“So, What is Can Do?” She Asked Me.

shutterstock_108972257I believe that there is a very powerful, but quiet space between Can and Do.  A space where the hard work happens. A space filled with details and deadlines that no one else can see. It’s not a very exciting or sexy place, rather it requires focus, determination and perseverance. It’s where you make sure you measure twice. A space of preparation, of getting ready for something wonderful to occur.

Make no mistake – there is a lot going on in my life. My new consulting model is evolving and shaping up wonderfully…many pieces in place, and some are still emerging. My community-focused workshops are ready to go and the marketing to the local churches starts next week when the postcards arrive. I am working together with my clients about 30 hours a week to meet grant and other project deadlines. On weekends and some mornings I work away on the second book. And, I am taking the time to do outreach into the local community, and loving the results!

Writing my second book is going slower than I planned – for all the right reasons. I am carefully reviewing the research, analyzing the interviews, reviewing my assumptions. Thinking. Reading. Writing. Thinking some more. Making and erasing then making more notes on my white board wall. Pulling it all together, taking it apart and trying a different sequence. The other book was easier – it was just about me and my view of the world. The new book is about the workplace, which is not an easy place, in many more ways than one.

cover.finalAnother example of the “in-betweens”: The Can Do Chronicles is being published in paperback – a real book, as my Aunt Wanda calls it!  My work on it is done and I am now waiting for the publishing people to do their thing, to finish the inside editing and the back cover… to send me a proof… to be able to hit PRINT… I am hoping for a BIG Black Friday blow out, but I am still not sure about the timing. The publishing company does not want to over-promise and neither do I!  Stay tuned!

I have made it a priority to reach out and network to learn about the nonprofit and small business communities in the Northern VA and Washington, DC areas, to meet the community leaders. I am very aware of my need to establishing street cred in a very different community. One that has been home to me on and off for almost 40 years, but after being in New England for 10 years and then “in my cave” for almost three years, one where I am still a stranger, an unknown.

All that said, I am more of a “come on, let’s go” kind of girl. This space of preparation and transition can make me squirm and want to push too hard to find some action that brings immediate gratification, a move that  has often turned out to be someplace between a mistake and a disaster. I am proud to say I have learned from those (many) mistakes. Instead of moving too fast to the big outcome, I have learned to take little breaks from the hard stretches of “in between” work, and fill the space with little moments of AHH! that scratch the itch a bit. I had a great AHHH! moment on Monday.

My friend and colleague Marlys and I created the first in a series of CAN DO You Tube videos. It’s folksy, casual and decidedly low-tech – a coffee cup conversation, as she called it!  It gave me a great opportunity to focus in on the core messages for the community-based workshops. Marlys is a ROCK STAR, supportive and great friend. And, I achieved another milestone: I am, finally, on You Tube!!

And, I have (re-)discovered this afternoon that writing this blog post gives me another AHHH! moment. An almost tactile sense of accomplishment. I have been delaying writing one, waiting for something to ANNOUNCE!  A BIG deal. No need to wait, I realize. So, stay tuned. I plan to be blogging more. By next week, the new head shots for the website will be ready!  And, now that I am getting the knack of it, I just might create another You Tube video to post on this blog.

I CAN DO that, and so much more…..

Have a great late fall weekend, everyone!

Change Just Ahead


The Can Do Blog has been undergoing a bit of a makeover, and the work will continue as there is more change on the horizon.


The last few months have been quiet on the blog-front because, as you will see below, it has been a difficult and stressful time. In the spring, I began working on the expansion of my consulting practice, developing new applications for the Can Do model. But, things did not go as planned and my life became quite unsettled. My father began to have a rapid decline of his health and ability to function independently.  I was on the phone with my sister on a daily basis making new, hard, confusing decisions as we arranged for him to first have in-home care. Then, when he did not improve, he moved into a nursing facility and we began to make plans for his long term care. My sister, Beth and I shared his power of attorney, so we started learning about his finances, talking to lawyers and deciding what we needed to do with some of the pieces of his life – his community memberships, his business ventures, etc. We also worked hard to be most supportive of his wife, Marge.


Dad with me and Santa – Christmas 2010

Just as we were finalizing the plan to talk with him about some critical decisions, he took a quick trip to the ER. One of the nurses called my sister and told her that all of us needed to see him the next day because he had developed pneumonia and was being sent back to the nursing home for comfort care only. The following night – I had arrived mid-afternoon and saw him twice – he died peacefully in his sleep. The next weeks were a blur, filled with the funeral, high emotion, legal needs and a great deal of family negotiating. The house, which is the primary asset in his estate, is now on the market to be sold. There is still more work to be done, but not until it sells. I am planning to write a short e-book called Driving My Dad’s Car, where I will share more of this story – of the challenges and complexities of caring for and losing elderly parents.

So, now, finally, I am busy with the details and plans to expand my consulting practice, Coridan Consulting Services. In the next months, I will move it past being primarily a grant writing service, to offer a menu of services for nonprofits and small businesses in the areas of: 1) Organizational Development & Program Growth, 2) Training & Technical Assistance and  3) Writing Services. The Can Do Workplace Model, the centerpiece of the expansion, is in the last stages of development. The new website is being designed. The new business, and a new chapter in my life, will be launched in September.

This revitalized Can Do Blog will support, nurture and promote the Can Do Workplace Model.  It will also continue to provide me with a venue for sharing the more personal experiences and opportunities of the Can Do Life Model.

Getting ready for change…. it’s an exciting, great place to be. I am glad you are along to share the journey…. it’s going to be quite the adventure!