Can Do Takes One Step at a Time

I am in the beginning of a new job search. As part of the process, I have taken time this week to sort out my great accomplishments (why, yes, I do have a few!) from the rest of my professional experiences. And then, to take that process a step further and to harvest some of the important lessons I have learned.

My big lesson learned that I have been reflecting on today is taking “one step at a time.”



We don’t need to be on a tightrope to have this sage advice be relevant.

My tendency, when starting something new or dealing with major deadlines, has been to push hard and try to learn everything I need to know in a minute. Or, maybe five. But, no more than ten. Then to try to do everything at once!

Happily, I have discovered recently, that is changing.

For the last two months I have been the Interim Executive Director for a small nonprofit that is, sadly, closing its doors. While I have been working with the Board and community partners to close the programs and dissolve the corporation, the need for me to remember to take short, measured steps has been HUGE. Partners all want their reports done first. Creditors all want their bills paid first. But because I just came in at the 11th hour (actually about 11:58, to be exact), I need to GO SLOW and pay careful attention to the details because I don’t have the institutional memory or history that provides critical context. So, I have asked hundreds of questions, sometimes (often!) more than once!  And, I need to remember to say thank you (often!) to those who support my slow and methodical approach, especially when they would have preferred to get their report yesterday!

Concept Handwritten With Chalk On A Blackboard.

I want to share proudly that I have been doing a pretty awesome job of taking one step at a time. Yup, I really did learn this important lesson.

And, as an added bonus, I am less stressed. More patient. More pleasant to be around! More efficient. And, better able to understand the relationships and connections between the moving parts of the reports, programs and the organization.

Wisdom for this Week: You are never to old to learn to take baby steps, even in your big girl shoes!





Gratitude Is a Choice!

The quote this morning in the email was from Henri Nouwen, and it really hit home with me.

GratitudeGratitude as a discipline involves a conscious choice. I can choose to be grateful even when my emotions and feelings are still steeped in hurt and resentment. It is amazing how many occasions present themselves in which I can choose gratitude instead of a complaint.


Life has been a little bumpy of late – that kind of bumpy that comes with change & growth!

The words Bumpy Road on a barrier or blockade as a warning sign


For example, last week, I had a MAJOR let down in my search for new work. The kicker was that very disappointing news was delivered in a wholly unprofessional and dismissive way. It took me a while to find my breath, let alone my attitude of gratitude. I asked my friends for support and prayers and took long walks, and said more than a few prayers for everyone I had met in the search process, including the one who had been so rude. Then, I took that great advice from Joe Walsh and the Eagles – GET OVER IT!


Now, it is all history: THIS TOO SHALL PASS was true once again!

Then there is WORK, which is not bad, but JUST PLAIN HARD & TEDIOUS!  My current Interim Executive Director position is with an agency that, sadly, is shutting its doors. Closing down an organization is not an easy task. My days have been filled with creating comprehensive, detailed reports, both programmatic and financial, for contracts and programs I did not even know about until they were long over! The deadline to have them all delivered is tomorrow. My eyesblack-mold-allergy-problems-itchy-eyes are about to bleed from compiling spreadsheets and reviewing bank statements and receipts!  I have had help from one remaining manager whose last day was today. The rest is up to me – to tie up loose ends and get the invoices in to get the money in, then to close and pay off vendor accounts and begin the dissolution process. Details, details, details and then new details. They are unending, and I keep finding out there is more that needs to be done than I first believed on almost every front! During this ongoing challenge, and I am grateful for many of the people I have just come to know (and won’t get to know for long!!), who have been extremely supportive of me as I have tried to make sense out of it all!

So, even though I am tired and my eyes are going to fall out…

Even though the journey is taking me in directions that are quite different from what I was led to believe week before last…

Even though the future is very uncertain as I write…

I am grateful:

For my health.  I can’t say that one often enough.

facebookFor the over 200 responses on my Facebook page last week when life knocked me down for a few minutes and I asked for quick prayers and some extra support!

For the special home I share here with my awesome and supportive hubby and partner, Ned and our “wonder dog Chippy”!

For the beautiful azaleas and dogwoods in bloom.

For friends and family around the world. My collection of peeps is so diverse that I am never bored!

For this blog, where I can use my writing to learn a little bit more about living a Can Do Life!

And for my faith – and the ever growing opportunities I have to deepen and explore its reaches.



Tough couple of weeks?  Yup!

Grateful?  More than ever before in my life!

What are you grateful for today?  I bet you can list at least five things!  And, to make it better, I urge you to share those things you are grateful for with those you love!  You never know when that little bit of sharing will make an important difference for them, too!