I was talking with a friend of mine, Nyle Smith, about life and the things it does to you. Nyle has survived a number of strokes. He was on the faculty at Lewis & Clark Law School before the strokes derailed his life. Nyle is now disabled, but still wise. I try to drop by to see him when I'm in Portland visiting family and we talk from time to time. I'm hoping that some day he will be able to blog.
One thing that I realized while talking with him is that I've always had good things to say about places where I've worked. He suggested that much of why I find good is that I do my best to make places better.
That came up as we discussed last firm. Before I came on board, it used to have more than 100% turnover (mostly staff and associates). Yet, for the almost four years I was there, turnover was down to about 10%. Talking to one of my ex-partners after I left, I discovered that turnover was at 100% or so the year after I left.
Nyle suggested that perhaps my job history of dramatically slowed turnover in each job I've had was not just my good luck in being in the right place at the right time my entire life, but perhaps something I was bringing to the table as well. He snorted at me and suggested I take credit for making a difference.
What he had to say reminded me of my first secretary at my employment when I brought another summary judgment back in and I passed it off as just more good luck. She snorted at me and suggested that luck might have made the difference once or twice, but after five or six I ought to consider that part of it might be me. I thought of her when I talked to Nyle and he said the same thing.
Nyle gave me some good perspective, which he always does. I appreciate his faith and endurance and good example. Not to mention, what he had to say was a good remember to give myself credit and to remind others to do the same -- to give themselves credit.
After all, much of life in recovering from grief is owning life and giving yourself credit, accepting joy and sharing it. Owning life and accepting the good things in it is a lesson to be learned and shared over and over again, and yesterday was a good reminder.