How do we mark the passing of another year? In my case this seems to involve muttering things like “Where has the year gone?” or “I can’t believe it is 2017 already”. I am reliably informed this has more to do with my age than time actually speeding up although I’m not totally convinced about that.
Perhaps we just managed to cram so much into 2016 that it created the illusion of a year flying past – certainly looking back over those 12 months, with the assistance of Sarah’s Blog, our Jubilee year was quite an adventure. It was lovely to be reminded about just some of the many occasions over the year when people gathered together to celebrate and have fun in so many different ways.
Inevitably reflecting on what has gone leads us to look to the future and wonder what this next year will bring our way. The natural connection between these two activities of looking back and then looking forwards was captured perfectly in the headline for the MacIntyre Strategy for 2016 “We are proud of our past and ambitious for our future”. In this document we set out to share a vision for the future which would make sense to everyone connected to MacIntyre and I like to think we succeeded. Certainly it generated more discussion than any previous MacIntyre strategy hopefully because it was easier for people and teams to see how and why their individual contribution mattered.
This brings us back to Great Interactions – individual contributions, often tiny and fleeting which added together make MacIntyre what it is now, created the past which we are so proud of and which will in turn build the future we are looking towards. Every week thanks to this blog we get the chance to read about one of those individual contributions and celebrate all over again the achievements it led to. Reading these wonderful stories always reinforces to me the importance of “being in the moment” a phrase commonly used when people talk about Mindfulness but that for me is implicit within our DNA, it has to be. It is not possible to have a Great Interaction while being distracted by something or someone else, it simply isn’t.
When we are reflecting on the past and planning for the future we must not overlook the importance of the here and now. Whatever 2017 brings, and it will bring plenty by way of distraction for all of us of that there can be little doubt; we must commit to “being in the moment” much more with each other. Whether that means putting away your smart phone while talking with others, not looking at the TV when someone wants to tell you about their day, stopping typing the email when someone pops their head round the door and asks if you have a minute or simply focussing on what is happening now and not letting your mind wander this is something we can all commit to doing. I suspect that by focussing much more consciously on the present moment that we will find we create much better memories as well as influencing our future in a positive way.
As we embark upon another year we know will bring many challenges I know MacIntyre is well placed to meet those challenges because it is the embodiment of all those individual contributions.
I will finish with a quote from Maya Angelou and while she was writing from her own personal perspective I believe this is a statement that works just as well for MacIntyre as an organisation and by inference therefore each and every person connected with it setting off into 2017….
“My mission in life is not merely to survive, but to thrive: and to do so with some passion, some compassion, some humour, and some style.”
Director (Adult Services)