You reach into your mailbox and there it is… a notice from your high school alumnae association announcing your next reunion. No matter what year it might be… 5 to 60… the invitation can stir up a myriad of emotions.
Disbelief. Has all that time really passed?
Fear. Have I aged well? How will I look to my classmates?
Insecurity. Have I accomplished enough?
Anxiety. I haven’t kept in touch with most. Will I even have anything to say to those people anymore? Will my old gang even show up?
Image. What in the world do I wear?
All NEGATIVE emotions! But did that stop me? If you know me, you know I always seek out the POSITIVE. New experiences. New memories. So, I sent in my reservation for the big 40th year. And joined the Facebook group to connect with my classmates before the event. (All girls, BTW. Catholic school girls… for an all-girl only event, just like our high school days.)
So, with a brand new stand-out fuschia dress all sucked in by Spanx, I entered the ballroom of smiling women. Glowing, actually. All happy to be there, chatting like happy hummingbirds, flitting from grad to grad. Hugs, laughter, memories gushed all through the hall.
We toasted each other. Danced. Took endless selfies. Shared kids’ photos. We were teenagers all over again. This time, with an immense amount of wisdom, and a renewed zest for life.
So what did I learn that could apply to business and marketing from this experience? Several things:
4. Time flies when you're having fun. If you thought the last five years zoomed quickly, a four hour event whizzes by in an eyelash flutter. Before we knew it, it was last call, the last dance, and lingering hugs, and you didn't even talk to everyone. Make the most of your networking time!
5. Promises are made. "Keep in touch," is the common echo, as the ladies drifted back to their cars and their neighborhoods, with the die-hards posting a flurry of photos and well wishes on Facebook, with vows to stay connected. But how many do? You've got to work the lead if you want to succeed, in business as with friendship.
6. It feels good to reconnect. It’s good for business. Networking is always exhilarating. It gets you out of the office and exposed to people. You never know where your next good lead is coming from. And your next good friendship as well. Yes, good networking is rich for the soul, too.
So, my dear girlfriends from South Philly's Saint Maria Goretti High School, Class of 1977, thanks for all your lessons in life, business tips and most of all, friendship! Happy 40th reunion to you all, and a special thanks to the hard-working organizers who created true networking magic.
10/11/2017 11:51:19 am
This is GREAT
10/11/2017 11:52:05 am
As I would have expected- a unique perspective from a very creative woman and good friend!
10/11/2017 12:25:10 pm
Fantastic Mary Ellen! Definitely a flood of emotions.
10/11/2017 12:32:12 pm
Great! It was a blast! Plus we raised money for the scholarship fund!
10/11/2017 01:03:44 pm
Mare, you nailed it. Such a great perspective.
10/11/2017 01:54:10 pm
You summed it up perfectly!!! ❤️
Pat Gericke Palladino
10/11/2017 03:00:50 pm
Love your writing.
Kathy Rego Dych
10/11/2017 03:29:12 pm
Was in Aruba wish I could have been there
Barb Iannelli Seiberlich
10/11/2017 04:54:37 pm
Had a blast it was great seeing oh thank heaven for 77 girls love you ❤️
10/11/2017 05:12:42 pm
What a great blog! Perfectly said but not surprised. We are a crazy and unique bunch of girls. It was such joy seeing everyone.
10/11/2017 06:16:31 pm
Just what the doctor order, had a wonderful time connecting
10/11/2017 06:55:00 pm
Mary Ellen, well said and so true! Never enough time but cherishing those in the network is what is most important. Thanks for the memories and the laughs!
Annette Rua Looby
10/11/2017 07:51:10 pm
Beautiful summary of a wonderful evening.
10/11/2017 09:07:19 pm
How true. Awesome night reconnecting with high school friends. "Oh thank heaven for 77."
Roe (Marazzo) Davis
10/12/2017 02:53:13 am
What a great blog. So true. You absolutely nailed it. It was such a "feel good" evening. I had that wonderful feeling all weekend and smile when I think of seeing everyone. Mary Ellen you are a breath of fresh air! So great to see you again. Would love to read more of your blogs!❤
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Season's greetings are one of the ways people nowadays keep in touch. Yes, the good old fashioned way of sending out post cards is a great way to communicate with all those you want to keep in touch with.
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Mary Ellen Sokalski
Diva of Direct Marketing.