April 3, 2014

Stepping into a New Chapter

I'm back from the unannounced blogging sabbatical that I began in 2013 by first slowing down my regular blogging and then hitting "pause" late in the fall. I saw a friend recently who gave me a hug and asked if I was okay - worried that my blogging silence meant that I've been dealing with illness or some other awful personal problem. Thankfully no. It was just time for an energy break after pedaling uphill for a while.

I'm still in a self-designed period of down-hill coasting with just a few gentle hills to keep things interesting. The big change that I am navigating involves stepping away from the position that I have held for 10 years as Executive Director of Grassroots Grantmakers. I'm working now with a very capable board of directors to lay some stepping stones for the future, and am confident that these stepping stones will lead to a fascinating new chapter for the organization. I am excited to see what comes next.

I am also excited to see what emerges for me. I am using the word "retire" but only mean "retire from leading an organization". I can't imagine retiring from the world of people who think big about small grants because the way this world thinks, imagines and breathes is how I think, imagine and breathe. In this new still-emerging chapter, I am hoping to see something about a closer connection to my home community in rural Texas - something about growing a tradition of hospitality that welcomes new people and connects people as neighbors. I am also hoping to explore what and how family, friends and neighbors teach us about forming community together - and spot ways that we can keep those teachings alive when we are at work in places like place-based philanthropies where building community is a desired outcome. And I'm hoping to dig deeper into what supports people coming together as co-creators of the future that we want in ways that don't feel, look or taste like strategic planning.

I want to be more intentional about writing that is about discovery - for me the writer and you the reader - and is about practical ways that we work our ways through dilemmas. With that desire in mind and this blog as my primary vehicle, you'll be seeing me show up here again on a regular basis, writing about whatever has the wheels turning at the moment about people in community and the institutions that are committed to the places that we call home.

As this new chapter for me begins to unfold, I would love to hear what you would like to see me dig into in this blog and to hear what from the last chapter has been especially helpful - so I'll know to keep that on the menu. You can either comment here or contact me via email or a phone call.

Looking forward to the next chapter and happy to be back!




 

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