Letter from the President – October 2023

by Collette Leland, Winston & Cashatt, Lawyers
EWI of Spokane Chapter President

Gratitude. It is my thought equivalent of an ear worm lately. My husband and I are part of a family gratitude text chain. While the love of my life can be grateful for the space between the raindrops, my texts are more along the lines of “I’m grateful to be home before 6 on a weeknight.” As in, “I’m grateful to be home by 6, because in case y’all haven’t noticed, I work really, really hard.”  Crikey. No wonder this gratitude thing is bouncing around my brain like Rick Astley’s Never Gonna Give You Up. I’m just not very good at this.

Last week, the theme for the yoga class I attend was “open to grace”. Within the context of our gratitude chain, this little phrase reminds me to see my blessings as blessings, and not just more stuff vying for my time and attention. Yes, working on a committee may be yet another burden on my schedule, but doing good in the world, spending time with folks who want to give back, interacting with people I care about—those are packets of grace, if only I am open to seeing them that way.

So, my intention for October is to embrace my blessings—even if they mean extra time in an already busy schedule. That may mean time showing up for an evening event when my first instinct is to head for home, or joining a committee that I don’t feel I have the skills to contribute to. It could also mean playing hooky to walk in the woods on a sunny fall day. This is clearly a work in progress for me, but I’m working on it. Never gonna give you up. Never gonna let you down… (You’re welcome.)

As a Chapter, we are very good at offering grace to each other. This is a place where you can try a new idea, make a mistake, or be stretched too thin, knowing that folks will be there to assist and to mentor. It is a safe place to be open to possibilities—to turn our gratitude into action, even if we don’t feel particularly equipped to do so. This has allowed us to accomplish some amazing things.

Our work together has produced a new scholarship for non-traditional high school students and full vesting of our fund for returning adult students. We’ve added recruitment and fundraising tools that have allowed us to connect with new members and with each other. We are embarking this month on the addition of a fall Reading Rally to reach elementary students in our community. This has been possible because we have individuals who are willing to stretch, both in terms of time and talent, knowing that our friends at EWI have our backs. Never gonna run around and desert you…

This month, I hope you will join me in being open to the possibilities that EWI presents for growth. Join the Philanthropy Committee on October 26 for our fall Reading Rally; join our award-winning Marketing and Communications Committee; spend a little extra time seeking out new folks at our Chapter meeting. Be open to the grace that life has to offer. Let’s work, grow, succeed, together, with gratitude.