Little Pieces…

I knew that Thursday was going to be a tough day, and Thursday evening a difficult evening. Nothing specific to the work I had on my agenda or the people I was due to meet with, or talk to. My challenge was going to be all about goodbyes, memories and empty spaces.

My family wanted to come and see where I am during the week. They had seen the pictures and the video but they wanted to see the space…to see for themselves that I am OK. I wanted my family to come to see where I am. I wanted them to help me be OK in my apartment and my adopted town.

It was our mid-term break for schools last week (coinciding with Queen’s diamond jubilee) so we all drove up together on Tuesday. Even that was a pleasure. We arrived and I showed them round. It didn’t take long…but everyone loved the apartment. We went shopping. It didn’t take long for a list of ‘essentials’ to be created…coasters and a toaster; sliced bread and tea cups.

We ate out in a wonderful restaurant and watched Sherlock Holmes on DVD together. I worked Wednesday whilst my family relaxed, revised for exams, explored the town and did more shopping. We ate out again that evening…another really nice restaurant…and watched the end of Sherlock’s DVD.

Thursday morning at nine o’clock I kissed them each goodbye and saw them off at the railway station. And went to work. I was busy. I had little time to think about the superb two days. But I knew I was worried about my return to the apartment that evening. This was going to be tough.

The apartment was empty of course. Clean and smart but empty. No noise. No welcome home. No people. But the apartment was full of memories. Memories of the last two days. Where we sat together to watch Sherlock. There were coasters everywhere. By the side of the bed. By the settee. By the toaster. The second bedroom looked like an office – a desk and a chair. Neat and tidy. No clothes. No books. No iPods. No beds. No people. Just memories.

A best friend of mine from work once told me that my family left a ‘little piece’ of themselves wherever they went. She was right. My family were still there in my apartment, and I missed them. I turned on some music. I needed some noise. I emailed home and I fired up FaceTime – I needed to see them. I needed a smile. Three smiles.

They were happy. They missed me but they knew where I was. They could see the sofa behind me and the picture on the wall. They knew I was OK. They told me I was OK. I felt better.

As I sat and ate my dinner later that evening, I realised that my memories of their short visit were indeed powerful but were also very positive. We had an amazing time and I had wonderful memories. I smiled. I went to the desk to catch up with email. I smiled again. I felt good. I felt happy. I worked and worked well. I thought about Friday and what I wanted to do; I felt excited and jotted down new ideas for the day ahead.

We all have memories of great times and special people – at home; at work; together. It is never easy for us – for me – to turn these memories into positive energy, thoughts and action. But it is so powerful if we can. I want more great times with special people.  I want more powerful memories.




About Steve Street

I have worked in R&D within the Pharmaceutical industry for over 30 years. Up until April 2012 all of my career had been with one company, but that has now changed. I left that company and took up a new role on May 1, 2012 - still very much within the Pharmaceutical industry and again based in the UK. I have been blogging every week now for over 10 years but only on an external site since January 2012. Email updates of the blogs can be requested using the ‘follow’ option within Wordpress. The blogs are only ever my personal view of what I see, think and feel. I am delighted if you agree and find value; happy if you disagree with my views and overjoyed if you feel motivated to comment. Most of all I am simply grateful that you read. Cheers Steve
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10 Responses to Little Pieces…

  1. Mark Holbrook says:

    Steve, I know exactly what you mean and how you feel. One trick that we have found which helps is to leave a little surprise for you or the family to find. This can be as simple as a sweet, a bar of chocolate, a bottle of your favourite beer or a note left in the flat. In return I sneak something into their bags. This gives a nice positive thought allowing you to move on with a little energy.

  2. Lisa Ritz says:

    Hi Steve,

    I can sympathize as I have to live in an apartment during the work week. Love the job, don’t like being away from home. Seems to be a pretty common situation in this economy.

    Take care.

    • Steve Street says:


      Always great to hear from you and thank you for your comment. I thought also there were a couple of great comments/ideas from Mark and Jonathan about how to help in these situations, which – as you say – are more common these days.



  3. Hi Steve,

    I enjoyed a coffee catch up with Adrienne today and she mentioned your blog. I hope you don’t mind me checking it out?! One thing I learnt during my recent travelling experience, was to ensure that I spent a good part of any virtual conversation (phone, skype etc.) orientating the other person. It’s all too easy to download the day’s events to one another, but you still feel disconnected. I found that it helped to build the connection by spending a good few minutes describing what was actually happening ‘in the moment’. I know it sounds incredibly obvious, but I found it made all the difference when I reflected the visual (what I could see), auditory (what I could hear) and kinaesthetic (what I was feeling) aspects to my family members upfront. I now find that i make a personal prompt to cover these bases in any dialogue where I don’t have the face to face interaction. I hope all is working out well for you and if you want any tips on places to visit ‘up North’, please feel free to ask!

    Kind regards,


    • Steve Street says:


      Hello there ana many thnkas – great to hear from you. I really thought your suggestion/idea was excellent. As you say it is sometimes too easy to miss these small points…and yet these small points can make a massive difference.

      Thank you.



  4. jefryshields says:

    That was a tough post to read Steve – thanks for sharing it my friend.

    • Steve Street says:


      As alwasy, great to hear from you – as you know I can only ever write what’s at the front of my mind…and that was certainly ‘front and center’ last week. I really appreciate the thoughts and comments from you and many other friends and colleagues.



  5. Sarah Street says:

    Steve, this one made me cry when I read it just now. Mike has been away on business for a week, so this really struck a chord. Hope you are doing OK, and look forward to catching up with you in July.


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