A word to our past selves

What do we know now that we wish we knew at the beginning of this crisis? Here’s the advice the Magenta team would give to their past selves.

What do you know now that you wish you knew at the beginning of this crisis? 

Craig: Whilst I’d only spent approximately three full months in the office before the pandemic hit, I hadn’t realised just how much I valued the friendship (and just the face-to-face company) of my team. They all bring different qualities in their own right. This break away will ensure that I won’t take them for granted.  

Greg: An idea of the timeline would have been good. One of the hardest parts was (and still is) not knowing how long it will last. Even now we’ve got used to the pandemic we still don’t know when things will be “back to normal”. That said, maybe knowing it would last into 2021 would have been too daunting to deal with at the outset?

Cathy: I wish I’d known that it was going to be tough but actually that a shared human experience would bring the M People closer together, and bring us closer to our clients. I wish I could have relaxed into lockdown earlier rather than wishing for a return to the ‘old ways’. 

Jo: You were running around like a blue-bottomed fly before Covid hit. You made people dizzy. Someone even described you as a ‘hurricane’. You’ll get used to a slower pace of life and, what’s more, you’ll be thankful for it. Slowing down will give you a fresh perspective.

What are the main lessons you’ve learned? 

Cathy: I’m a big planner. I love planning adventures, whether it be city breaks, far-flung trekking trips or local walking weekends. Since Covid, I’ve learned not to hold too tight a grip on what I want to happen and to live more in the moment. 

Craig: I’ve learned who I want and don’t want in my life. I’ve had to make some tough decision in that respect, but that’s all part of growth. As harsh as that sounds, there’s little point in surrounding yourself with negative people who don’t contribute anything to your life. When you are surrounded by positive people who want the best for and from you, then you are more likely to adopt empowering beliefs and confidence. 

Jo: As tempting as it is to blame Covid on everything, it’s a boring excuse. Plus there is plenty you can do to give yourselves a fighting chance. Be accountable and keep marching forward.

Greg: People are resilient, adaptable and generally want to support each other. Both at Magenta and in wider society there have been numerous examples of people finding ways to adapt. Seeing people raise money to support worthy causes has been heartening – especially the work done by Marcus Rashford, businesses and members of the public to combat child hunger.

What advice would you have given yourself back in March? 

Greg: Buy shares in Zoom! Seriously though, the hardest part for me was right at the outset with all the uncertainty, so my advice would simply be not to worry and that everything will be ok.

Cathy: Stop snacking. It’s not going to get any better for a while yet and you don’t want to emerge 3 stone heavier. 

Craig: Be kinder to yourself and stop carrying other people’s problems on your shoulders. Whilst it’s always good to care and be there for people which has always been my nature, you’ve got to put yourself first a little bit more because you can’t pour from an empty cup.

Jo: Back in March, I could have done with someone telling me everything would be OK. Nobody did, because nobody knew. But now we do. It’s December 2020 and there is a vaccine, and there is hope. Yes, it’s going to take time but there is an end in sight. Or a new beginning, depending on how you look at it. Here’s the letter I wish I had received back in March.

So long, 2020. Thank you to the Magenta team, our wonderful clients, journalists and FM, workplace and property industry friends for their unwavering support this year. Here’s to a merrier, brighter 2021!

Jo Sutherland