At Threads of Life we like to say we have the biggest office in the world – it stretches from coast to coast in Canada. Most of our staff work from home offices, and we don’t see one another very often. When we do get together in person for staff meetings three times a year, it’s a chance to get a pile of work done, but also to renew relationships and celebrate the great organization we work for.

At our staff meeting this month, we were marking the 15th anniversary of Threads of Life. Our agenda included items like partnership updates, Steps for Life evaluation, review of our operating plan and planning family forums. But we also took time to look back, take stock of the present, and look to the future. Here’s a peek behind the scenes:

Minute for mission: Every time we meet as staff, we take turns reflecting on Threads of Life’s vision and mission and how they come to life in our day to day work. This time, our director of partnerships and fundraising Scott McKay talked about the recent Atlantic Family Forum and how inspiring it is to see returning family members helping those who are new to the forum and the grief journey.

Cringe and grin-worthy photos: To honour the 15th anniversary of Threads of Life, we collected photos of each staff member from 2003 when Threads of Life was founded, as well as photos of each of us when we were 15 (above!) – a little longer ago for some of us than for others!

Personal reflection and growth: With activities organized by various staff members, we thought about our own accomplishments, skills, our challenges and our coping mechanisms. We also made some notes about what we see ahead for ourselves – things we look forward to, places we want to go and new things we’d like to try.

Threads of Life in another 15 years: We did some dreaming about where we think Threads of Life should be in 2033, after its second 15 years. When we achieve our vision, of course, Threads of Life will be out of work. In the meantime, we decided that in the future everyone in Canada should know about Threads of Life. We imagined services for all, in every jurisdiction, youth-focused programs, online services, full funding, more partnerships, local and regional services. Stay tuned!

And back to the present: Staff meetings are mostly about assessing how things have gone in the past and planning for the future. But we also try to walk the talk by being conscious of self care and spending time in the present. We break up our meetings with stretches, snacks (always important!) and change-of-pace activities. This time, we were on the lookout for sources of joy. Join us in taking ten minutes to find joy in the current moment! With thanks to, here’s the activity sheet we used – try it out!

Where do YOU see Threads of Life 15 years from now? Let us know in the comments area below.

Susan Haldane