Friday, January 27, 2012


Contribution.   This is my word/goal/resolution for 2012.

I know,  it's kind of late to be posting resolutions.   I had started writing this much earlier but hadn't solidified where I was going with it so it languished in a 'later' folder.   This week has been a week of grieving for our family, which has me again thinking about what I want my life to mean.   I still don't know how I will accomplish the goal, but thought I'd better at least set my intentions before the whole year gets away from me.

For the past two years I have spent a lot of time looking inward.   A lot of time trying to heal trauma.   A lot of time healing myself.   But I did not do this alone.   I have been blessed with an incredible partner, great employer and many patient, supportive friends who have stuck with me through this journey.  And now that I have myself together (sort of) it is time to think about giving back and making a contribution -

To my Profession
I have been blessed to work in a profession I love, one that feels more like play than work.   Not only has it given me financial security but also has allowed me to learn from some pretty awesome people along the way.  Last year I helped teach a graduate course at the local university.   I discovered that I didn't like lecturing in a classroom.   But I loved being out in the field with eager students tackling real life situations.   This year I hope to find creative ways to share my love of integrating the natural environment in all development with folks just starting out in the profession.

To Martha
In many ways our relationship is on auto pilot.  Without much thought we kiss each other good morning, go through our individual days, at some point share the good and the bad of it, and then kiss each other good night.   We are that old comfortable pair of slippers you read about.   For the past two years Martha has given me a lot of leeway to do the therapy work I needed to do.   Now I want to find ways to give back to her and to crank our relationship up a notch. 

To my Community
I grew up in a culture of volunteerism.  But what I hope to accomplish in this new year goes beyond simply volunteering my time, driving people places when they need go,  helping the elderly grocery shop or serving on boards.   I am looking to drill down deeper and find ways to make more meaningful, personal contributions to the people and place I call home.

To survivors
Many years ago I thought it would be a good idea to volunteer at a rape crisis center.  After all, I thought I understood the crisis and could help other women through the life altering changes.   I attended the first training session, lasted about 15 minutes and left, a sputtering ball of fear and anxiety.   I think I am ready to try again.  Through this blog I have "met" fellow survivors and have learned how important it is to share our stories and support each other.    Having finally staggered through all that muck and miraculously reached the other side,   I would like to be a resource to other women just starting to take those steps.

So that's my goal for 2012.   To make a meaningful contribution in different areas of my life.  Obviously I haven't come up with all the ideas yet on how to achieve this goal.  But at least I know what my target is.   



  1. My alma mater is always looking for professionals to give design charettes. It's usually only a 1 or 2 week commitment. Could be perfect for you.

  2. I am very sorry to read that your family has been grieving.

    I will forever be thankful for the contribution you made to reconciling my family. Just one more drop in the ocean you have already given to the 'people and place you call home.'

  3. Contribution is a lovely goal and a worthy one. The wonderful thing about giving back is that the benefit is two-fold. You receive as much or more than the person you are giving to. But, I don't need to tell you that...

    I would say, yes, contribute to the things, people and organizations that are meaningful to you, but work into it gradually. Let things unfold in their own time. You still have much healing to do.


  4. You have already made a big contribution in my life by giving me hope. It is the best gift I have ever received. I think you would be an awesome counselor to other survivors.

  5. It is a wonderful to reach a point in your life where, after careful reflection, you realize you have some wisdom to share. I believe you have knowledge, experience, and a deep understanding for the uncertainties of life. Most of all you have an joyful optimism that through it all, life is good and love is grand.

    I think anyone would be blessed to have you for a mentor, friend or counselor.

  6. One more person who you helped would like to thank you again.

    All wonderful gifts in a ministry you have been giving all along right here.

    Hugs for the grief--the changes are not easy to reconcile. Blessings to you and your family.