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Stopping to Smell the Roses

Stopping to Smell the Roses

Last week, our team at The Conversations That Matter wrapped up a two-and-a-half-year-long project. It was enormous and took a lot of creativity and bandwidth from each of us. But, to say we grew a lot – in our knowledge and expertise and our relationships – is an understatement. 

Frankly, we were all ready for this project to come to a close. It had been an incredible journey, and it was time to put a bow on all we learned and toast to an amazing experience.

You’ve been there too. Those long, laborious, roller coaster projects that you wouldn’t necessarily want to redo but also are so grateful for. You need to mark those end-of-project moments but just want to take a long nap and savor the goodness.

For our team, it would have been easy to float past that final day and move right on to the next thing, but we had put a date on the calendar a couple of months ago, so we felt the need to mark the day and stop and appreciate the growth we have all experienced.

Author Priya Parker, The Art of Gathering, tells us that it needs to be with a clear purpose if we are to gather. So, I set out to celebrate the end of this journey with that in mind. I am so proud of this team, and I am proud of how we celebrated. I want to share this with you so you can stop to smell the roses too before hustling on to the next great opportunity. 

STEP 1: PREP

Before the day comes, send out invitations and reminders. In the case of this gathering, we had several who couldn’t be together in person, so we established two parts. Part one was online with a champagne toast; part two was in person. Both parts were significant. I had champagne, and gift boxes mailed to our out-of-town team members and dropped off local packages the night before.

STEP 2: ONLINE GATHERING

We were intentional about sharing what we learned, how we grew, and what we appreciated during our online celebration. I’m not going to lie – I cried. I felt deep love and gratitude for this team that I wouldn’t have felt if we hadn’t stopped to share at this moment. It was extraordinary for me, and I believe for each of them. 

STEP 3: IN-PERSON GATHERING

This part was a lot less structured. We gathered at a sweet wine bar and had a lovely meal. We laughed and genuinely enjoyed each other. It was delightful. It was the kind of evening you end saying we HAVE to do this more often. 

Here’s the thing. You/We all can skim right on by these milestones and still be as successful in life and work. BUT look at what we would miss. This team has interesting, kind, fun people on it, and because we stopped to share in a specific, purposeful way, we know one another better, we feel seen and appreciated, and we were able to have fun.

TODAY – stop, look around and be extra intentional and grateful for all the goodness around you!