the quality of being thankful; readiness to show appreciation for and to return kindness.
Before the experience of 2021, I could have easily defined gratitude as just that first part – the quality of being thankful.
So much of what was being bandied around both on social and traditional media was so negative, divisive, polarising, and aggressive. Those things are not for me, so fair to say they got me down at times, as I am sure they did everyone else.
I quickly turned to other sources, positive people, mindfulness teachers and apps, and restarted the practice of journaling things that I was grateful for. Very quickly my perspective shifted, and I was back ‘up and about’ and feeling good. Whenever I hit a hurdle, or was a bit flat, I would re-invigorate the practice and it worked like a charm every time.
It wasn’t until I remembered a phone call from a mate of a mate who called me back in 2020 to check in, just to see how I was doing – a light bulb moment. From here the mission was clear.
I had been fulfilling the first part of the gratitude definition, I had been thankful (at times more than once daily!) but what I hadn’t got to where the other parts – showing appreciation and returning kindness. Instead of just being thankful and grateful for the amazing people I am lucky to have in my life and having my spirits lifted in the process, it was time to take it to the next level. I had to call them and tell them.
Now you might read that and think, of course, no brainer – but believe me – it wasn’t that simple – how do you call someone and say – “just calling to say that I love you”, or “I couldn’t imagine my life without you in it”, or “you have helped me become the person I am today” (or all the above). This was not something I had a lot of practice with… it was a little daunting to say the least.
Fair to say, I had a lot of different initial responses.
My sister (who I called one workday afternoon) asked me if I had been drinking. One of my great mates wanted to make sure nothing was wrong and that I was okay and assured me he would come and see me (breaking COVID rules) if I needed*. Others went silent, some stuttered, but to a person after that initial emotional (sometimes awkward) response, we reminisced, we chatted about things that had nothing to do with what was going on in the world around us (no testing/case/vaccine stats) and we really genuinely connected.
At a time when many of us were locked down and had no way to make new memories, the sharing of old ones and the appreciation of the role important people in your life play in those memories is what it is all about – that is how you return the kindness.
So, this year something different – while I am not going to go into detail about the great achievements of HR Central and what we have done in partnership with our clients, partners and supporters, I would like to let you know what I am grateful for.
- The HR Central Team
- An amazingly dedicated group who through highs and lows helped not only our client and partners through but also each other and me
- Special mention to blog writer Sarah Tidey who this year lost her battle with ovarian cancer. Sarah came to us via Cath, and our thoughts are with Sarah’s family and friends at this time.
- HR Central’s Clients, Partners and Friends
- Attempting to make the best of the situation no matter what was happening the partnerships we share are amazing
- The HR Central Board
- Supportive and strong, open and real. I am very fortunate to have this level of experience and support around me.
- My family and friends
- How lucky I am to have you all in my life!
To all of you who have been on the journey with us this year, I say thank you. I am so grateful!
And I encourage anyone reading this, as I did for each person I called this year, give someone else a call. Let them know how much they mean to you, how grateful you are for having them in your life. Not only will you be being thankful, showing your appreciation and returning the kindness – it is also a bloody great way to spend your time.
Farewell 2021. 2022 – Here we come!
* He called the next day just to be sure also – got to love that!