The dots are back after a hiatus, the first time in five-and-a-half years that I did not publish daily dots. Many might think that I took a break for the holidays, and how I wish that were true. Instead, in those two weeks, we moved my mom to an in-patient hospice facility, told stories until the end, and then held her funeral. I am still trying to process it all.

When I was staring at the computer screen the day before I joined my family at the hospice facility, I debated long and hard about whether to continue the dots or not. I did not want to break the streak of 2026 consecutive posts or back down on the commitment to myself to write every single day. In the end, I decided that these were extraordinary times and taking a break was the wisest course of action, not just an excuse because I did not feel like writing.

It is hard to know when to push through and when to pause. For me, admitting that I needed a break was difficult, but it was definitely the right option. During the last two weeks I had no mental capacity to write or words of wisdom to share, and not having to worry about publishing dots was the one source of stress that I could relieve.

As you welcome the new year, cut yourself some slack. Your wisest resolution may be to stop doing something or to go on hiatus. Saying no is often harder than saying yes, but sometimes it is the only right answer.

I'm the chief connector at leadership dots where I serve as "the string" for individuals and organizations. Like stringing pearls together to make a necklace, "being the string" is an intentional way of thinking and behaving – making linkages between things that otherwise appear random or unconnected – whether that be supervising a staff, completing a dissertation or advancing a project in the workplace. I share daily leadership dots on my blog to provide examples of “the string” in action. I use the string philosophy through coaching, consulting and teaching to help others build capacity in themselves and their organizations. I craft analogies and metaphors that help people comprehend complex topics and understand their role in the system. My favorite work involves helping those new to supervision or newly promoted supervisors build confidence and learn the skills necessary to effectively lead their team.

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