Barbara Fagan
2 min readSep 21, 2021

This is my first blog since my summer hiatus. I truly unplugged these last few months, spending most of my time in the mountains. Very little email. Very little structure. My daily exercise and living routine went out the window. It was replaced with hiking, gatherings with friends and family, swimming in cold alpine lakes and rivers, and even some 4-wheeling in a new Jeep.

Barbara and friends on a Jeep trip in the Sierras
Jeep adventure with some friends.

The Caldor Fire brought it to an abrupt and earlier-than-planned end. For about a week in August I thought it was likely my cabin by the lake would burn down. It came VERY close, but the extraordinary efforts of the firefighters kept it away.

A lot has changed for me since I started this summer break. Most impactfully, I’ve just started a master’s program. After years of thinking about returning to school, I’ve finally taken the plunge. I’m pursuing a degree in East-West Psychology at the California Institute of Integral Studies. It’s purely for personal development and growth. I’m already behind in my reading. 😊

I’m happy to be back with my colleagues at ROI and re-engaging, while also sad that the last weeks of my break were not as anticipated. However, I’m grateful that my cabin is still standing! Bittersweet.

We have some exciting changes happening at ROI that I’ll be sharing in the coming weeks.

It is taking a bigger effort than expected for me to get back into the swing of work while simultaneously starting a graduate program, all after a relatively carefree summer. I realize that I need to keep my commitments manageable, and so I’ve decided not to dive right back into this blog.

This is truly a bittersweet decision. I’ve missed the discipline of my blog. It keeps my eyes open during the week and inevitably inspires research and learning. I also love the connection that it creates with so many friends and family members. However, now is not the time. I’m not sure when I’ll be ready to resume the blog in earnest. I will check in now and then when I have some news or a particular inspiration.

In the meantime, I’d love to hear how you are doing if you are so inspired to reply. Thank you to those who have already connected with me.

With gratitude and some sadness (bittersweet),

Barbara Fagan-Smith
Chief Catalyst, Living ROI



Barbara Fagan

Founder and CEO of ROI Communication and the Chief Catalyst for Living ROI. She is committed to helping people and organizations bring their best to the world.