I hope you have enjoyed my Refracted Friday blog series over the past few years as much as I have enjoyed putting them together. Finding a theme to write about helps convey a message. Whether it’s Aim for the Stars, A SENSE-ble Look at Healthy Living or the recent Periodical Table of TOPS, each blog had a different theme (that can also be used as talking points at a chapter meeting). However, they all have essentially the same message: how my nearly twenty-two years as a TOPS member have impacted not only my health but how I live my life.
My goal is to present my views on how to achieve a healthier lifestyle. It is my refracted look that I hope may provide a spark to ignite your own journey. Also, as President, I must ensure the stability of our organization for years to come.
I prefer live presentations at a chapter meeting, SRD/PRD/ARD or a conference. I can weave my stories and adapt them to any question or comment from the audience or immediately clear up a misunderstanding.
However, I can reach more members by using the written word, which can be a challenge. Trying to be “punny” or use “tongue-in-cheek” remarks may cause me to “put my foot in my mouth.” I am not there to further explain my meaning when you read a blog, a President’s message or an article in TOPS News.
I know sometimes when I share my refracted thoughts or state a change, some may question my intention or if I may have strayed from the critical mission of TOPS. Remember though, even if light changes direction or separates through a prism, it is still light.
A simple statement I made at an SRD in the Spring of 2018 has, at times, been challenged and thrown back at me. Having participated in the year-long celebration of our TOPS 75 years has proven that I was correct when I said we need to get back to basics.
One would think that simply stating I wanted to get TOPS back to the basics would be well received. Weight loss is challenging enough, why would one want to complicate the process?
So Now What? My challenge has always been to convince members that going back to what Mrs. Manz originally started is the right course. The work over the five-plus years, interrupted by a pandemic, was to get TOPS in position for the next 75 years. Simplifying the rules, enhancing efforts of the Board’s fiduciary responsibilities, establishing a three-year budget, increasing membership retention and finding revenue streams other than membership fees all need to continue into 2024. And if going forward, I find myself putting my foot in my mouth, I will follow what I learned from Mrs. Manz: just state the simple, basic facts.
I am preparing another themed series of Refracted blogs which will start in a few weeks. This new series will further explain how I envision 2024 developing, updating you on my journey and expanding on what I stated in this blog, Now What? Further directions will follow.