Five weeks ago I traveled to Columbus for my budget kickoff. I prayed that day, I prayed that Sunday and several days since for guidance. The morning of Thursday, October 27, I prayed for safe travel, calmness and understanding for all involved before I began my travel to headquarters located in Davidson, North Carolina, for my budget review of the Daily Times and Community Common.
I started the day a few minutes late, which is of the norm for me, as those who know me understand, but I am getting better. I arrived at the airport to learn, at departure time, our flight was delayed due to a mechanical issue but not to worry they had a maintenance person on the way, although, he was coming from Charleston, an hour away. I watched the screen as our takeoff time changed several times and decided we needed to consider other options to arrive in Davidson by 2 p.m. I pulled out the handy cell phone nobody leaves home without and began making calls. First to my boss who had warned me my flight would be delayed three weeks ago and then to headquarters. First thought, look for other flights, of course none available. Second thought, a rental car, again none available. Final thought, drive your own! So away we went down I-64 with an expected arrival of only an hour late.
This was not my first rodeo. I have been in four budget reviews, two as Publisher, meaning I get the entire ball of wax being responsible for all departments in my business. This one, however, was different. Instead of my usual three-inch binder overfilled with data and planning tools that expands it to more like five inches, I walked in with my laptop and a neatly prepared folder measuring a quarter of an inch filled with the necessary documents.
This one was different as I walked in the room not with confidence but with serenity and a peace filling my mind and soul. I listened as the first property was discussed then took the “hot seat” to present my budget. Overall, the meeting was a success. I give God the glory for His guidance and preparing me and I thank him for my boss who pushes me hard every day to be better than I think I can but especially pushing me hard to be prepared for this meeting.
I was rewarded at dinner, as I joined those from the room that day and those yet to go into that room. Not publically accepting a reward but a quiet internal reward as I saw my own review as I looked around the tables that night. The experienced sitting among us with an expressionless face and those new managers who were anxious, nervous, worried, excited of the unknown before them. I was reminded of those budget years I had experienced recently and realized my growth over the past five weeks. Not growth in business but growth in self. I thank God for the growth along the way as He is the one who directed my path. I am not who I once was.