Maybe it’s just me but I think I’m seeing more than the usual share of Happy ‘Work’ Anniversary messages on LinkedIn this month. Doubtless some of my recruitment friends will either endorse or disprove the theory that more people get new jobs in January than any other month of the year.
I also read a loving, uplifting tribute to a father by Neil Morrison this week. His Dad has turned 70, and Neil’s ‘Lessons in Life’ is a great piece about dignity, trust, wine corks and more. Real birthdays beat work birthdays hands down.
Neil’s post put me in mind of my Dad, and then it hit me that he died two years ago today. In the immediate aftermath I wrote about aspects of loss several times, and then disappeared down a rabbit hole of paperwork and grief. That stuff got done, like stuff does, and I wrote about a sense of emergence for Alison in her December 2013 advent blog series.
The emergence continues at pace. In business terms, 2014 has started how I always wanted a year to start, productively and enjoyably. I am crafting a space where I help people collaborate more effectively, help them explore better ways of working, and get comfortable with creativity and experimentation. More and more people are asking for that help and I’m thankful and excited. I love my work – it often brings me to huge laughs and tears, and much more besides. I’m thankful. Did I already say that? Who cares – I am thankful.
I choose to believe that where I am right now is a complete product of where I’ve been before, and in making that choice, I am able to see the death of my father as one of those pivotal moments that lends huge support to the foundation of my life. Taking strength from loss is one of the hardest things I do, and one of the most humbling and fulfilling things too.
As my good friend Heather put it:
There is so much out there about how to succeed, but so little about how to make it through a hard time. Learning how to rest, grieve, change, and get through difficulties are the essential ingredients of any success. Thank you for this!
Thank you Dad, and happy anniversary.
In a lovely coincidence – I have today received a note from the Friends of LittleHeath Woods (FoLW), a place we played as kids, and an organisation Dad supported staunchly. We made a donation to the woods after Dad died, and the FoLW has decided to reintroduce English Elms back into the woods in Dad’s memory. A regeneration project in Paul Shaw’s name – what a lovely thoughtful thing to propose, made even better by the fact that I learned of it today.