Many of you know we are in the ‘people business’. We work closely with people to support them to grow, learn, find connections and become clearer of their pathway in work and life.
There is nothing like holiday time to catch-up with friends and family and reconnect into each other’s lives. This is often done at the beach, by the BBQ, over a drink, relaxing and having fun together. This time is so precious we often resent having to leave this paradise and get back into the daily routines that encompass ‘everyday life’.
We had a very special summer, a real whanau connection time. Having a significant birthday to celebrate the family chose to come from different parts of NZ and beyond to enjoy being together. Our family has been like a company in rapid growth mode over the last five years with many grandchildren joining the fold, some of whom had yet to meet each other. Watching their initial meeting and then the burgeoning relationships develop over the days ahead was not only fascinating, but filled with joy.
We are a family that enjoys music and each summer we have an ‘album of the summer’ that gets played repeatedly. This summer it was ‘Everyday Life’ by Coldplay. We were introduced to this by our son-in-law and it rapidly became our Number One. In the title song ‘Everyday Life’ the lyrics start with….
“What in the world are we going to do?
Look at what everybody’s going through
What kind of world do you want it to be?
Am I the future or the history?”
It struck me we were making our own family history right here, all together. Creating memories together. Playing together. Laughing together. We were creating shared experiences which were an indicator of our shared value and our commonality. The joy was in the everyday things we did spontaneously that didn’t cost anything, just time together discovering and rediscovering the connections. Little ones being introduced to the fun in playing beach cricket or skim boarding, climbing round the rocks or riding a wave, enjoying a ‘fluffy’ at the dairy. The joy of cousins meeting for the first time and forming strong bonds and memories. Coldplay go on to assure us in this title track that even though the world is complex, and at times a torrid place at present, we can have hope for the future, because good does exist, and your life is worth living. It is imperative to focus on what unites us, rather than what divides us. This was happening right before our eyes and none of it was planned. We just made time to be together.
Once the family parted company, we started to focus on our work ahead. The lessons learned from our time together got us thinking on how this delicious start to 2020 would influence our life. It became blatantly obvious to us – keep life relational. Don’t let busyness make you become transactional. It is a lesson for us all. As we work across New Zealand and Australia working with companies and schools, large and small, we meet wonderful people who are being worn out with the crazy pace humanity sets itself. It kills their passion, their creativity and their relationships. When we design work with organisations we plan for deep human connection, for dialogue, for listening, for questioning and always we get the feedback, “it was great to stop and be together”, “it was great to be listened to” and so on.
We all have the power to be relational. It is what makes us innately human. 2020 is the year I plan to have a ‘transaction alert’ set in my head that will go off at times of busyness to ensure first and foremost we meet as ‘humans being’, not ‘humans doing’ and therefore deepen the relationships and find the joy. Thanks to our gorgeous family for unearthing this insight. You are all so precious.
Mary & Lab