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Can't see the timber for the trees? Go on the radio!

An honest blog from an honest place this morning. Our day at MBS Gardens starts pretty early. While the children are still sleeping Mr MBS is usually up and off to the workshop around 5:30am to tackle some woodwork, paperwork or some such other work before it's time to get the team prepared for the day and off on site.

Behind the scenes it's time to rally the mini MBS troops and get everyone ready for the day ahead, while checking on material availability and prices - this has become a bit of a theme over the last 19 months. It's now almost as routine as the morning coffee! Some mornings, recently, the day has lost its sparkle and the light shining in the window has been more of an inconvenience than an opportunity for a brand new day. If you've felt like this of late - I hope you're glad to know you're not alone.

By 8:00 the team are at the workshop and raring to go. It's never the same two days running at MBS Gardens and, with the most recent challenges, the team often have several unexpected tasks for the day - luckily they always give their best and are always smiling. I, however, spend much of my day with three children, contacting suppliers and trying to keep everyone working - oh, I do love the summer holidays!!

Some days are a joy, others....not so much but we are learning that the trick is, if you can't see the 'timber for the trees' it's a good idea to take a quiet step back and reflect.

The way we work has never been so different as it is now. Things that were taken for granted 'pre-pandemic' now seem to occupy a lot more of our time and not always in a positive way. Who'd have thought, in February 2020, that by August 2021, we'd be where we are now? I know we didn't - *nobody ever expects the Spanish Inquisition, right?

This morning we were interviewed by the lovely people over at BBC Radio Newcastle and it gave us the opportunity to look back. Has anyone ever said to you, 'don't look back, you're not going that way?' While this is, indeed, very true, sometimes looking back can be a great way to check out how far you've come! It was great to chat about our business journey and, when the early mornings and late nights are taking their toll, see how much we have achieved.

It can be difficult, when outside challenges creep into your day, to find the joyous moments - but they're always there - sometimes you just have to look a little harder.

The interview got me thinking, and now blogging, about how things have changed since the beginning of last year and how everyone has adapted, overcome and found resilience they didn't know they had. How has your life changed? Has it changed at all? Has your business changed? Has your job changed? Has your outlook changed?

As a family business, we've found some of the best support and met some wonderful people. We've worked incredibly hard to keep going and, at times, lost sight of the things that make us part of such a fantastic business community.

In my previous life, working in higher education, I spent an awful lot of my time encouraging my student teachers to reflect, reflect, I was reminded why.

Reflection is a super worthwhile activity and, after convincing so many others over the years to do it regularly, I'm embarrassed to say I've gotten out of the habit. It's not just about reflecting on things that didn't go to plan. Often, we fall into the trap of reflecting only when things don't happen the way we expect so we can fix something. It's also wonderful, however, to reflect on things you've done well, obstacles you've overcome or opportunities you've had.

With this in mind, if you're feeling like I was this morning....look for the joy, pick out the positives and celebrate the wins!

*shameless Monty Python quote

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