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  • Writer's pictureDanielle Lee

Stripping away to see what matters most

Updated: Feb 2, 2021

I hope you are well, safe and warm wherever you are. I am glad you are here with me, reading these words. I am happy that our paths have crossed at some point in the the ebb and flow of our life journey that still connects us here.

The photo below was taken last fall, when wildfires raged across Oregon, with smoke choking our air, and sky changing color from blue to deep orange-red to dusty yellow. Portland, the city I had moved to a few months before that, was on notice to watch out for evacuation alerts. Fortunately for us, no evacuation orders went into effect, but it did make me think about what I would take with me should we have to evacuate at a moment's notice. Aside from packing the obvious survival items, it became a process of contemplating what brings meaning and joy, and stripping away until I was left with what matters most.

I've been thinking quite a bit about this again as I am just resuming my teaching after a long pause in 2020. I want to offer work that matters - to me and to those I want to support. Seth Godin, well known for his ideas on creating work that matters, has a quote that I've been contemplating: “It’s impossible to create work that both matters and pleases everyone.” This is so true. I know that letting go of my past meaningful work is part of doing my current best work. And yet, as I worked on updating my website during the past week, I noticed too many elements in my website that were outdated or aimed at appealing to "everybody." It became immediately clear that I had to create a new website from scratch. A week of stripping away the non-essentials and I now have a brand new website that expresses who I am and how I want to make meaningful work now. For those of you drawn to check it out, the link is here:

Again, I appreciate all of you whose paths have merged with mine in the ebb and flow of our life journey. I am indebted to those of you who have allowed me to guide you throughout my journey as a teacher, even as I was changing and evolving. You have taught me so much. All of you have contributed to my endeavor to "make things better by making better things" (another Seth Godin quote I like).

Sending my heartfelt wishes to each of you for a Happy and most of all healthy and sane New Year!

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