If there is one word that sums up how many of us feel just now, it might be 'exhausted'. The past 15 months have been a roller coaster. Often, the line between our home and work life has blurred. At points, it has felt relentless, clearing hurdles only to be faced with new challenges.
Throughout the peaks and troughs of the pandemic, camaraderie, teamwork, and a drive to do the right thing, has ensured our services have continued and community needs have been met.
I know that has taken a toll, and I want to thank you again for your hard work. You and your colleagues are the beating heart of this organisation. Without your skills, dedication, and drive, we simply could not help so many.
Thankfully, and despite some recent setbacks, we now seem to be emerging from the pandemic. Restrictions are gradually easing. We can welcome people back into our homes, eat in restaurants, hug friends and family. Simple things that mean so much.
With easing comes time to reflect on what we have been through, what we have done and, most importantly, what we want to do now, not just as an organisation but as individuals. Hitting pause also gives us time to think about what we have done well and what we could have done better.
For me, it also makes me question if we have done enough to support you all and what we need to do to help you as we continue our recovery.
None of this is easy. There will be more twists and turns as we move forward, especially as many services are still under pressure. That is why we need to focus on what we can do rather than on what we cannot, and we must continue to support each other.
The summer months are upon us. Although we all may not be able to get away to our favourite places, I would urge you all to take annual leave.
Taking time for yourself has never been so important. We all need to recharge and spend quality time with friends and family and enjoy the things that we love doing, far away from work.
Chief Executive, Falkirk Council