Where are you now? And what could be next?

May 7, 2024 | Ryan's Blog

May 7, 2024 – Let’s cheer a hearty “Happy Birthday” to my amazing mom, Helen Leary, who turns 89 today!! And with a huge smile on her face too!! How I wish I could celebrate in person with you, but this will have to do, Mother!

Current musings:

Everything has its season…

A month or so ago in this newsletter, I described my past passion for doing triathlons and that my hubby and I are now doing 5k races together. This past weekend we did the HEB Sunshine Run 5k in downtown Austin, a race that creates funding for the amazing Sunshine Camps, whose mission is to eliminate the barrier of money so more kids can attend summer camp. (LOVE THIS!!)

Historically, the Sunshine Run holds a special place in my heart because about 10 years ago I volunteered as a Girls on the Run (GOTR) coach at my kid’s elementary school. GOTR is another fantastic volunteer-led after school program for 3rd-5th graders that combines training for a 5k with a social-emotional learning (SEL) curriculum. Twice a week, we would meet after school to train the girls for a 5k in December and again for the May race (the Sunshine Run). As a boy mom, I especially treasured some “girl time”!

Last Sunday, my heart glowed as I saw in vibrant living color that the program is going strong! There were girls in GOTR t-shirts everywhere and I spied their coaches cheering them on, running backwards sometimes when the girls lagged, and supporting them with their energy and words of encouragement. It took me back to all the feels of when I was called “Coach Ryan”. I’m beaming right now as I remember that…and I sometimes bump into girls who still call me that! They’re grown-up now, and lots of them still run! Good times. (I’m picturing, you, Caroline C!)

During the race, I had time in my head to ponder, “why did I stop coaching with GOTR?” If I loved it as much as I did, why did I stop? Hmmm…

Then I remembered: everything has a season in our lives and sometimes we let good things go so we can move on. And when we move on, we open up space for new people, programs, and experiences!

When you’re really into something (like when I was playing the part of “Coach Ryan”), you can’t possibly picture NOT being part of that thing! You’re fully immersed and it’s the best thing ever. But then, you evolve, and sometimes, you change lanes and do something else.

The cool thing is that you keep the memory that lovely experience with you even after you’re not active in that thing anymore. That’s EXACTLY what I felt doing the Sunshine Run and witnessing the goodness of the Girls on the Run! (“So much fun!” was the call-and-response we used…it was fantastic)

I have cycled through many, many things in my life and my career (shocking, I know!!!) and here are some significant highlights:

  • I was a full-time Spanish teacher and LOVED IT, but then I became a full-time mom and retired from school teaching.
  • Then I started and maintained a booming Spanish tutoring side-hustle, but I wound that down after 13 years.
  • I offered an after-school elementary level Spanish class for a few years, but that ran its course.
  • Along came the GOTR opportunity, and I coached for many years, until I handed over the reins.
  • I was a multi-year board member of our sweet neighborhood association (NOT AN HOA!), but after years of that, I was done.
  • I was a founding admin for both my old and current neighborhood’s Buy Nothing Project Facebook Groups, until I passed the torch to the new admins.
  • Before Covid I started an in-home professional organizing business (Love Your Space Organizing) helping overwhelmed women tackle overwhelming spaces, but then…March 2020…yeahhhh
  • During Covid I was all-in on my YouTube channel “The Nonprofit Shout Out Interview” where we connected with Executive Directors of as many nonprofits as we could schedule, until that stopped being a good use of my time and energy.
  • I heartily served on the board of the Austin Chapter of NAPO (the National Association of Organizing and Productivity Professionals) until it was time to roll off
  • I had a multi-year stint as a Paper Solution™ Certified Organizer with Organize365 until it was time to move on.

So many things!! Each one of those experiences lives on my heart and soul and makes me part of who I am.

And, as you probably guessed, I’m not done yet!

My current cycle of cultivating and coaching my Find FOCUS Mentorship group (established in 2020!) and serving as a Kolbe™ Certified Consultant (starting in 2022) is deeply meaningful to me. Helping others get out of their own way and get more done in their own natural way lights me up!

Have I finally figured out what I want to be when I grow up??

So I invite you, to take some self-reflection time and identify what cycles you’ve gone through, and then examine what cycle you’re currently in. Is there something you should consider letting go or updating? Is there space in your life for that thing you’re considering adding?

We can do anything, but we can’t do everything…at least not at the same time!

Currently grateful for:

In the theme of Mother’s Day, I’m grateful for mothers, (all 3 of mine) and all the mothers out there. We run the world.

PS Here’s a tip for a clutter-free, no-lead-time-needed Mother’s Day gift: make a donation in honor of your mother to a meaningful nonprofit!

Current offerings (and my current tool):

**Another timely update about our Digital Decluttering Workshop: Thanks to my go-to-techy team member Bridget, she is hot on the trail to figuring out how to reestablish the ability to stream from Zoom into our private CALM Collaborative Facebook group…so worry not, our always free, always helpful Digital Decluttering with Friends is safe!

Do join us this Thursday, at the same time as always, 12p CDT! Let’s get back into playing with Google Tasks…because this TOOL is checking the boxes for me big time!! (tee hee)

Let’s rule our to do lists, instead of the other way around. How does that sound to you?

Got QUESTIONS or SUGGESTIONS? Click here to book a CALMplimentary chat!

Ryan 🙂


My name is Ryan…

I love teaching people how to let go of the crazy and live a less stressful life. My book The CALM Method: A Guide to Ditch Last-Minute Living is full of guidance and tips for you, but the real magic is in our community. The Find FOCUS Membership is a great place to get more done alongside your peeps!!!

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