Combating the February doldrums with action
By Barrett Krise, senior philanthropic advisor at The Community Foundation for Greater Atlanta
I have never much liked the month of February. There’s something about the shortest month that always seems to drag to me; the dreary weather, the downtime after holiday celebrations, the long stretch until Atlanta blooms into spring. It brings to my mind the Doldrums from one of my favorite books, The Phantom Tollbooth: “The Doldrums, my young friend, are where nothing ever happens and nothing ever changes. People who don’t pay attention often get stuck in the Doldrums.” 1
I was meeting with a donor recently and she asked me what was new and exciting in Atlanta. As I started to answer her—the Atlanta Beltline, Krog Street Market, Wonderroot’s new Center for Arts and Social Change, Ponce City Market, Atlanta Habitat for Humanity’s new Family Support Center and ReStore—we both remarked on how exciting it was in Atlanta right now. There is such an energy and vibrancy happening in Atlanta and the metro region that it’s palpable. What to do about that though? As we head into February why don’t we fight those doldrums? Let’s push ourselves to pay attention, to do something. Why not reach out to that organization you’ve supported for years and see if you can volunteer with them? Maybe do a philanthropic audit and take a look back through the gifts you made last year and see how you can more deeply engage with some of those organizations? Now that the holidays are over and Super Bowl is done, perhaps now is a good time to return your attention to the community around you and give it your energy. The best way to combat those doldrums is to join in and be a part of something bigger.
1 The Phantom Tollbooth by Norton Juster