I have made it my mission to get out and talk with a lot of people post lockdown. For one thing I craved seeing people, not through a screen, but in the flesh. I was intrigued to listen to how friends and colleagues fared and what they thought their future holds.
There have been stories of job losses, business upheavals, how to grieve in a lockdown, stress, loneliness and a marriage break-up. But also tales of books read and recipes tried, fun with kids, the kindness of neighbours, the joy of cycling on empty streets, as well as enlarged respect for those who really count, no not the vacuous Kardashians of the world, but check-out operators, nurses, doctors, pharmacists, farmers - the people who we actually need.
There has also been a theme that has come through lots of the conversations and that is a new respect for time.
My favourite saying not so long ago was "you're a long time dead". It was the catch cry I would proudly exclaim when people reprimanded me for working through the night or if someone said I looked tired. I thought racing, always racing, was an end in itself and it just enabled me to get more done. And boy do I love getting things done! But lockdown forced me to stop and I know it made many of us stop and reflect on the time-poor lives we have been living.
Many discussions I have had have centred on the time we had to simply be, to wake when our bodies were ready, to think through ideas without distraction. Many of us spent precious time with loved ones - pure time, not rushing between things we had to do. Some had projects that they could actually focus on. I loved the stillness of it all.
I found that I was full of renewed vigour and energy, particularly for my own business and my clients. And incredibly, I didn't get less done.
I have vowed I will never go back to those all-nighters. I still adore getting stuff done, but I have ditched the once favourite saying.
And the picture of the vertical wall? It's the garden my partner John and I built and planted together in lockdown - a project that we had the time to enjoy completing.