Sunday, June 9

Home as a Personal History

Well the big day finally came ... my son is graduating from high school ... my youngest child.  Those of you who know me know that this is a big deal for me.  Big.  Big because he's about to start his life and big because I'm now entering the next chapter of mine as an empty nester.  Big on a lot of levels.

It's Sunday morning and we are about to head out to the ceremony, the almost final close to what's been two weeks of a celebration process, starting with the last day of classes, then Senior Prom, final exams, Baccalaureate, etc.

The final event, and most fun, is a party at our home, which we have been preparing for months now.  And as I reflect on the controlled chaos that's about to take place in our home, I'm reminded of something so simple yet so profound.

Our home is a personal history of our lives together.

The big venetian mirror that hangs in our dining room is one of our first big purchases when we really couldn't make any big purchases.  The large twelve foot painting of the Delaware River when we lived on the Delaware River.  The dishes we bought at the flea market to use for dinner parties.  The light fixture in the staircase that was designed by a good friend's brother.  The Le Creuset pot we use every Sunday night for spaghetti and meatballs. 

And yes, the stain in the carpet where our dog Sophie got sick a few too many times.  And the big scrape in the wall from when the kids used to have Halloween parties.  And the completely worn down kitchen cabinet door where all the snacks are kept.

Our home has a patina to it that reflects how we've lived our lives together.  It's a personal history of us ... and dare I say (here he goes) ... of our personal brand together.  It's days like these where we share that personal history and add to it.  These are awesome days.

Congratulations to all the graduates out there ... and the parents too because in many ways we are graduating as well!

What's your experience?  Jim.

Jim Joseph
- President, Cohn & Wolfe NA
- Author, The Experience Effect series
- Professor, NYU
- Contributor, Entrepreneur


  1. I can totally relate to this post! So true in so many different ways! I too love a home that has evolved over time and tells a story when you walk into it. I am excited to see what the future holds for our children!

  2. I think we've given them a good start! Jim.