I was reflecting this week on how drastically different our lives are compared to this time last year. This time last year the first thing we would do each morning, is go out and check the sheep, then check the yogurt (which had been started the night before), then plan the weeks activities, production, deliveries etc.  

Now the first thing we do in the morning (and last thing at night) is check our online analytics. We look at sales so far this week compared to the same time in the previous week, we look at returning customer rates, new customers numbers, customer questions, customer reviews, number of orders, web traffic sources and on it goes.

It’s been such a year of learning.

Learning about the power of e-commerce, and how people shop, what drives them to buy online, what questions they have, what they really care about.

Learning how the only way to survive is to adapt, and it’s not just us. We’ve watched so many of our amazing restaurant customers, develop the most amazing click and collect, meal kits, and restaurant style offerings at home.

Learning about the importance of wellness, selfcare and the importance of minding your mental health. I took on my Covid kilos last Oct and through studying nutrition and the microbiome a lot more, I’ve now lost nearly a stone, exercise every day and have so much more energy.

Learning about the importance of family.  I’ve watched our children (teenagers and young adults) suffer the most, as they’ve been forced into the most unnatural of situations, no college, school, friends, social lives.  I’ve lost my aunt who acted as my mother since my own Mum died over 33 years ago. But I was only allowed in to see her in hospital when she was “end of life” and unconscious, and I miss her every day. I’ve watched my elderly father and stepmother, become rapidly frailer and more vulnerable in the 12 short months, as they’ve tried to deal with this new normal.

Learning that life is short, people are so kind and supportive, but you sometimes have to ask for help. You never know what others are dealing with so be kind and help when you can.

Aisling Flanagan