Every Day’s A School Day

I remember, only ten days ago, saying to someone that it would be good to put the business on hold ‘for about three months’ so we could focus on doing some work on the new website, processes etc…. Those words came back to haunt me this week and I got my wish.

But who could have predicted this? I’ve been told countless times this week that people feel like they’re ‘living in a film’, ‘every day’s a Saturday’ or that ‘it feels like that bit between Christmas and New Year’…all true. But the reality is, nobody knows what this is or how long it will go on for…it’s just bloody odd (talking to loved ones through glass windows & doors), flipping scary and unbelievably worrying for all of us, not least those who have children working on the frontline and those who have young children and are also working on the frontline in hospitals, elderly relatives in poor health, businesses fearing the worst, and families not knowing how long they can get by.

We’re all hanging on the every word of Boris and Rishi, often none the wiser after they’ve spoken to the nation but at least comforted by the fact that ‘we’re all in it together’. And that has to be the shining light, the brightest star in this week which has, for a million reasons, been the worst week of our lives (and we know it can get worse) but a billion reasons why it’s been the best week.

Let’s not focus on the bad for now…that’s freely and openly available every minute of every day. Let’s focus on the good.

Not only is this whole situation a wake-up call for all of us, a time to re-assess our lives, for nature to grab us by the scruff of the neck and tell us all ‘watch out’, but it’s also a time for the very best in human nature to unite us. You can’t help but feel energised, enthused, inspired and frankly chuffed to bits to see everyone doing their level best to do what they can to help. It’s incredible. Groups joining forces, friends that fell out making up, calls from people you’ve not heard from in years, connections with people we have worked with who might be in another part of the world, collections, initiatives galore and just an unbelievable spirit.

We have to hope that all of this will be positive for the environment, see us all treasure the things that matter most and less so materialistic possessions….we will value family and friends, experiences and our surroundings…all the things we have taken for granted. Maybe we’ll find a work life balance, we’ll most certainly stop working like fools all hours of every day, we’ll change our working practices and just be nicer to each other. We will have to adapt to our new world, that’s what we’ve always done and although this is the biggest test most of us have ever faced, together we can help us all get through this.

I don’t know about you but every day is quick, but long, packed and light touch, productive, emotional, surprising… every day really is a school day.

So keep doing what you’re doing…you’re all doing an amazing job. I’d like to thank my team for doing so much in such a short space of time to help connect Oxfordshire’s business community. We’re not alone in doing what we can to help but hopefully what we’re doing is helping you. Thank you Keith, Lorna, Rob, Colin, Sue and Abi…you’ve all done your bit and I’m very proud of each and every one of you.

And thank you, without naming you all, to everyone who has helped us re-position ourselves in such a short period of time…there’s still a long way to go, but we’re getting there!

Here’s to next week and what it has to throw at us….I reckon even Tyson Fury would struggle to take the wind out of our collective sails!

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