Why I stopped blogging

Apparently, at least one person reads this blog. I know this because a few weeks ago a friend reached out to me via Facebook private messaging to ask why I haven’t posted all year.

The answer, in a word,  is bandwidth.

Last year I began feeling a nudge that I was supposed to serve the nonprofit community in a different way. I’d been a development director for 20 years and I felt a Higher Powered calling to make a change. In November I began interviewing with a wonderful nonprofit, Insight Counseling Centers, to be its Executive Director. I was the successful candidate and during the month of December I worked out my notice at my former job. My executive director gig began January 3 and for the first few months I felt like I was drinking out of a fire hose. So much to learn! So many people to meet! A few organizational changes to make! And a big office move!

By May 1 we had created a new department (Intake) to better serve people seeking counseling. Then it was time to turn our attention to moving our Nashville Center. The building we’d been housed in for 32 years recently sold and is going to be torn down soon. It is a beautiful, almost 100 year old house that was in great need of repair. I’m sad to see it torn down, but the new owners have other plans for the land. #sadface.  Once we found new, affordable space several colleagues and I began going through closet after closet, file after file, to determine was was to be kept and what was to be shredded according to HIPAA standards. It was a mammoth task that took weeks to complete.


The office move involved a little dust.

We moved the center last week and I feel a huge sense of relief.

Looking back on the last eight months, I realize I’ve gone through a process that will give me more empathy for my coaching clients. I’ve been working far outside of my comfort zone as I’ve never before served as a nonprofit executive director. While there have been days of self doubt, this experience has also brought be closer to God because I need to rely on His guidance for the next right thing to do. My morning prayers include a request for wisdom and discernment.

While there is still plenty on my Insight plate and I have coaching clients to serve, this week I feel as though I’m coming up for air. I look forward to re-engaging with this blog and I hope you’ll re-engage with me.

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Confessions About Clutter

2017 has already brought me positive change. I started a new job on January 3 (more about that in an upcoming post), I am continuing to work with my fabulous life and career coaching clients, I am back at the gym following two separate and equally painful tendonitis episodes and I am…

Recommitting to tackling household clutter.

I embarked on a decluttering mission a year or so ago. I was following a schedule that I found online. It involved one 15 minute mission a day, every day for a year. At the end of the year, the home will be clutter-free. It’s a great schedule, but it didn’t work for me. I am not a 15-minute-a-day person. I am a several-hours-over-the-weekend person. Once I got clear on how I best work, I decided to make 2017 the year I go into attack mode. I’m starting with my kitchen. My first session involved taking everything out of a cabinet, throwing away outdated items or items I know I’ll never use, and organizing what remains. Know what I found the most of?


Lots and lots of spices.

I probably have four tins of chili powder and multiple tins of other spices. It was just too easy to pick up a spice from the store instead of checking my inventory to see if I already have it. I ended up buying a storage container to hold everything. I have told myself I am not allowed to buy another spice until I use up what I already have. I’m making chicken fajitas tonight and, no surprise, I already have every spice needed for the seasoning.

Here are photos of my spice collection.


The storage situation is not ideal, but all of those containers are corralled into one place. As I use up spices, I’ll step down to a smaller bin.

I’ve had two kitchen decluttering sessions and I only need one or two more before that room is finished. Afterward I’ll move on to another room. The sense of accomplishment and increased space is motivating me to continue on. I’ve taken several boxes of unused kitchen items to the thrift store and I now have space to stow away small appliances I only use weekly. The extra counter space is refreshing!

Why am I telling you this and why in the world am I showing you my spice clutter? Because I want you encourage you to rid yourself of any shame you may be feeling about the state of your home. If you deal with clutter, here are my “coach’s thoughts” on tackling it.

  • Be gentle with yourself. My clutter didn’t appear in one day and it won’t disappear over night. I am choosing to celebrate my accomplishments, one decluttering session at a time. I’m not setting a deadline on when my project must be completed. I’ve only made a commitment to work on it a bit each week.
  • Be clear on your work style. Those 15-minute a day online guides are great if that is the way you work. Otherwise, design a plan that fits your style. (Again, I’m a weekend warrior.)
  • If you’d like help, hire a professional organizer to work with you. I co-present workshops with a professional organizer and I can assure you, organizers keep what they see and hear in the strictest of confidence. You can “air your dirty laundry” to them just as you can a coach.
  • Look online for motivation. Here’s one of my favorite blogs on minimalism.

