I worked for a professional theatre in administration for nine years. I started in the ticket office and ticket stock came in a batch of 1000 wrapped with three one-foot pieces of string.
Starting late in my first year we began keeping the string and rolling it onto a ball. The center of the ball was tied by the lovely Nancy who used to be our admin assistant. When I got promoted I had my staff continue to dump the string in my office.
When I had video to watch, a script to read, or just an empty time around holidays, I would add the loose string. It was a nice quiet task to keep my hands busy while my mind was on other things.
On one of my last days, I posted a photo of the ball of string to social media, then passed it off to one of my staff to continue, or to dispose of if that was his choice.
I got a comment on the photo from one of my old staff who wrote “words cannot describe my joy to see that you continued the string ball for all those years.”
Never ever under-estimate the impact you have on those around you. My life was changed profoundly because someone I barely knew asked me honestly how I was.
I embarked on new adventures because someone nudged me ever so slightly off the path I was on.
They aren’t just memories. They were bits of time.
Ω An earlier version of this post appeared at www.wetalkpodcasts.com