The past handful of days have been highly, highly social.

It started on Wednesday night.  I had dinner with my friend Jim.  Sushi Train.  If you have never eaten conveyor belt sushi, you should.  Unless you hate sushi, in which case, never mind.  It was a good dinner.  We didn't have to rush, we had some meaningful discourse, and I am reminded of how lucky I am to have a good friend like Jim.

The next morning, I got up early, put on my company's t-shirt, and drove to North Nashville.  The Nashville Predators Foundation, in conjunction with a national non-profit called KaBoom! planned a playground build at a school. 

There were 200 volunteers from a variety of companies around town.  From my own company, there were a dozen or so folks from the West End office.  All of the ones I met were super nice and extremely funny.  From our office, one of the c-suites was there - she's very reserved, keeps to herself, and before that day, we hadn't really said more than four sentences between us.  But we started talking, and she's a dog lover, hockey fan, and extremely nice to boot. I really enjoyed getting to know her a little better.   I talked with dozens of people.  About goat yoga, people we knew in common... I sent a LinkedIn to a guy who was looking for work in the Healthcare industry.  I gave assurance to some women in their twenties that life does settle down once you hit 30.  I thanked some of the staff from the company that fed us lunch, I talked with some of the folks from KaBoom, and I was able to say hello to Kristen Laviolette - wife of Peter Laviolette, coach of the Preds.  I told her how glad we are to have them in Nashville.

In the afternoon, Mayor Megan Barry came.  She is Nashville's first female mayor, and I frankly just adore her.  She's very accessible.  She went to the David Cross show at TPAC.  She goes to Preds games and has her own jersey.  Tragically, earlier this year, her son, her only child died.  He was in his 20s.  She had to get through that, and run a city at the same time.  I have so much respect for this woman, so when I got close enough to her, I blurted out, all fangirly, "Mayor Barry - I'm a huge fan!  Thank you for everything you do for our city."  She thanked me smoothly by my name (because I had on a nametag), but she's got the perfect balance of polish and genuineness to her.  I was star-struck.

And of course, there were the kids.  At this school, they call their Kindergarten and First Graders Kings and Queens to remind them of the royalty that they are.  From that group, it skips the remainder of elementary grades, and goes to Grades 6-8.  These young people are addressed as Leaders.  Like a lot of the public schools in Nashville, they wear uniforms, which I found charming (though I'd have hated doing it myself).  They were sweet and enthusiastic, and I had a great time. 

I spread mulch, helped build a climbing wall, and filled in a rut in the grassy median.  I helped clean up the snacks table, and I helped some of my colleagues scope out a single man for one of the younger women. 

It's Shake n Bake.  And I helped.

At the end of the day, I was sore, tired, and fulfilled.  I went home and got the dog tired out before I went to watch Project Runway with my friend Rosie.  I even brought her a cupcake from Sprinkles.

Yesterday, I had lunch with a colleague.  We went to a place where we go fairly often as a group.  Typically, we sit at the bar, because we have several waitstaff there who have learned our names and are incredibly good at what they do. 

This morning, at 6AM, I got up, got dressed entirely in white, put on my sorority pin, and drove to Austin Peay State University.   There, I met some national officers, a traveling consultant, a handful of alumnae, and an advisor.  We ran through a mock initiation, sang through the songs, and then initiated about seventy women - mostly collegians, four of their mothers, and a few honor alumnae initiates.

It went well, though the gal I sat next to was a little tone deaf.  There aren't a ton of singing parts, but there also weren't a ton of us, so... anyway. 

It was nice.  I met three national officers, which was pretty amazing, although, I didn't really get that at the moment.

It was a good day, but now, after a long, social week with plenty of early mornings.  So with that, it's bedtime.