A DROP FOR YOUR BUCKET: Do What You Can and Can What You Can’t

Until today, I officially ran ONLY ONCE since the Rock N Roll 5K at the end of October, but I’ve been doing nothing but running around. It has been wonder-full as much as it has been busy. This time of year is full of looking back, looking forward, and looking around.

Our hope for this year’s Christmas season at My Refuge House is to make sure that everyone feels invited and a part of our family. It’s the kick off to our 10th anniversary year in 2018, and big anniversaries are meant to celebrate and honor everyone who has ever been a part of helping us get this far.

I’ve learned so much over the last 2.5 years as CEO. Sometimes this means that certain things take less time because I’ve done them before. Sometimes it means that certain things take more time because I want to do them better. Sometimes it means there’s less to do because I’m wiser about what needs to be done. Usually it means there’s more to do because I’ve gotten to know more of you, I’ve developed more opinions and ideas about how I hope we’re connecting, and I’ve moved from the honeymoon phase into the honey-do phase.

It is an exciting place to be, but my to-do list can sometimes be a little overwhelming. For the times when it feels overwhelming, I’ve come up with a personal motto:


I grew up in the country with a lot of canning of pickles, jellies, beans, etc. In theory and in my mind, this helps me be OK with setting some limits and just doing what I can. The rest will keep until later.

For example, about 200 MRH Christmas cards are sitting in a corner of my living room waiting to be sealed and mailed…I’d hoped to have them out on Wednesday, but they got canned and shelved until today. The beautiful thing about being a small non-profit is that I am intimately involved in nearly every aspect. I’m getting better at remembering this when I have moments when I am canning parts of my to-do list.

I ran the South Pasadena Tiger Run 5K today. I almost canned it because I haven’t been training. I’m glad I didn’t.

IMG_7072I ran in my community with a dear friend. I ran wearing a Christmas running shirt and a Tiger hat…I told anyone who would listen that I was “ferociously festive for education”. Today is also the International Day for the Abolition of Slavery, so in my mind I ran today to remind myself and make the statement that I am an active advocate for education.  I advocate for education of our girls because education opens the door to possibility. I advocate for education of my fellow humans so each of us we can do something to make our world a place that no longer tolerates enslavement of other fellow humans.

Thank you.

Because of your encouragement and support, I keep at it. Even when I feel like I’ve canned something for too long, you remind me that it is never too late to pull something of substance off the shelf.

I always love running with friends. Please email me ([email protected]) if you would like to join me for one of my future runs. If you would like to invest in the work of My Refuge House, please click below. However you engage with us, it is important. Thank you for being part of our journey and doing what you can.

Heather Headshot

Heather Bland CEO, My Refuge House

Inspired by How Full Is Your Bucket?, A Drop For Your Bucket offers a somewhat stream of conscious peek into my brain and heart during my training “adventures”. Between my 40th birthday in October of 2017 and the 10th anniversary of My Refuge House in September of 2018, I will run 10 different races. My hope is to gather friends along the way who will either run with me or cheer us on as we raise awareness about the journey of My Refuge House! I hope you will receive at least drop of inspiration in each of these raw reflections. Thank you for reading and pondering.