It is the weekend before Thanksgiving, a very busy time for me. I am the host of our family Thanksgiving and have been for about 10 years now. It is one of my favorite days of the year as the focus is food, family and love. I am so grateful to be have a day where we can just be together, with some football and food and drink. During this past decade I have had years where there are about 30 people here for dinner and years where there are 18. As kids have grown, they alternate holiday. Of course we have lost some members of our tribe. The number fluctuates, although I am not sure we do a good job of fluctuating the amount of food. We prepare for an army!
I was straightening up the garage, as I use a table in there to stage a lot of things when I stumbled across a Christmas gift I had received last year from one of my bosses. Actually I stumbled across both of his gifts. One he said was a joke, I’m not so sure. The other was strange and hit me hard, and did so again tonight.
The joke is a paperweight that is a bomb with an “f” on it, yes an f-bomb! Although he said it was not meant as a message, I think there is always a bit of truth in a joke, so there was a message. I definitely swear less today, at least in front of him.
The other gift was strange and really hit me hard. Usually, he gives us all the same item, perhaps personalized with initials on them. Last year he decided to give people personal, individual gifts. I watched as people opened their gifts and it was obvious he knew things about them, these were personal. Wine glasses for one, gift certificate to his favorite restaurant in the city. Then it was my turn. It was heavy and I was excited. I opened the box and found a silver plated business card holder, money clip and flask all engraved with SJD. Really? A money clip? A flask? Who has ever seen me drink out of a flask? I think I did when I skied at that was it. Not my thing. A money clip, I thought, this is a man’s gift. I focused on the business card holder as that was at least useful when I heard his voice. “I really didn’t know what to get you.”
Wow, I thought. I have worked for you since 2008 and have known you since I started at the company in 1997. How do you not know me. This surprised me so.
I’m an extravert. I get my energy from people places and things although as I get older I find I need more alone time than when I was younger to re-charge! I am also generally publicly disclosing. I share events and struggles that I have had that I think can help or inspire, but I don’t share a lot of me. I don’t talk to very many people about some of my passions. A lot of people don’t know me as well as they think. I don’t really let too many people that deeply into my life and psyche. Huh! That really made me pause, realizing how much my guard is up. That it is up with someone who I do trust.
In fact, my boss had no idea that I loved to write, that I went on a writing retreat, that I wrote this blog. He didn’t know that was a passion of mine. I guess trusting someone with your passions, your hearts desires, is not really that easy. Allowing all of you to be seen and feeling comfortable to have all of you seen is the hallmark of unconditional love and a trusting relationship. Again, I think, I thought my boss and I were closer than that. I was surprised by this revelation.
The business holder is nice and useful, that is in my purse with my cards in it. The money clip and flask sit in the box in the garage. They are collecting dust. I can’t decide if I want to try to find someone with the initials “SJD” and give them away or throw them out. Or do I keep them as a reminder that I may want to let more people in, or a reminder that I am fine with them out. I’m not sure.
Wow…. That’s sooooo interesting about your boss’ gifts!!! How they all struck you. Despite being personalized with your initials, they were almost as generic as fruit cake and soap on a rope. Perhaps you needn’t be so hard on yourself; his not knowing the “personal Suzy” could be a good reflection on the professional persona you have in the office! Love you, girlfriend!!! Karen xoxo
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Karen, thank you! Your perspective is great. I generally think I am the same person (I used to be conscious of having 2 personas but as I have matured in my career I thought they melded!) but you may be right, I may not be! Great thought, I appreciate it! Miss you! xo