I like this quote:
“There’s not a word yet for old friends who’ve just met.”
Today was a good day because my friend, Joyce, chose it as her official retirement day. I couldn’t send this email yesterday because it would have tipped her off to a surprise party we threw! I love the idea of people moving forward to doing the activities and work they want to do. My newsletter has the theme that in everything we do we believe in pushing through boundaries and the edges of limitation. Pulling the trigger on the decision to stop work – that’s blasting right through a boundary!
Here are some excerpts from my remarks at today’s party:
One of the first reasons Joyce and I were drawn together over a decade ago is that when Joyce joined the firm people got us confused. ”Joyce!” I’d hear repeated urgently behind me. “Hey, Joan…” Joyce would look up surprised the person was talking to her. We tried correcting people but it didn’t always take. With similar hairstyles and roles our mix-up was understandable. Finally we decided to have fun and sit next to each other in meetings just to mess with people.
It wasn’t just hairstyles we had in common. We also both started our professional careers as secretaries. At that time women were rarely hired into managerial roles. We broke through glass ceilings and carved an unfamiliar path through those companies; Joyce especially was a pioneer in her company. It’s wonderful that today women (and men) assume female leadership is normal.
What is abnormal, however, is Joyce’s inspiring ability to elevate dry abstract ideas into a visual expression that engages people’s intellect and emotion, a rare talent that lifts a two-dimensional message into an experience in which the audience doesn’t just understand a message but feels the message. So many events and presentations have been elevated to an experience by her…
Joyce also has a mind that can form a snapshot of operationalization. Describe a situation and connections of inter-dependencies and key relationships snap into place in her thought. This has enabled her to be a connector, untangling inter-woven programs like Pedal the Cause and Tour de Ted. She makes the complex look simple, and then rolls up her shirtsleeves to operationalize the task at hand.
All of this is just the external window-dressing though of a sisterhood and friendship that’s developed between us. A friendship and love that runs deep and steady and calm underneath the sometimes choppy waters of our professional workplace, a place of overall blessing but not always an easy place to be. So I have the happy message of not saying goodbye but saying I love you, Joyce. And the fun between us has barely begun...
I’m fortunate that Joyce just lives a few miles away. Let the fun begin!
Thank you for reading,