Over the next several weeks, I will be very active in transitioning leadership of the organization I founded to its new executive. There will be scores of details to address, skeletons to exhume, and introductions to make. Today, I am hitting the pause button on my regular blog posts. This current post is the 100th consecutive weekday post in 20 weeks.
I have been writing about my encore work, community development. I have written about disillusionment, disinterest, reconciliation, and aging. My posts have addressed empathy, adhesion, intent, and pride. Along the way, I have provided a picture of my own personal history and the sense of wonder I have been reclaiming as I reflect on the three decades I have been with my late spouse, Paul Mandracchia.
My friends — even those who read this blog — continue to ask me what my encore is. I have gotten accustomed to this because culturally we have confused our work with our jobs. To clarify again, my work will continue to be community development. My job, however, is changing as I move from daily leadership of an agency to contract and volunteer activities that will be selected for their congruence with my interests and the increased flexibility I am seeking.
The ongoing violent attacks on African American people in Missouri, Maryland, New York, Wisconsin, and South Carolina continue to deeply affect me and challenge me to devote the daily attention that writing demands. I do not plan to stop writing, but rather I am changing the pace of this discipline for a while.
By way of hitting the pause button, I have posted a piece on community development around a gallery exhibition of Paul’s work. The post resides at Paul and Gary Get Married.