2017 was a year of change – the year started with a new job; a new home; a new beginning………and is ending in the most surreal and unbelievable tragic experience of my life. Every year is an opportunity to reflect and embrace the moments of happiness and learn from the moments of challenge.
I was truly challenged to even consider writing to wrap the year. But writing is therapeutic. I have been writing a series of conversations to my husband which has helped me travel a journey of grief in a personal and private manner. But in my effort to continue to be transparent and hoping that pieces of my life’s journey can serve others, I am obligated and committed to write.
I think about my life in total and the constant throughout my adult life has been Mark. Through the good, the bad, the challenges. Through our single life; our married life; our married life with children; our married life without children – and every moment in between. Mark was truly my first leadership coach – the man was an incredible people leader. He was the most amazing father and friend.
In a year filled with such polar opposites of experiences and emotions I find myself focusing on the word brilliance. Brilliance is defined as the intense brightness of light and vividness of color. Mark was the brilliance of my life (and the lives of so many others) – the lives of his children; his family; in the lives of the people in the many places he lived his life – whether it was work; volunteering or the dry cleaner. He cast a bright light and made every experience vivid in color – his brilliance was a beacon and sought out.
Mark could take a difficult situation – a challenge at work; an issue at home; a social view – and turn them all into moments of rightness and with a kinder flavor. Some of what I remember him sharing with me – often:
• “Say what you mean, mean what you say, but don’t say it meanly”
• “Always do what is right, even if it isn’t popular”
• “Step back, reflect, consider, resolve and then move forward”
In the lesson of brilliance each of us can learn how to be the bright light for ourselves and for others.
In the end – it is all about kindness and truly being kind at work, at home and in life.
Thank you Mark for your lessons in brilliance. My commitment for 2018 is to practice brilliance and even in the most difficult circumstances to try to be kind. I think I will begin with practicing brilliance with myself.