Monday, June 11, 2012

Ten Years Later



Last Wednesday I walked into a work setting I had walked out of ten years ago. 

I had been a consultant to a department of twenty people or so. I answered questions, gave opinions, and helped them make decisions, as much as possible based on what I called "soft landings." I stressed fairness and creativity in their work and mine, which involved interviewing and understanding and then evaluating what was real and relevant for people who had encountered some kind of significant illness or disability. And before I left I had a chance to teach those principles to the whole organization--about 200 people in five U.S. locations.

Ten years later. I walked into that office and reconnected with probably ten people I hadn't had even one contact with in all this time. And it was wonderful. 

Forgive me, I don't say this to brag. But one after another they told me I made a difference. They told me they have never forgotten what they had learned from me. 

Many showed me little doodads I had given them: a little inspirational postcard, a little wind up toy, a clear extra large glass marble I had given everyone for Christmas, a little plaque of a shooting star. I had forgotten that I made this part of my consulting presence: I'd bring interesting or inspirational objects to my desk and if somebody liked it, I'd give it away.

Ten years later. There was more. Every single person I embraced looked BETTER than they did ten years ago. The age range varied, probably from 35 to 50; people had married and divorced and had children and battled illnesses and faced loses. And they looked good.

Maybe the best part was the smiles. We were so glad to see each other.

This is a crew that I will now do a little more consulting work for, with pleasure.

But most of all, they told me I had made a difference.

I am paid well to do this kind of work, but nothing mattered more to me then, or now, than making a difference. 

Ten Years Later: I went 'home' again and I'll be damned, it was pretty swell.

Love
kj

27 comments:

  1. That's a good feeling, to know that you made a positive difference in the lives of people. I'm smiling.

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  2. And I'm sure you looked better too - this is a lovely story!

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    1. Haha Mim, the answer is NO! Too much weight gain :-( but the weight of my smile was just right xoxo

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  3. Exciting time! To be back with people who were important to you, and who still are. And to re-connect so powerfully and quickly.

    Blessings and Bear hugs as you set out on this process in a new/old place!

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  4. what a feeling you must have had kj! awesome.

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  5. It does not amaze me at all that they said you made the difference, but I am very amazed about the fact that those people were still working there after ten years? In this time of half years contracts, flexworking and jobhopping?

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    1. Wieneke, with few exceptions no one had left. This is a large insurance company in a small state, a throwback to when security was part of the package. I was surprised too ♥

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  6. I thought I was the only one who was damned when they went back home...it was OK though. Whenever I pissed my biological father off it was indicative I was on the right path.

    So let me get this straight kj you gave trinkets and changed people? Doesn't that sound sort of like how Manhattan was originally purchased? ha ha ha ha ha!

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    1. Mark, the skill sets were subtle, the trinkets were metaphor :-)

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  7. how lovely to have this opportunity to hear how you made a difference in everyone's life. a wonderful, healing experience. healing of the spirit and soul. hugs, suki

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  8. So glad the trip went SUPER, and that there was that instant reconnect with the workers there.
    I think, above all else, when we can see a small gesture we made (and it might seem insignificant at the time) has had a positive impact down the road, well, that is prosperity. The heart is full and soars.
    Very happy for you!
    And THEM too. :-)

    XXOO~~
    Anne

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  9. So whom ever said "you can't go home again"
    is proven wrong.
    Home can be so many things and places when seen with the heart. ♥

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  10. I never ever go 'back' -never! Not reunions, or old work places, or even old neighbourhoods. Glad it worked out well for you, mostly I think it is all a huge disappointment!

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  11. Awe, sweet! Those are true connections of the human spirit...pick up right where you left off. Then to find out that you made a good difference in their lives...icing on the cake. **happy smiles** Deb

    P.S. Regarding MeowMeow, apparently she prefers a soft butt. I tell ya, that cat is not right in the head.

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    1. Deb, if I have to hear 'but', I prefer it to be soft too. :-)

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  12. You are a difference maker. Period.

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  13. Well come over here then! Embrace me. I have a fold out couch.

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    1. Annie, consider yourself embraced

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  14. That's Wonderful dear friend.I can only imagine what that must have felt like,to have them tell you how much you made a difference.And isnt that what we want..to matter in some way,to help in some way,to be remembered in some way.Well,you always make a difference in my life,with every word..and like them,I am thankful.xox

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  15. I just saw your map...and I see a huge gap in its filling, you have never been to Oregon! So not cool...

    Haha I am glad you had that experience, it is nice to hear positive reinforcement.

    Wander

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    1. Chris, Oregon within the year :-)

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  16. Oh isn't this just the nicest post?!
    Of course you made a difference, that's why we love you ;)
    And I love that picture with quote, that is so true. That is how I did it :) Quitting is always the worst option.
    Must have felt like a warm bath coming there again and to see them all.

    BTW Those boys are growing like cabbages!!!!
    I remember the second was baby Drew , now he is a boy and that little one is getting big also.......my how time flies. Aren´t they just the best cutest bunch?!
    ♥M

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  17. I love this! I'm not surprised you made a difference to so many. That's who you are. Why do you think we're such good friends? And you didn't even have to give me trinkets ;)

    xoxo
    love,
    Lo♥

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    1. Lo, I have a queen Elizabeth bobble head for you

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  18. Sometimes I think making a difference in the lives of others os a great gift we give to ourselves.

    Catching up - how's the less-thinking going?

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  19. oh darlin kj I'm not in the least bit surprised that you influenced people in such a positive way....well done girl...and I know just your presence and wisdom will continue to do this... The comment about them looking better...I wonder why that is....what an interesting observation!

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  20. What a lovely read today! I'm not a bit surprised you made such a difference; that's who you are...a loving teacher and friend. xx

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