I started sending Christmas e-greetings in 2007 due, principally, to a lack of time to organise sending out Christmas cards. Since then, others have followed what is now a well-worn path to help save the environment, benefit charity and also, in my case, convey more than a simple, basic greeting. That does not mean, of course, that I don’t wish you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year, it’s just that, with a captive audience, I like to wax slightly more lyrical!
This year has probably been the most turbulent (“interesting”, if you are familiar with the Chinese curse) in living memory (and I’m OLD) and it isn’t over yet! I’m not just talking in terms of the UK. World politics, economies and climates have all been dramatically affected during 2018 and there is no sign of a more benign 2019. I have commented upon the fallacy of the phrase the “new normal” before, but I really do think that we have to strap in for another roller coaster, next year.
Closer to home, Kepstorn has been striking out in a number of different directions, all in a positive way. We are all pleased with the progress that has been made, with the opportunities that are on the horizon and with our ability to continue to grow our offering. In the main, this comes from the relationships that we have built up over more than 30 years, each, in the profession. In the modern, electronic age, it is easy to default to remote access and contact with each other; to assume that the person that you are dealing with is happy to engage electronically or virtually; to ignore the one abiding certainty of human engagement – personal relationships. I have always tried to use any opportunity to meet clients and contacts, to renew these relationships on a personal level and to spend time just getting to know a bit about the background to a client, a project or an opportunity.
As with previous years, as an alternative to buying cards and paying postage I have made a donation to St Vincent’s Hospice. My mother-in-law sadly passed away as a result of cancer last month and whilst the speed of her decline meant that she did not have the chance to move into a hospice, my wife (who was previously a director of St Vincent’s Hospice) and I have always been great supporters of the movement. If you feel able to do so, you may contribute via their website, here: St Vincent's Hospice
Despite the huge sadness of the death, it did allow her family and friends to celebrate a life lived well and to the full, to remember what a dynamic and strong personality she had been and to come together for the first time in many years. That alone, I believe, proves my point about relationships. Seeing the family and friends all together in one place and almost instantly renewing connections that had, in some cases, been dormant for years was wonderful. If we all made an attempt in 2019 to try and renew an old friendship with an actual meeting, who knows what might come of it. Let’s all try to get out from behind our screens (of whatever size) and meet in the real world – it’s not as if there aren’t enough coffee shops to accommodate us all!
On that note (and in the hope that I see as many people as possible, next year – you have been warned) may I wish you a joyous Christmas and a very prosperous (in every sense of the meaning of that word) 2019.