A Lasting Impression

I had a neat surprise this morning.  I was working on something generally mundane and routine when an email poppped up from a client I worked with 3 years ago in my old department.  He wished me a Merry Christmas and sent a lovely clip art picture of a Navitity scene.  I enjoyed working with him, “back in the day” (am I too young to use that phrase?  I sure hope so), so I told him so and wished him and his family a lovely Christmas and healthy New Year. 

What took me aback about his email was that we haven’t worked together in 3 years.  Did I make that much of an impression on him that he remembered me and felt I was worthy of good wishes at this time of year?  Okay, so these days, everyone and the mailman gets a Christmast card–note to self:  GOTTA get those done!–but still, it’s been 3 years.  Why would he think of me? 

I’ve spent most of my life trying to go unnoticed.  It probably stems from when I went to an elementary school in a rough neighborhood, and I got beaten up fairly regularly.  (Not necessarily with fists, but words can have much the same impact.)  It got to where I preferred not to draw attention to myself out of self-preservation.  Even now, at 42, I didn’t go to the VFRW Luncheon because, aside from the cost and that a 3 hour lunch would’ve left the boys home without supervision, I was nervous about the fact that I won the chapter’s Susan Wiggs award.  It’s given to a member who’s worked above and beyond for the chapter, and this year I was voted the winner.  Quite an exceptional honor, and I was thrilled to get the votes…and embarrassed, since I was on the election committee that counted the votes; after a while I started praying to see a vote for someone else.  🙂 

Anyway, I went to the Board meeting that Saturday morning but our chapter president had forgotten to bring the Wiggs award  with her (a signed copy of Susan Wiggs’ latest book).  I should’ve waited to meet her in the parking lot to collect the book from her, but I was nervous about the recognition so I waited a little while but then went home.  Even when someone says “Hey, good job!” I feel like I didn’t deserve it.  It just feels weird.  Plus, now I feel lousy for not waiting around to meet Judi after the meeting.  She put quite a bit of effort into making it into a nice gift, which she didn’t have to do–she’s got a life and career that keeps her quite busy–and I backed away.  So now I have a good reason to feel like I didn’t deserve it. 

Anyway, the email from an old client was a nice surprise.  For whatever reason, he remembers me as someone worth thinking about.  It’s nice to believe I really am somebody.

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4 thoughts on “A Lasting Impression

  1. Hey!

    You most certainly ARE somebody!!!!!! You’re a terrific mom, a beloved wife, and a treasured friend. You’re also an appreciated co-worker and a valuable member of our chapter. You matter to lots and lots of people, and that’s nothing to trivialize or be embarassed about. You’re kind and caring and hard-working and fun, and that’s why we love you!!!

  2. You DO make a lasting impression! And are definitely worthy of recognition. When I went down to the bar by myself at the conference I figured I’d just stand around awkwardly and people watch as I secretly feared I would be fodder for “mean girls”. And you were nice enough to hang out most of the night with me, which I’m extremely grateful for. And you even let me cyber-stalk you on your blog. So you’ve made a lasting impression on me!

    I am also of the school of dodge recognition at all costs, so I feel your pain. I’m trying to work on that. Giving the presentation to your group is one of those “forcing myself outside of my comfort zone” things that I inflict on myself every once in a while.

    So enjoy your award and the recognition that goes with it. You obviously earned it!

  3. As the chapters’ Susan Lucci of the Susan Wiggs Award for volunteer service, I say, accept that award with enthusiasm! You do deserve the award and I’m happy you won the honor.

    Best–Adele

  4. Thanks, guys! You’re too sweet! I guess it’s just that it still feels awkward to have someone pat me on the back. I truly do appreciate all your kind words! It takes conscious thought to remind myself that I have value. Most of the time I still feel like I don’t do enough. I’m not entirely sure where it all comes from, but like with all recovery efforts, knowing there’s a problem is half the battle. That’s why I wrote that blog entry, to remind myself.

    Mandy, I know what you mean about breaking out of that comfort zone! That’s one of the main reasons I started volunteering at VFRW. It’s been such a terrific learning experience! It used to be we’d go around the room and introduce ourselves, and I’d sit there dreading having to speak up. Now I’m so much more comfortable with it! If only I could be quicker with the one-liners on demand, though. I’m so much better if I have time to edit myself, like with emails (and blog entries). Give me 10 minutes and I’ll come up with something better to say! 🙂

    Adele, Mandy, and Laura, thank you!!! Mandy, *can’t wait* to see you at VFRW next spring!!! 🙂

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