This November, I'm counting my blessings . . . by thinking about connections -- and how vital they are to my life. Today, I'm thankful to my "connections" -- my personal network of friends.
When I was just starting out in my work life, everyone was telling me I needed to "network." (That, and "dress for success" were the buzz-words of the work world in the early 80s!) I truly didn't "get" the "networking" thing. It seemed so trite. And forced. And fake. Besides, all the people I met were at the same stage of their career as I was. How was that supposed to be beneficial from a career standpoint? I just blew off the whole "networking" thing. I'd rather have friends. . . than a network!
As I grew older and wiser, though, I learned an important thing. My friends WERE my network! As I moved out in greater and greater circles in the world, I made more and more friends. . . who did more and more things. . . and connected me to more and more new friends. And, all of a sudden, I HAD a network!
It wasn't trite. Or forced. Or fake. It was a real network -- of friends. What I didn't know when I was 24, (well, one of many things I didn't know at 24. . .) is that your "network" can't be built overnight, and it can't be forced. . . if it's going to connect you to friends. It takes time. Lots of time. And it's really pretty easy. You just . . . connect . . . with people.
And what I really didn't understand. . . is that my "network" . . . developed without my trying at all. I found that . . . we are each other's angels. . . and we meet when it is time.
So now, several decades later, I have a network of friends. My network can connect me to . . . travel tips, the best recipes, new restaurants, knitting patterns, great books, hugs during a rough patch, advice when moving to a new community, the best teachers in a new grade level, mentors, internship options, medical information, and even new jobs. But mostly, my network of friends gets me through!
I am thankful for my network of friends . . . keeping me connected to people, situations, and the world! We are each other's angels. . . and we meet when it is time. . . we keep each other going. . . and we show each other signs. . .