Taking Stock Via Journaling
By Diane Dunton
'Tis the season for gratitude. I'm always privileged to hear clients' stories in my coaching and consultation work. Rich in content and so inspiring, each story deepens my understanding of that person's unique journey.
I recently received a different kind of gift. Hannah, a family member of a seventh-generation-owned-business, made a delightful discovery while cleaning out the company museum: journals penned by her great grandfather, Phillip William Hussey, Sr. of Hussey Seating. Over that summer, and with the help of others, these journal entries were transcribed and published into a book. My gift was to compile these journals.
Reflecting on Life
You might be a journal writer or have thought of writing journals. Sometimes, we only put things down on paper when we are in need of a resume or we are preparing for our annual performance review. Sadly, some of us only have a journal (using the term loosely) in the form of an obituary for others to read upon our passing.
The journal of Philip William Hussey, Sr. was a 40-year, personal and professional account from 1937 to 1977. The entries included business ventures and deals as well as comments about his personal life. Over the last month or so, I have been reading excerpts from this fascinating and inspiring book.
With permission from the family, here are a couple of his entries:
TUES, AUG. 15, 1939
Had to fill in as foreman on Dye House Steel job at Goodall Worsted Co; Bus Brown being sick.
Larry Perkins Caught Sun Fish.
THUR, NOV. 30, 1939
Uncle Arthur Hussey passes away early this A.M. after nearly five months of illness. He was one of the best if there ever was one.
Lowell grandstand in trouble; seats tipped over side ways at Thanksgiving Day game today; will see it tomorrow; can't understand.
Joyful at times, while sad at others, these entries include facts about business and family, all mixed in together - a reminder of how our lives are often woven together by the personal and the professional, the good and the bad, the joy and the pain.
Questions for Reflection
In taking stock of your personal and professional lives, how could you reflect on what you are grateful for and what you have accomplished? You can start by answering these questions:
- Who are the relationships in my personal and professional life? How do they inspire me?
- What have I accomplished in my personal and professional life? How have I partnered with others along the way?
- How have I grown personally and professionally in these challenging economic times? What have I learned?
*A special thanks to Tim Hussey, CEO and president of Hussey Seating, for sharing with me the gift of his grandfather's journal. Wishing you all a happy holiday season. -Diane L. Dunton