There was a time when Christmas cards stuffed with hand-written letters and photos would be dutifully mailed off annually to near and dear. These were replaced by an email with a carefully crafted newsletter attachment. You know what I’m talking about – a couple of pages chock full of photos, a bit of bragging about accomplishments, glossing over tragedies, making recipients just a wee bit green with jealousy?
However when you live the other side of the globe from where you grew up, these updates fill more than a few gaps. For example, my spunky and precocious niece turns nine tomorrow – for her entire life she knows only that she has a ‘crazy aunt Carissa’ living in India who pops ‘home’ for a visit every year or so. Not once have we lived in the same place. Let’s just say – I miss a lot! Which makes my sister’s ‘Holiday Missive’ all the more precious.
While working a regular job, I used to send out the official company colourful season’s greetings – either Diwali or New Years. Then painstakingly go through bounce-backs to see who has moved on to other opportunities. Those I wanted to keep in touch with – would see if they are on LinkedIn. Those where the connect was more tenuous, would archive the contact.
Yeah… I used to be super organised.
So when I shifted to independent work, decided an annual mass communication was a good practice to keep.
Except instead of separate professional and personal communications, I blend the two with a chatty re-cap of developments on both fronts, closing with a single pic of my partner and I.
And was amazed at the response!
Folks I knew professionally responded with remarkable stories about their personal passions I never dreamt of… from a polished exterior emerged hidden talents and fascinating activities. In many cases I was humbled by what they were doing in their ‘spare time’ and gained privileged insight into what drives them as human beings.
Friends I knew only on a personal basis shared details of their professional lives about which I was completely clueless! Social chats suddenly had a completely new dimension where we could talk some serious business too. More than one casual conversation turned to a much more meaningful connect.
Powerful package – personal + professional combined
It is a good reminder that we are a complete package – what defines us are the choices we make on both the personal and professional fronts.
As the responses flood in… I am delighted to read all the updates from so many folks I’ve had the privilege to meet over the years.
Does anyone else do this kind of annual update? If so, what do you find?