I’d love to get a conversation going about how you have tackled (or are tackling) clutter. Please leave your tips in the comments section. Sharing your successes will help others!


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A thought as we begin a new year


I’ve been seeing a lot of stuff online about how awful 2016 has been. Thanks to celebrity deaths, election outcomes, riots…the list goes on,  social network posters are anxiously awaiting 2017 in hopes things will magically get better.

Here’s a little secret. While January 1, 2017 is a natural time to enjoy that “clean slate” feeling, it really is just one day past 2016…that year so many people seem to feel was cursed. The act of flipping a calendar page has no magic qualities unless something else changes.


  • I have to listen to people whose opinions differ from mine. I mean really listen to understand, and not just listen to prepare my “gotcha” response.
  • I have to remember that if someone disagrees with me, that doesn’t mean I have to hate that person. One of my favorite fellow church members and I are polar opposites when it comes to many social issues and yet, we’d do anything for each other.
  • I have to seek constructive, not destructive, ways to affect change.
  • I must remember Proverbs 15:1 A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.

And so, friends, as we prepare to ring-in 2017, I leave you with one of my favorite quotes:

Be the change you wish to see in the world.–Mahatma Gandhi




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Snapshot Saturday: December 10, 2016 (My Saturday Surprise)

This is a busy weekend for me with lots of great stuff and few margins (I love my margins). I have a college graduation party for my fabulous niece, I’m hosting hub’s birthday bowl-a-thon, I’m teaching Sunday School, my church welcomes a new pastor and my Sunday School class is having its Christmas party (I’m supposed to bring a crock pot of chili).  And just for good measure, hubs wants us to go see one of his favorite guitarists who’s in town this weekend. We’ll have to see about that.

Anyway, I had exactly two unstructured hours this morning and I decided to finish winterizing my roses. According to the calendar I’m right on schedule, but according to the temperatures I’m woefully behind. It felt good to complete the task. And I was rewarded with THIS.


This bloom of Dick Clark survived last night’s below-freezing temperatures. My Dick Clark rose bush is special to me. This was my first rose purchase. Nationally known rosarian Sam Jones sold it to me at a garden festival. At the time, I had no idea who Sam was. As far as I knew, he was just a nice guy volunteering for the Nashville Rose Society. Once I joined the society, I began to learn more about this giant in my midst. We was a patient teacher who loved seeing newbies like me get bitten by the rose growing bug. He was never too busy to take a call. In fact, this spring I called him in a state of panic because I had  to prune my roses so severely I was sure I’d killed them. He assured me I hadn’t and about two weeks later little green shoots appears on all of my plants, proving Sam was right.

Sam died suddenly a few months ago. I miss him terribly as do rosarians all over the country. This morning while working in freezing temperatures, I enjoyed this little “hello” from him.

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Snapshot Saturday: 11/26/16 Final Blooms

Nashville has had two evenings of below freezing temperatures. That means between now and December 15, rosarians will be winterizing our roses. This is not my favorite task. Last year I felt compelled to winterize all of my babies in one session. It was exhausting. This year I’m breaking things up and will work on a few at a time over the next few weekends. Before getting started on today’s winterizing session I walked to the rose bed, camera in hand. I’m thrilled to see a few final blooms.

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How Long Will the Blooms Last?

The temperatures are finally cooling off in Nashville. A first frost can’t be far away. I still have some rose blooms. Most of them look sad due to the drought and my inability to be at home during daylight hours in order to water the rose bed. I have some buds; I wonder if they will be able to open before the temperatures take a deep dive. For now, I’ll enjoy what I have.


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Gray Pride

It finally happened. Friday night hubs and I went out for a quick bite. We were offered the Senior Discount…

…without asking for it.

I’m not gonna lie; it stung a bit. Not because I don’t like saving money; it stung because for the first time someone openly  acknowledged that what is seen on the outside doesn’t match how I feel on the inside. Inside I feel like a 25-year-old (well, on most days). On the outside I look like who I am, a woman in her 50s. I’ve never asked for a senior discount because frankly, I forget that many businesses entitle me to have one. I just don’t feel “that old.”

