Well, what a start to 2021!

Time has been the most precious commodity this month, either simply not enough some days and other days, the small 24 hours seemed to go on forever.

At Peony & Magnolia HQ, I strongly felt that I wanted to mark the achievements this month, however small, as we often overlook these in the journey, especially when the focus is so very much on the end destination.

Call me cynical, but the announcement of schools closing on the 4 January was always going to be longer than first thought, but oddly, I was fine with this. With a pragmatic head on, instead of counting down the days, we have started each day with a clear mindset, taken some learnings from the day before and thought about something every day we have enjoyed or have been grateful for. I cannot say I look forward to the repetitiveness or the intense working patterns, but the focus remains, we do what we can, when we can.

Peony & Magnolia continues to grow and develop, and I am proud of this. I invested my time last year in getting a clear vision in my mind and I trust this process to see me through the next 12 months and beyond. Some of these pieces of work are already coming together, some are brewing slowly in the background, all have a key theme of collaboration.

I have been working closely with one of my key clients, exploring values and behaviours. It was engaging and refreshing and is such a positive piece to work on and such a committed leadership team. Being in this mindset helped with my own reflections, delving a bit more into P&M’s values, creating mood boards and visualising bringing these to life. I shared this via my Instagram account and had some really encouraging feedback.

My investment in time this month making new connections and maintaining existing ones has been insightful. I have had a range of conversations with people, some with shared connections already, some I am exploring for the first time, I found conversations to be so beneficial. I estimated I have allocated about 15 hours to just sitting, talking, and simply enjoying a hot cup of coffee.

In the first lockdown Peony & Magnolia supported an initiative for graduates to gain work experience, I am proud to say that this did assist a bright young grad to get their first role in HR and in February will start this journey again with a new HR Assistant and cannot wait to welcome him  into the P&M family.

Wellbeing has been a focus, not only for me but in terms of conversations with others. If you consider the lockdown phases as chapters, the first was a shock but we survived and began to thrive. The second was gloomy, and on a personal note the hardest, however, I really dug deep and have been able to approach lockdown 3 with much more clarity and optimism. Having a growth mindset has helped incredibly in this time and having a resilient nature.

Of course, in the background there has been home-schooling, 2 little people who have shown motivation and have committed to new working patterns for us all. As a team we set up camp in the kitchen area, sharing space, ideas, and a lot of time together. Any struggles we have worked through, but it is amazing to see little things click in their heads and confidence grow in their own abilities. I do not want home-schooling as a permanent fixture, but I do feel a bit privileged to have experienced this time with them. Throw in some additional zoom playdates, street dance lessons and Beavers and Cubs it has been a remarkably busy month.

A few small steps combined with some realistic daily achievements, brings hope and a sense of enthusiasm as we head into the Spring months, I know at P&M I have some great things on the agenda to look forward to!