Just your typical Friday evening…an anniversary blog

by Valerie Delaney, Principal, Learning + Developement

Just your typical Friday evening. Drive 30 minutes up the highway to get our Superstore order curbside. Home. Clean groceries. Put away. A four-hour effort from start to finish. It was exhausting, and so we do it only every three weeks.

Times have changed. Do I mind? Well, yes, I do in many ways, but I am grateful to be able to get the groceries I want, when and how I want.

I guess this is my one-year reflective piece. Exactly one year ago, on March 2, I sent an email to the Delaney team asking everyone to begin working from home. Take your computers and whatever else you need from the office, tell us what you need to work efficiently, and pray this is “a tempest in a tea pot”.  I did not really think such was the case, but I was hoping to be wrong. I was writing about business continuity, risk assessment, group benefits, health, and hygiene. I was worried as I quoted the Provincial Health Authority, “while containment efforts continue, we are also preparing and planning for the potential of more widespread transmission in our communities.” Wow. What we didn’t know then and don’t know still.

There are few words to describe the magnitude of what has taken place around the world in the last 12 months. I will leave that to others and only say in our own small corner of the world, there have been struggles and victories. Some of our teammates dealt with Covid-19 and other serious illness in their immediate families; some mourned the loss of family members and friends due to other reasons; some nursed loved ones back to health. I lost a dear aunt and close friend – both in Seattle, so close and yet so far due to the pandemic – and was heartbroken to be separated from them during their final days. We scaled down our team but were back full force by mid-June. Our consulting and training work stopped in its tracks for several weeks as everyone struggled to sort things out. We found new and better ways to engage virtually and moved our training online. It was exhausting.

We wrote blogs about staying connected during Covid-19, about health and hope, virtual engagement, training online, social change, engaging with nature, and journaling with kids and teenagers. We did our best to connect with our readers, clients, and participants. It was exhausting.

Hmmm. I see a theme here. It has been a tough year, yes, but we are still here and moving forward with much gratitude and “a fair bit” (as little Peter would say) of grit.

To our wonderful team members who stayed positive, creative, and determined – thank you!

To our hard-working clients who trusted in us – thank you!

To the 731 training participants who took Delaney virtual training since March 2020 – thank you for proving me wrong when I said, “We delivered our first Virtual Academy in June 2020, and I can honestly say I wondered if it would also be our last!”

To Richard who does the heavy lifting (no pun intended) when it comes to groceries – thank you!

To the heavens above – thank you!

I wish all of you good health, much happiness and renewed hope in the year ahead.