by Lori Kramer, Office Manager
The first blog post I ever wrote for Mayyim Hayyim (well quite frankly, my first public blog post ever) was about intentionality, and how Mayyim Hayyim is the embodiment of all things thought-out and intentional. It is what first attracted me to the organization both personally and professionally. One of the best examples of thoughtfulness and intention I have experienced since joining the team last November, was our staff retreat last week.
We all had a wonderful day of incredibly delicious food, relaxing play time, a gorgeous view, perfect weather, and inspiring strategic planning for the coming months. My favorite part of our working time was a team-building activity called The Marshmallow Challenge. We were split into two groups of three and were given 20 pieces of spaghetti, a yard of tape, a yard of string, scissors, and a marshmallow. The goal was to make the tallest tower you could using the supplies we were given, but the marshmallow had to be at the top of the tower… Oh and this had to happen in 18 minutes. The winner was the group with the tallest, free-standing tower.
The first thing I learned is that 18 minutes is not a very long time…at all. Also, thin spaghetti breaks very easily. I tend to be very analytical in my thought process in activities like this. I was doing a lot of the “Wait, how in the world is one piece of spaghetti going to hold a dense marshmallow?” type of thinking, while other members of my team were doing a lot more vocalizing, “Let’s just tape this here and see what happens.”
It struck me that those thought processes really relate to the work we do at Mayyim Hayyim. I am part of the back office staff, trying to ensure the physical plant of the building is working as it should be, processing gifts from our generous donors, preparing forms for our guests coming to immerse. My other team members are on the “front of house” team, interacting in a much more public role. Both roles are extremely important, and they turned out to be pretty important in our group’s attempts to get that tower together.
Sadly, our tower didn’t stand. That was okay with me though (not just because the other team’s didn’t either….). In the end I think you often learn a lot more from your failures than your successes, especially when you are intentional about your goals and collaborating with an unstoppable team.
Lori Kramer feels very fortunate to be a member of this team of hardworking women at Mayyim Hayyim. She lives in Woonsocket, RI with her four kids and her husband.