I'm a leaper, always have been. I jump in with both feet. I have driven a few people crazy that way, including my very cautious, methodical husband. I can't help it. I get excited! And my imagination sees growth and opportunity every which way.
When I first started having health problems, back in the mid-1990s, I knew I needed to slow down. And I did! Well, for a while. I was a full-time mom for a full year in 2000-2001. Then I volunteered in the kids' classrooms. Then became room mother. Baked cookies in the shape of California with geographically color-coded icing. Joined the parent club. Became president. Took a job in the library. Started a middle-school parent club. Got active in the church youth group. Became the youth admin. asst. Went to work full time at church, joined choir, joined worship band, joined bible study ... you see how it goes. By the end of my chapter in Placer County, I was working full time at the church, rehearsing two nights a week, catering on weekends, taking freelance admin and writing jobs, and home-schooling both kids.
Anyway, I just say all that to illustrate how I get caught up in projects. And I love every minute of it. Of course, now I have more and bigger health limitations, and it really is important for me to pace myself. I have about two good energy hours a day, and the rest of the time I sit at my desk, hatching plans to change the world.
Today I was meeting with staff of the county's waste management program. Like all counties, we desperately need to reduce landfill waste. They're very interested in introducing us to stores, caterers, restaurants, and businesses that serve food. They come up against a brick wall when businesses say they don't have resources to deliver food to donation sites. Hand them my postcard and that excuse is shot down. She also mentioned a Metro program (three counties) that needs a shot in the arm. OK, shot in the arm we will be. We have five food donations a day on average. Why not just make that 20? Or 50? Same work, different scale, nothing to it.
The thought for this post came as I was leaving that meeting, walking very carefully back to the parking lot. I have a tendency to trip and fall -- when I'm not paying attention, I don't lift my feet high enough. I'm hyper-aware when I'm alone, because I know if I fall, I might not be able to get up. So careful, small steps. Focus. Breathe.
It's an interesting sensation to walk cautiously with your feet while your mind is leaping into the future and imagining flow charts and guidelines for passing on to the next city, once we work out all the kinks in Portland. Leap! Careful. Excitement! Slow down. Imagine! Use the knees. Dream! Don't fall. Change the world! One step at a time.
Susie Snortum is passionate about improving society's compassion for meeting basic human needs -- food, shelter, clean water, and dignity.