For those of you who are familiar with our firm, Hawkins Point Partners, we are true to our mission of “make a living, have some fun, do great work”! However, I was truly tested this summer. Like many parents, I watched as my only son graduated from High School, celebrated his life long friendships and prepared for his first year of college. All the while, I dreaded the day that we would say good-bye.
Emotionally, I was lost. True, this was a transition that I had anticipated for the past few years. But, one that I never understood would knock the wind out of me and leave me with this form of grief that I had yet to know.
Honestly, while I believe I continued to do ‘great work,’ I was NOT having ‘a lot of fun’. For the past two months, I have been painfully distracted and, at times, grieving for an event that had yet to occur.
This is where “make a living” came in. My colleagues surrounded me this summer and allowed me the emotional time I needed to make this transition. They reminded me, every day, that I would, in fact see my son again and that I would always be his mother. Words, now, that I treasure.
We all suffer. Suffering is a personal experience and it is important to view it through the eyes of the beholder. Admittedly, mine may seem like a ‘luxury problem’. However, I am grateful to be in an environment where we all care about each other AND, when times are tough we protect each other and ensure that the place where we ‘make a living” is one where we feel safe. My favorite thought leader, Richard Branson, suggests that we “help people thrive at work, and disrupt the status quo.” To quote Sir Branson we ‘do well by doing good.’ I am committed to the concept that providing for our families, enjoying our work and colleagues, and serving our customers is the foundation of our culture, the three legs to our stool. To my colleagues, thank you for picking me up when my stool wobbled this summer.