At the end of every year, our team always takes the time to look back on the year.
This year has been a difficult one. We were faced with debilitating health issues, divorce, and caring for ageing parents and grandparents. Some team members balanced post-graduate studies with work. Others helped kids through matric or serious life challenges. A few of our most beloved clients passed away.
Amidst all these personal challenges, we also lost two team members. In a small team, it’s always disruptive when you have to replace someone, but it was particularly difficult this time as we already felt depleted by our circumstances and the challenging financial market conditions.
When we gathered around our table, I asked the team to look back on our year and to focus on what we’re grateful for. It’s much easier to focus on everything wrong but focusing on what we are grateful for helps us turn our attention to all the good that happened amidst the chaos. Our list included:
- Our strengthened bonds because of the tough times we faced together
- Ending the year in a strong position with two new, eager team members
- Pride for the grit shown by the team
- The systems, procedures, and processes that were in place which acted as guard rails
- Improved health or clean health checks
- Answered prayers for a dream job and opportunities for personal growth
- Our friends and families, who supported us through the year
- The Springbok’s World Cup win
- The financial stability of our business despite difficult economic conditions
- Our clients who have shown loyalty and appreciation for our work
- The meaningful work we get to do every day with our clients
- New opportunities in 2024
As we shared our gratitude around the table, we shed tears (nothing unusual at the Foundation!). We relived the hard times but also cried with laughter. It was cathartic and energising, uplifting, and joyful.
Perhaps you can end your year with gratitude too. I encourage you to find a moment alone, or with your family and friends, to look back on your year and name everything that you could be grateful for. You may be surprised to find that amongst the difficulties and depressing news, you were blessed with much.
This is the last blog for 2023. I have loved all the interactions this year. I trust that you will enjoy a restful holiday season and enter 2024 refreshed and energised. I look forward to sharing my journey with you next year.