Hope in your Heart

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Hope in my heart

As the year comes to a close and I’m about to start packing bags to leave Shanghai and head back to Europe (to clarify: for a break, not forever – it’s not like we don’t have a track record of that sort of thing…), there is hope in my heart that next year will be better than this year – and that’s a pretty high bar to set, as on a personal level, I’ve had a corker of a year.

But it’s been a crazy year – where things that would ‘never happen’ have happened, across the globe. And I’ve felt so thrown, so flummoxed by humanity – or the apparent lack of it – that I had begun to wonder whether any single voice was ever loud enough to do any good.

But then music set me straight again – and I had such a great sing along to this song, that I had to include it, and some of the lyrics below – as it just summed up so much for me.

“So tell everyone that there’s hope in your heart
Tell everyone or it will tear you apart
The end of Christmas day, when there’s nothing left to say
The years go by so fast, let’s hope the next beats the last”

So, I’m going to head into 2017 with hope in my heart – and I am going to start talking, quite possibly even shouting, about what matters to me.

Because if I do, maybe someone else will too.

And someone else.

Because being silent provides no forward action. No chance for change, for improvement.

But together, maybe – just maybe, the better side of our humanity can be heard – and hope can prevail.

Happy Holidays!

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The Hardest Part

Hardest Part

So, it’s coming to the end of the year and all sorts of things are drawing to a close.  In a good way.  Getting ready for the fresh start.

I’ve been in Shanghai for 4 months now, and it feels like home – for which I am truly grateful. The first Chinese move, all those years ago, did not end up feeling like home. So this is progress.

It has been an odd week for me though and I couldn’t quite put my finger on why, until I started singing along to the Coldplay track that provides the title to this week’s ramblings… And then it hit me…

“And the hardest part was letting go not taking part…” 

(amazing video as well, you have to wonder who sold the idea into them…)

I left London, and ‘my team’, mid project and this week they delivered the project, with huge success (and great fanfare I am sure) – and I was sat here, in Shanghai, watching the replay of the event on YouTube. (The most amazing part? It looked like the renders that had been drawn up of it all those months ago before I left – and that NEVER happens.)

And I realised that I had kind of being holding my breath out here.  Waiting for this event to come, and pass… so that now I can move on – and let go of some of the guilt (& yes, in all honesty, envy…) that I have been carrying around since I left.

That type of event, occasion, workload, stress, exhaustion, exhilaration – that was my bread and butter for years. Gathering the awesome team, pulling together a million strands, laughter (and tears), aiming to make it ever more engaging, ever more ‘perfect’ than last time – that was what I did. That was who I was.

But I am not that person anymore.

I walked away – made a conscious choice to leave it all behind. The project. The people. (The applause and the post-event thank yous.)

For good reasons. For the opportunity of a family adventure. The chance to redefine who I am and what I do.  (The fact that I even had the chance to make such a choice amazes me.)

But not taking part was indeed the hardest part.

The post event high-fives and slaps on the back, I can happily leave behind (although I did still hunt out, and then love reading, the thank you email of emails from one particularly wonderful client! – Team: remember the real pride in those words).

But the teamwork, the connections made, the emotions felt, the impossibles delivered – not being a part of that was the hardest part.

But now, I can file it away. Know that my loose ends are tied up.  Take a small level of pride from the job well done.

I can move on. Start in on working out what I want to come from 2017 (I will be writing one of these letters) and hope that the the old ‘my team’ are now getting some much needed rest and recuperation – and planning their own amazing futures!