Filing Cabinets

image of rows of filing cabinets

Ok, friends… time to be a little vulnerable.

This is hard to write.  There have been too many times over the years, I’ve broken down crying.

What is what we’re doing isn’t enough?  …and when I say “we” I mean the “we” as in all of us, but in this particular writing I’m referring to “me.”

There have been so many instances where I come away from a person and their team wondering if I’ve really made a difference.  If the work that we do is having an impact on the person’s wishes to be seen heard, and to live an every day life.

Too many times I’ve broken down crying because I wouldn’t see any movement with suggestions and recommendations.  Either they weren’t working or they weren’t being tried because (maybe) people just didn’t believe that thinking outside of the box could really work.

Once afternoon, I called a coworker and broke down.  She gave me the kindest advice I’ve ever received and carry it with me still, 15+ years later.  “Sometimes you need to lovingly write your notes, send them off, place them in the folder, put that folder in the filing cabinet and close the door… and know, that just for those brief times the person WAS being seen, WAS being heard, and they were living an every day life.”

I admittedly don’t always have the most patience for change.  While I know change takes time, and system change takes even more time, it can be heartbreaking to wait.

This story does have a happy ending…

While chatting with a colleague from another organization she and I were reminiscing about this organization supports and we had been involved in supporting.  She told the story of several people and how well they’re doing.  Thriving, even.  She said that the work we did mattered and had such a positive impact on the lives of these people and those who are still supporting them.  15 years later.

If you’re ever wondering if what you do matters, it does.