The year ahead

I’m disappointed tonight, but I shouldn’t be. Today I found out that I was not picked for an international fellowship that I’d been nominated for last December. I won’t be going to Yale University after all.

It was a long shot anyway. But I had stellar letters of reference. A Premier, CEOs, gurus, etc. I have to admit that I had my hopes up there and was told I was a strong candidate. But there was one spot for someone from North America in a group of 18 representing the planet, so the competition was tough.

Next year.

The thing is, the program was only four months and anyone who knows me at all knows that despite all the travel and growth and opportunity I’ve had over the past 2 years, what I long for is perspective. It’s time to have a break from Ottawa, and I was hoping four months in New Haven, CT would provide it.

Nope.

I have to admit, though, that I also feel a bit relieved. Yale would have meant a severely truncated holiday at Walden this summer. It would have meant another year of delay in the reno at the cottage. It would have required Suzy to take a leave just months after getting a great new job. We would have had to uproot the kids to the US, sell the house. It would have meant temporarily stepping aside from One Change at a time when consultants are telling me to keep my hand firmly on the wheel. We’re hiring four new senior managers over the next two months. I should probably stick around.

Perhaps the lesson is that one thing I could not expect to learn at Yale is patience. And that’s really what I need. In just three years I’ve built a multimillion-dollar NGO that’s about to announce its partnership with the UN at a glittering reception at the National Gallery of Canada. I should be happy. I am, in fact.

A few weeks at the cabin with the kids is what’s needed. The tree house needs a roof, and the woods still have a lot to teach. Great perspective.


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