The secret of genius is to carry the spirit of the child into old age, which means never losing your enthusiasm.                     Aldous Huxley

For 2021 I am taking on the theme of living life enthusiastically.  I am inspired by my 3 young grandchildren who take on every task, outing, or bit of play with unbridled enthusiasm.  I am inspired by my 86 year old mother who enthusiastically took on a major surgery because she knew it would improve her quality of life.

How would my life look if I took on this type of enthusiasm, not only for the fun or new opportunities, but also for the scary, mundane or distasteful tasks?  Can I sweep the floor with enthusiasm for the sheer enjoyment of a clean house?  Can I pay the bills with enthusiasm, remembering my appreciation for the vendors and service providers? Can I do my work with enthusiasm and see it as a blessing to be able to serve others?  Can I make life more enjoyable by harmonizing with the flow of life?

If it is true that what we put our attention on grows, I am excited to create an intention that inspires me every day to be happy and fully engaged in life.  It is said a wise person loves and receives everything.  Can I be that wise?  Can I allow Divine inspiration to guide me?  These are the questions that I will be pondering as 2021 unfolds.

For the Alliance, I am extremely enthusiastic and hopeful.  We start 2021 with a new Board of Directors, a new Advisory Council, and a new Strategic Plan.  Our Committees have new members and strong leadership with focused goals for the year.  We have you, our dedicated members, who believe in our mission of a healthy economy to fuel a healthy environment and community.  Thank you for being the foundation of the important work of the Alliance in our community.

There will undoubtedly be opportunities and challenges in the year ahead.  We can acknowledge our fear, doubt, and dread.  Rather than over-reacting or giving up, can we meet those struggles and resistance knowing it will make us stronger and healthier?   I go to the gym regularly to use resistance bands and weights to challenge and strengthen my muscles and maintain a healthy body.  Today I am committing to see life with the same dedication and excitement to maintain a healthy mind.

This will be a fresh new year politically both at the federal and local levels with 14 new local council members and 7 new mayors.  The Alliance will reach out to establish personal connections with each jurisdiction.  Additionally, we look forward to a second round of Payroll Protection Program funding to provide support to struggling businesses and those families most in need.

To understand equity in our educational system, our January General Membership Meeting looked deeply into public school funding.  CA spends more money on K-14 education than anything else in our budget, yet we still lag most other states in comparison.  We heard preliminary estimates on 2021 budget impacts and potential school reopening.  We look forward to plans that will return our students to the classroom.

There is important work ahead on many local issues.  We look forward to working together with you to meet these challenges with enthusiasm and hope for a robust future.


What are you grateful for today?

-Marlene,  2021 Sonoma County Alliance President


Nothing great was ever achieved without enthusiasm.           Ralph Waldo Emerson