For the last 24 hours, my organization hit pause and checked-out for a brief retreat.

The investment of resources and staff time to unplug was absolutely worth it. I’m thankful I work at an organization that sees value in planning and reflection.

The Bishops Ranch in Healdsburg hosted us, and its peaceful green hills and tranquil trails were an ideal backdrop for our group’s intense day of strategic planning.

At the end of then day, we had time for individual reflection. We had three questions to guide us: 1) what potential impact excites you the most for the future, 2) what aspect of the organizational culture do you value the most, and 3) what specific thing will you accomplish in the next year?

I sat on in a window over the roof of the second floor and admired the bucolic landscape, and thought about our work.

A quote from a recent KFF video about senior poverty kept coming back to me. A senior summed up his life, getting by with very, very little in West Virginia:

“I whistle on by and do what I can.”

I don’t want poor seniors to have to whistle on by. I want to live in a community where people live their life with choice, dignity and respect. When they age, I want my neighbors and strangers to retain that choice, dignity and respect regardless of how they’ve aged or what they own or their income.

We have so much work to do. And we never have enough time to take care of everything. Still, even though time and resources are ever precious for our small nonprofit, I’m thankful for this day, the retreat, and all the work ahead.


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