281 Days of Gratitude
I gave notice on Leap Day, pleased and a little scared by the built-in symbolism. Leaving a prestigious job I’d held for nearly ten years, a position in which I had the privilege of supporting brilliant colleagues to infuse millions of dollars into our region’s arts and culture communities — it absolutely felt like a big, frightening leap. Decamping from my 18th-floor corner office was difficult and not only because there was no clear Next Thing. I left behind good friends, a fabulous view, art-filled quarters, my very own Aeron chair. I did it, though. And as the Next Thing begins to take form, I look back on the past nine+ months with considerable gratitude.
Thinking about all the people who have helped me in my search makes me practically buzz with joy.
The list includes:
- Friends from business school, college, high school, and my accountability partner from middle school.
- My gym buddy, who has worked out with me just about every single morning for the past 30 weeks.
- My woods-walking friend and her trusty dog, two of the best listeners out there.
- Three fitness instructors who inspire me to be strong, flexible, centered, and ambitious.
- The friend who ran each step of a 5K alongside me; I know he wanted to go faster!
- My book group women; my neighbors; many former colleagues, clients and vendors; all of whom have provided ideas, connections and unlimited encouragement.
- The hybrid thinkers I met at the Beacon workshop; new friends I met all over, including at Creative Mornings events and on the bus to NYC — the voluntarily retired architect/museum maven and the forcibly retired South Sudanese diplomat/refugee.
- People I might never meet and who have inspired me no end: thought leaders Leo Babauta, Martha Beck, Seth Godin, Chris Guillebeau, Tara Sophia Mohr, and Sree Sreenivasan.
- My family, of course, and also some people who are gone, exemplary humans whose too-early departures from this world helped me realize that there’s no point waiting around to make a change.
With thanks to all the above, I’m as energized as ever. I am grateful for the strength, support, and inspiration they’ve so generously sent my way.