So at last I’ll be heading off to the sunshine with my lovely wife for our long awaited honeymoon. We got married nearly a year ago, so I’m really spreading out the celebrations- even more so because our big party is now July 2022!

You may be wondering why I’m telling you this.

It’s just that I’ve had lots of conversations over recent weeks about the importance of giving yourself something to aim at. A light at the end of the tunnel.

The conveyancing sector has been focused on getting past the huge volumes of work caused in part by the stamp duty holidays. Speaking with clients and friends operating in that world, the pressure has clearly been almost unbearable at times. At The Cashroom we processed unprecedented volumes of payments during March, June and September. It will be interesting to see what happens to activity levels now, but one thing I hear a lot is that the end of September was a symbolic end point.

It has been viewed as the essential finish line.

That’s not to say that these teams will stop working, it’s just that psychologically the worst is over. And that’s an important thing to be able to tell yourself when things are overwhelming.

The stress of the pandemic has been unrelenting for over 18 months. Even when things ease, there are challenges to cope with such as safely having staff returning to offices. There are issues of staff in key positions suddenly being off and isolating, with the commensurate challenges for client service and business continuity. There is the whole question of whether to continue with remote working. Resourcing decisions now that the furlough scheme has ended. Repayment of deferred VAT.

It seems insurmountable at times, but I think a key element in surviving and thriving is to realise that we operate best when we don’t feel that things are hopeless and endless.

We made a video recently which was shared on social media, and linked here. The theme was not our usual ‘information’ video. It was unashamedly emotional, and aimed very much at celebrating the end of the conveyancing sector’s mountain of activity. It’s worth a watch I think- a reminder of what the sector as a whole has achieved over the months.

Stupidly, I spent most of the last twelve months working without any real breaks. I realise now that it’s not doing anyone any favours taking that approach. It’s impossible to operate at a high level without any breaks. You lose focus and energy. Next year I am going to space my holidays out and recharge more regularly. I will try not to think of any of you when I’m away in the sun next week, but fear not, as Arnie says “I’ll be back!”