Julie Thorson

This past weekend I joined the class of 1991 for our 30-year class reunion. If I remember correctly, when my parents went to their 30-year reunion, all I could think of is, “Geez, 30 years?! Boy, they are old.” 

When I attended my reunion, my thoughts had nothing to do with age but everything to do with being grateful. Not many from our class attended, but those of us who did had a good time reminiscing and laughing.

In fact, I cannot remember laughing so hard about the days of being a member of the patrol (that was the crossing guard… we held out our arms to let the little ones know when they could cross the street). Do you have any idea how important it was to be the captain of the patrol? It was a great big deal back in the day. It felt good to be in the moment, if even for just a few hours. 

All of us have changed a bit, but, in certain ways, we were all still awkward teenagers connected by school and relationships. Many of those relationships have changed over the years, but we all are connected by experiences. 

I know reunions are becoming things of the past and some people are reluctant to attend. I, however, found it to be a nice reminder of the fact that who we were and who we’ve become can be one and the same. I’m glad to have gained that perspective over time. It’s the time I’m grateful for that has given me the perspective some people never find. Do you pause even a small amount to appreciate the things that really matter?

Lessons in leadership come in all shapes, sizes, experiences, and through people we know and love. It’s taking the time to have enough emotional intelligence and focused patience to live in the moment and cherish the time we can spend with others. When you take the time, I guarantee it will impact your leadership journey in a great way. 

There are 14 words total in this month’s famous quote. Have you figured out who the leader is? I’ve quoted the same national thought leader in every 2021 column. Here is a hint for this month’s quote. The last four words are all in the last paragraph in order one after the other. It’s a great quote!

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Julie Thorson was the 2018 recipient of the LeadingAge Dr. Herbert Shore Outstanding Mentor of the Year award. Thorson is currently a coach for the Leading Age’s Larry Minnix Leadership Academy.  Her “Living Leadership” blog was named the 2016 “Best New Department” Bronze Award winner by the American Society of Health Publication Editors. The president and CEO of Friendship Haven, a life plan community in Fort Dodge, IA, Thorson is a coach’s daughter at heart. A former part-time nursing home social worker, she is a licensed nursing home administrator and completed Leading Age’s Leadership Educator Program last summer.  

The opinions expressed in McKnight’s Long-Term Care News guest submissions are the author’s and are not necessarily those of McKnight’s Long-Term Care News or its editors.