Now, let me be the first to say, there’s nothing wrong with being a woman in her 50s. I wouldn’t go back to being in my 30s or 40s for  ANYTHING. Many of us in our 50s have become comfortable in our own skin. We have a new-found confidence that can only come from circling the block a few times. I can now have difficult business and personal conversations that at one time would have terrified me. I no longer define myself by what others think of me. I’ve grown from hard knocks. I’ve peeled away some onion layers. I’ve shed some skin. Name the age-related euphymism and I’ve done it. I bet you have to.

Sure, I can do some things to look younger. I can get in better shape; I’m working on that. I could color my gray streaks, but I’d rather become a silver fox. I could get a facelift, but I’m too cheap and I’m not crazy about the look some people have following one too many procedures.

Instead, following a weekend of thinking about it, I’ve allowed that well-meaning young lady who rang up our Zalad orders to remind me to embrace the aging process. I’ll always want to put my best face forward even as that means crows feet, laugh lines (I want to earn lots of those), a sagging neck and a mane full of silver.

Now that the little shock has worn off, I think it’s time to own my Gray Pride. Who’s with me?

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Snapshot Saturday: 10-29-16

It’s been a week full of good stuff (I taught a two-day intensive Fund Raising Boot Camp for Nashville’s Center for Nonprofit Management) and one big stressor. While driving to a friend’s house Thursday night, I hit a deer. Yesterday I had a tension headache All. Day. Long. I had intended to work on a couple of upcoming workshops but instead I was on the phone with the insurance company, and later I took my still driveable but quite damaged car for an appraisal. The car’s in the shop, I’m in a rental and I am grateful I wasn’t hurt. As for the deer, she fled the scene of the accident so I can only hope she’s ok.

This morning I decided I’d had a busy week and a rest is in order. I did some light work on one of the workshops and then I did what I encourage my coaching clients to do: something for self. As you can guess, for me that means going outside and visiting my babies. Enjoy.

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Snapshot Saturday: 10/22/16

Hubs and I were out of town last weekend and with the days getting shorter, by the time I get home from the office each evening there hasn’t been enough daylight left for me to spend quality time in the rose bed. Today I’m traveling to Lexington, KY, to attend a funeral. Before hopping in the shower I wanted to step outside and take a look at my babies. It wasn’t light enough to photograph without a flash. So here are my first rose pictures, hastily shot, using flash photography.

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What is CIMO?

Many articles have been written about FOMO: the Fear Of Missing Out. I recently read a piece on JOMO: the Joy of Missing Out. That one was written for Introverts like me. While I don’t suffer from FOMO, I don’t think I feel joy when missing a social activity.

I think I have CIMO: Content In Missing Out. Allow me to explain.

Hubs and I had a trip planned for the first weekend of this month. A work commitment popped up and I needed to stay in town. We searched for another weekend in October (it was an anniversary/Halloween mash up, so it needed to happen in October.) Due to a family birthday celebration later in the month our only option was last weekend. As it happened, I had friends coming in town for an annual reunion. I agonized for a bit, then decided to compromise. I would spend Thursday evening with my friends, and the rest of the weekend would be all about Halloween fun with hubs.

Thursday evening with my reunion crew was filled with laughter. Then hubs and I spent the weekend at Cedar Point amusement park in Sandusky, Ohio. The trip was fantastic in every way, from unseasonably mild weather, to a free rental car upgrade, to my having TSA Precheck boarding passes. My Achilles tendonitis was calm enough that I could walk around without too much discomfort.

Once back home I learned that a friend I haven’t seen in about 15 years surprised the crew by arriving on Friday. I was happy everyone got to see him and I enjoyed hearing how he pulled off the surprise. (It involved dressing in costume and wandering around Pancake Pantry, the annual Friday brunch location.) But at no time did I feel remorse that I wasn’t in town. In other words, there was no FOMO. I also didn’t feel joy that I missed the visit, so there was no JOMO.

What I felt was perfect contentment. I was glad my friends had such a great time and I was equally glad hubs and I had a wonderful weekend. In other words, I felt CIMO. And for me, CIMO is just perfect.

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