• Olga C. Piehler -

Birthday thoughts … Older and wisdom seeker

Birthday Fairy came to visit!!! Did you hear me?? Birthday Fairy came to visit!!!!!!!!! FOR ME!

Let me explain the significance of this event. Ever since my kids had their first birthday, the Birthday Fairy came to visit on the eve of their birthday and took time to decorate the kitchen, brought balloons, flowers and even a very small gift! My daughters have woken up to a colorful home with all kinds of birthday decorations scotched taped all over the kitchen and have squealed with delight and feel special, important and seen by this peculiar visit. As they got older the Birthday Fairy visits became more challenging - you see Birthday Fairy cannot be seen or she will lose her magic … so as the girls grew, balloon purchases had to be made late at night at the local grocery store (after they had fallen asleep), cashiers would actually have to write the note on the flowers so as to not reveal the Birthday Fairy identity through handwriting … All kinds of measures were taken to protect her identity. It was fun, challenging and some years, I’m not going to lie, excruciating to have to leave the comfort of a blanket late at night after a long day at work (and probably running around for other birthday errands as I was not prepared!) to go out in the cold in search for balloons and flowers.

How did I came up with the Birthday Fairy and her elaborate decoration plans? From my own mother. One day such as today many moons ago, my mother woke up early and took the time to decorate the terrace at our apartment (in the summer that became our living room) and surprised me for my birthday. They were very basic decorations (think paper flags from the late 1980’s) and this only happened ONCE - I probably was around 12 or 13 - BUT that singular event left such a magnificent impression on me of love, care, and importance, that I wanted to share that very same feeling with my children. I wanted that FEELING of worthiness to be my GIFT to them every morning on their birthday. So for two eves every year I have become the Birthday Fairy.

Today, 12 years after the first visit of the Birthday Fairy to our home, she actually visited ME. As I came into the kitchen to make coffee and get ready for the day, I was greeted with balloons and flowers and notes and small gifts!!! I have no clue when / how the Birthday Fairy came … BUT SHE CAME! And I got to squeal with delight and felt special, important and SEEN.

We are in the midst of what they call the 4th Industrial Revolution. A time of Tech, and AI and Digital Transformation. A time where on the surface, it may seem it’s all about technology, faster processing of information, data tsunamis, machine learning, etc… but in actuality a time when if one swims deeper towards “The Bottom of the Pool” (great book by Andy Andrews) it is ALL ABOUT HUMANS BEING SEEN. A time about humans being challenged to be more human than ever and bring their whole selves into their organizations. A time for organizations to unlock the human potential within their teams, to allow for growth, courageous conversations and vulnerability. It is an exciting time! A time for us leaders to give the GIFT OF WORTHINESS to our teams every day. It will be fun, challenging and some days, I’m not going to lie, excruciating to have to leave the comfort of the status quo and the known

and the “this is how we have done it in the past” in the safety of the surface to keep on swimming towards the bottom of the pool - where is dark, unknown, and if you are like me ear-hurting, but where you find “the shiny treasure” you could see from the surface.


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