Happy New Decade!

So, Iain (my husband and business partner) and I finally immigrated to Australia. It has taken us longer than we thought it might and we are very happy to be here :) x 10. Equally, we are delighted to congratulate Jo Emmerson on her promotion to Managing Director of Holst. Jo is a wonderful talent and Iain and I are excited to see her grow into her new role. She will rock it!

For our part the start to the new decade was full of smoke. We found ourselves smack bang in the middle of an extraordinary and ongoing fire event on the South Coast of New South Wales, Australia.

We know people who have lost their homes. Houses that we were looking to buy just 12 weeks ago have burnt down.

Our neighbour spent last Saturday beating fires with tree branches on the family farm just over the hill (they ran out of water early in the day). He was defending property; the fire was closing all around them. Thankfully they all got out.

The eldest daughter of dear friends has sadly lost her family’s dream home. The photos make it look like it literally melted in what must have been a fire storm of heat and madness.

We all face another heat wave this weekend. And please don’t mention the wildlife. #heartbreak

Just yesterday we met an impressive young man (16 years old), from South Carolina in the USA. His family has immigrated to Australia for a 96-year-old Grandparent. He is staying with our neighbour. He is one of a family of 10. His Mum moved the kids to a beachside suburb near Batemans Bay to be with their Dad. The farm they moved from survived, despite the odds. The house in the beachside suburb is gone. A family of 10 instantly displaced.

We met two goats who were over-nighting with our other neighbour. Like all goats they were legends to spend time with. We like goats. Their names: Salt and Pepper (yup, perfect black and white. I am sure you guessed that.). They were in transit until the highways opened to the north. Their home was raised to the ground in a town called Mogo. Small community. We understand it was wiped out. Completely.

And the threat continues.

The people around us are shocked, traumatised and in many instances ready to collapse. You won’t hear them speak about 3-month plans, they speak of what they think they can do that afternoon, maybe in the next hour or two. Many have lost homes and businesses. You won’t hear them speak of their holidays but rather where they we will stay tonight, this night.

We are told our fire season will continue until the end of March. Our region will have no significant rainfall until April.

And Australia is just the most recent headline. The world is full of hardship. We are not unique.

And I guess that this is my point. The nature of resilience is universal. When your world implodes, when it becomes the nightmare you never planned for you make choices. You find a way to put one foot in front of the other. Small, tiny, micro steps. You turn up and give life a go. You take care of yourself when you know you are fried and strung out, you find your voice and say “no”, “not now, maybe later, thank you”.

I say proudly that our community (of which we are very, very new members), puts one foot in front of the other. They turn up and give it a go. They are the very best examples of personal excellence I know. I am proud. I am Australian and Iain and I are here for the duration of this recovery period.

The world is a landscape of epic challenges and ours is just one on a very long list. Everywhere across the globe people are turning up and ‘giving it a go’. Every day since the dawn of time, long before our recent fires, people have been bringing the best versions of themselves, (and that doesn’t mean the perfect version), to the hardships they face.

Challenges you experience could be ones in your workplace, a natural disaster that has captured global headlines or the type of experience that rips your heart out and throws it on the ground to the extent that it feels like 10 people are stomping on it.

Resilience is trying. Despite the odds. Knowing when you need to self-care. Knowing when to say no. Knowing when to assert yourself. It is trying to find the hope in every situation, and when you are unable to find hope it is being ok with that fact that optimism is beyond you for the moment.

It is being kind to you. It is finding your flow.

Across the globe we wish you the gift of resilience in this new decade. May you have what you need to flex, adapt and create amazing outcomes during these uncertain times.

Happy New Decade!