[To listen to an audio version of this blog, please click here: http://bit.ly/2FsHFVi]
With my professional hat on, I belong to a couple of networking groups. One of them is quite male dominated, extremely structured and meets at 6.30am...
The other is a women's networking group. We meet for a monthly lunch and I've been a member for some years now. The benefits are obvious; those women know my business and I know theirs. I know where to go for legal advice, coaching and upholstery. They come to me for Style advice.
More than this, these women have become friends. I have gone to meetings in mania and in the depths of depression. It has always been a safe and supporting place.
Last week though, it was pretty special.
We have an education slot – just ten minutes - run by our education officer, Kate, who happened to be sitting to my left. Kate knows me well.
This education slot was different. We were asked to think of two things we had done in our life of which we were proud. These could be business things, they could be personal. They could be huge things or they could be small. The important thing was, that we felt proud of ourselves.
We thought for a moment and then scribbled on our bits of paper.
Kate could see what I'd written. She gave me a nod and started at her other side. We went around the table and everyone shared what made them feel proud. Some were small business satisfactions: our HR and Temps member shared how she had managed, just in her car on the way to the meeting, to fill three new vacancies with suitable people. Some were big successes, like going into a big company and reducing the time spent on a process from 61 days to just 9.
But many of our triumphs were personal. Two of our members have survived cancer; they are proud. Three women have upped and moved continents, often with small children. One member broke down in tears as she recalled leaving Zimbabwe – where her family had a huge farm – and arriving in the UK with just the clothes on her back and £2,000. Her children had asked when were they going to get a big garden with a tree in it again, like they had back home. She was proud of having created a new life here, and of having been able to give them that tree.
I was last. I said I was proud that, last Saturday, nine people had enjoyed themselves hugely at a murder mystery dinner party that I had written (and that nobody had guessed the murderer – even though I had played fair and given them all the clues)! My second thing? I said I was proud to be alive.
Very proud. You people all know why.
I'd love it if you would think of two things you have done which make you feel proud, and if you would share them in the comments.
A Moodscope member.