Posted by: Daisy | February 12, 2008

Reconnecting over Coffee

I had coffee with someone last week who I haven’t seen in years. I knew him from work. He was an extremely technical person and I was not. He helped me decipher and understand the components of the products and services and translate those messages into marketing messages. We also got along on a personal level and had interesting chats about non-work related things.

To make a long story short, he is currently now on Long Term Disability and has had a few difficult years.

By fluke, we reconnected last week over coffee and chatted. We shared stories and I was saddened to see just how much of his spirit had been lost in those few short years since I last saw him. What I said to him was:

“Everyone has their strengths and their weaknesses. Unfortunately for you, you’ve lost what was once your strength, and now as you attempt to live your life in a meaningful way, you continue to look to look at what you’re unable to do. Things that you used to be able to do in your sleep are now extremely difficult, and sometimes, perhaps even impossible. You need to mourn that loss, and when you’re done, you need to re-evaluate who you are today. What are your strengths and weaknesses now? Go to your strength, and find what you are able to do well now. Take your new-found experiences and discover new strengths that you didn’t have before, and that others value. I believe the secret to success and happiness is doing what you enjoy and are good at – no matter where you are in life.”

His lightbulb went off and he starts to tell me about some conversations he’s had with others about some other things he might be able to do. His face lights up as he realizes that there are things he can do, and there are other ways to do them.

Prior to meeting for coffee, he told his wife that I was someone who always chatted with him about other ‘stuff’ and had a spirit that most others at the company did not have. I guess when he told me that, it just meant to me that I had an impact on his life years before, and I continue to have an impact on his life now. I feel incredibly joyful about this and can’t describe the difference it made in my day.

I guess that’s why I always welcome a coffee – I’m never sure what will happen and who’s life may change. Many times, it’s mine that gets changed for the better.

Is there someone you’ve been thinking about reconnecting with? Just do it. You just never know what might happen.


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