The phantom storm was no phantom storm further east. On our way home from Sita and Jim we passed through Worcester which had fresh snow on the ground and the trees. It got even heavier further east.

Back home the storm was in full swing. Axel scraped my car clean, turned it around ready for going to work on Monday morning for an all-day retreat with our learning organization team on how to turn MSH into a learning organization. We had gotten some expert advice from a local consulting firm that has much experience working with organizations like us that are trying to tackle ‘wicked’ problems.

“A wicked problem has no definite formulation of the problem, no clear solutions or end points, no immediate or ultimate test of the solution and problems are intertwined in such a way that any given problem, and its interactions with others, will open doors and windows to still other problems.” (From Michael Quinn Patton, Developmental Evaluation, 2011:253). So there you have it. This is my work.

I decided to work from home the rest of the week to bite through a whole slew of assignments that are all coming close to their deadlines. On Tuesday I made some headway but today I had one telephone call after another, and other unexpected stuff landed on my plate requiring immediate action. I did not get a whole lot closer to my goal today and am exhausted from the efforts to keep my head above the water. No more complaints about not enough work – I am nearly drowning.

I have one more day of work at home to make a dent in the pile that is staring me in the face: leadership strategy setting, a one-day event in DC on Friday where I am supposed to present something meaningful on slides; a trip to Zanzibar, continuous multiple doctors’ visits, coaching, training of trainers of basic wheelchair services, a large global meeting in Uganda and another, as large, in DC 6 weeks away. Plus a few requests that have to do with being auditable, paper trails and such.

In some ways, my daily life is the victory of what the women’s movement worked towards – professional and personal fulfillment, as a worker, wife, mother and grandmother. Last night Axel, Tessa and I watched an extraordinary documentary about the women’s movement, from way back, through its heyday in the 60s and 70s, its downfall during Reagan and Phyllis Schlafly (my Planned Parenthood years). Tessa’s enthusiastic post on facebook made me think that it may have planted a seed that will take the women’s movement out of its hibernation, just waiting for new Glorias and Betties to emerge.

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February 2013
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