Right Now, A Year Ago

For those of you who haven’t read every word of this blog, including the page The Premise Is Grace, here’s a recap.  My original idea was to write a blog about the succession planning process, right from the middle of it.  So in the spring of 2010, just before I announced my planned departure from my job in June of 2011, I started writing posts for a blog, planning to begin making them public after my retirement as Executive Director of the Coalition was announced.

I wrote, but I didn’t post.  I discussed what I was doing with some Coalition Director friends, and they agreed with my hesitation — though I was writing mostly from my own experiences, what I was writing revealed too much about other people’s reactions.  My friends thought publishing the blog posts a year after they’d been written, with an update on what I was experiencing in my year post-Coalition, would be interesting (to them, especially, to know what it was like to not be working so damn hard) and respectful enough of the people I was writing about.

So I kept writing, though less and less frequently, and then finally just stopped.  Making most of what I was writing public wasn’t going to work no matter when I posted it.  But there are posts on that still-private blog that are worth looking back at, as a counter to what I’m experiencing now.  The short story of what I’m experiencing now is a great sense of relief and freedom.  I stepped off an edge, and there is plenty of ground under my feet.

From October 6, 2010:  I’m at a meeting of the Coalition’s member programs and Peggy is providing an update on the search process.  The amount of energy that’s going into finding my replacement makes me feel guilty.  We have so much other work to do!  Now there’s this whole transition process on everybody’s plate.  Is this the best way to be doing this?  Sue J. asked me last week, when we saw each other in Chicago, did a year’s notice feel too short or too long?  I think the board, staff and member program directors would say, “Not enough time!.”  It’s feeling too long to me.  I’m sitting in the middle of a process that involves me letting go of a huge part of my life, convincing everyone else it’s okay to let go of me, and all of us stepping together off the edge, trusting there will be someplace to put our feet.  I’m feeling so ready to take that step.  And yet, right now, here I am, in it.

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About Grace Mattern

Grace Mattern is a poet, writer, mother, grandmother, partner, friend, family member, gardener, triathlete, hiker and for 30 years was the Executive Director of the NH Coalition Against Domestic and Sexual Violence. She resigned her position at the Coalition on June 15, 2011 in order to concentrate on her writing, while continuing to engage in the movement to end violence against women as a consultant and advisor. Her chapbook Fever of Unknown Origin was published in 2001 and her full-length poetry book The Truth About Death was published in 2012.
This entry was posted in Life Changes, Moving On, Work. Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to Right Now, A Year Ago

  1. Robin Christopherson says:

    relief and freedom are no small things. the opposites are stress and stuck. wonder what you feel in another year? glad that it still feels right and that the “good” feelings are still there, instead of fleeting…

  2. That is so synchronistic. Just today in staff meeting we were reviewing the staff input we formulated last year for the search process. Under “challenges” we had many different ways of saying “the loss of Grace,” “the loss of Grace’s knowledge,” “the loss of Grace’s contacts.” Well, I challenged us to remove that language and move on and say that our challenges have to do with the transition to a new director and no longer refer to it as a “loss.” I think that the staff’s willingness to do that shows that you prepared us well and we are ready to meet the challenges ahead with our own “grace” and dedication. Thank you for all you have done and still do!

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