Nan S. Russell
Author & Speaker

All posts in January, 2016


Once there was a young woman who didn’t like her job. Everyday when she came home from work, she told her husband how terrible her day had been, how tiring the work and how unreasonable her boss. “Leave that job,” her husband told her.

“Oh I will” she said. “But not yet. I have too many friends there for me to leave just yet.” And so she complained until the days became years and her family grew to five. “Leave that job,” her children told her. “Oh I will” she said. “But not yet. I have seniority and four weeks vacation I can spend with you. I’m not ready to start over just yet.

And so she remained unhappy at work until the years became decades and her children had children. “Leave that job,” her grandchildren told her. “Oh I will,” she said. “But not yet. There’s only seven more years until I reach thirty years of service and can retire. So I can’t just yet.”

I know this woman. And scores like her. People who (continue reading →)

Winning at Working 

I’m a colleague of Nan’s. I often post here about work, life and sometimes the merging of the two. leap2

By now most of your holiday decorations are put away, gift exchanges are done and New Year’s resolutions (if you do that sorta thing) are already broken. The turning of the calendar brings a clean slate and a year of new possibilities. Yet, I am feeling stuck. There are significant tasks on my proverbial ‘to do list’ to be completed, there are relationships that still need mending, there are friends and relatives yet to be visited and there is a strong probability I could have a Valentine’s Day Tree this year. Maybe you’re feeling the same way?

The question then becomes how to move forward? Of course, the answers are as plentiful as people in the world. It is a personal choice and motivation comes from within. I’m reminded of a popular quote by American naturalist and nature essayist John Burroughs, “Leap and the net will appear.” But what is left unsaid by Burroughs is faith. Merriam-Webster defines faith as “something that is believed especially with strong conviction” and comes from the Latin word fidere – to trust. Hmm …

Today is someday as Nan would say. I need to stop wallowing and start doing. I must – leap, have faith and the net will appear. Baby steps seem like a good way to begin:

Clean out, Throw out – There is lots of opportunity here. That annoying (continue reading →)


WinterI like January. As wonderful as the holiday season is, there’s something about returning to “normal” that January invites. I like its flocked trees and wintry adventures, and the fact that I was born in this month.

I’ve heard my birth story dozens of time: my parents needing to follow a snowplow from Columbia Falls to Whitefish, Montana in blizzard conditions. My mother always claimed that was why I was the last child: too much stress making it to the hospital during their first Montana winter. They’d arrived with my brother the previous summer so my father could work on the Hungry Horse Dam project.

But, I digress. Mostly I like January (continue reading →)

In the Scheme of Things