to back out because of a hefty load of amazing travel this fall. Jealous? I am. Plus, Matt and I recently decided it was time for me to pursue my writing full time, making me an official freelance writer. Yep, I’m a starving artist…well, minus the starving part thanks to the support of my supremely wonderful partner. So, with these turn of events, I accepted the position, and geared up to fully immerse myself in my new position, club activities, and the chance to make even more friends.
The meeting was held at the Bewleys Hotel, a location that some of you might recognize from my post on the Cooking Extravaganza. Upon entering, I noticed music drifting from the room. Our president provided entertainment for the first part of the meeting in the form of a male singer dressed in a suit, crooning Michael Buble and Josh Groban into a 50’s style microphone. Elegant and classy. The first hour of the meeting was dedicated to coffee and mingling, so a little background music was perfect to set the ambience. In one corner, a member set up a sweets station to promote her new endeavor in the baking industry. We had mini brownies, cheesecake, and cookies to enjoy with our coffee. Next to her was an art station displaying the work of one of our guests for the morning. An art teacher from a local studio joined to inform us ladies about art classes, and even offered to put together an exclusive session each month if a group of women from the club wanted to attend together. I then drifted over to the next table that completely suited my fancy: used books! A generous woman in the club had lugged a table-full of her completed books to the meeting, and was selling each for just 1 euro and 50 cents. I picked up one that I’ve been dying to read called A Thousand Splendid Suns, by Khaled Hosseini, and happily tossed the small payment into her cup.
Marie and I had only a short time to catch up before our president was ringing her bell to signal the start of the meeting. First on the agenda, a speech presented by the Lord Mayor of Dublin himself. Dressed professionally and with a huge gold chain and emblem that I think had been passed down from mayor to mayor, he talked to us about the history of his position in Dublin, how he came to term, and what he’s focused on in the near future. Unemployment was his key issue and he encouraged us to use local businesses. He took a couple of hard-hitting questions from a few ladies who have lived here long enough to know of problems and issues with the current system. He answered them all to the best of his ability, and I learned a little about the political system here in Ireland.
After his speech we kicked things off and began the first meeting of the year. I felt so important sitting at the front of the room at the head table with a nameplate in front of my seat and a pitcher of water at my disposal! I diligently took the minutes, not wanting to miss a thing, knowing that compiling the information later to be submitted would be tricky for me since I’m new and don’t know everyone yet. I struggled to keep up with the names of some board members and event coordinators and made a note to email the membership committee to ask for a directory. That became unnecessary, though, when a note was passed down by a member of the board with a list of all the names I needed. She then approached me with that directory I needed! So thoughtful and intuitive. All of the new members in the club were introduced, including myself. And throughout the entire morning I was repeatedly approached and thanked for filling in the secretary position after just joining the club.
The meeting ended around noon, just in time for lunch. I had been so looking forward to this meeting as a chance to meet more people and it definitely did not disappoint. I was even asked by a couple women to host a “writer’s workshop” each month in the same fashion as a book club. As I sat down at an outdoor table for lunch later, the warm sun on my back, and my new book in my hand, I felt an overwhelming sense of happiness and success. A friend once told me that when I decide to do something I “drink the kool-aid.” Well spike that bad boy up, because I’m starting to chug!