Living Consciously with Kath Merlo

We all know what a challenge the last two years have been. For business, individuals, and families. Everyone has been touched in some way by the pandemic. We are navigating a new and strange world. And for many of us who have been fortunate enough not to ever face wartime, depressions and other major world crises - it is perhaps the first real global challenge we have lived through. I consider myself one of the lucky ones to have survived relatively unscathed. My family is safe and well, and my family’s businesses have come out the other side of this pandemic still intact. That’s not to say it hasn’t had its challenges, and as a business owner the stress of not knowing if we will survive and be able to look after our staff, has at times been tough.

The past two years have looked very different for everyone. Whether it be social changes like working from home or not being able to holiday overseas, to coping with the financial hardship of job loss, and being apart from family, we have all felt the affects to some extent. The positive side to much of the past two years I think has been a chance for many of us to slow down and take stock of what is important to us. I myself have been able to spend a luxurious amount of time with my family at our farm one hour out of Brisbane. I certainly will never underestimate the value of that time, nor the luxury of having a farm to escape to. The past two years has certainly made me appreciate the little (and no so little) things - good health, good food, family and friends to share a meal with, a quiet walk in the bush. And yes I have missed planning overseas holidays and visiting far away places, but as a family we have also rejoiced in being able to see more of our own amazing country. How lucky are we to live in such an amazing and diverse country like Australia! From camping in the bush to road trips across our home state, the pandemic has certainly encouraged us to see more of Australia, something I will always be grateful for.

The past two years has also reinforced to me the need to look out for others and to be kind. No one knows what hardships people are facing, so simply being kind to others is so important. It has also reinforced how many people are suffering in all sorts of ways. That’s why this year as we sat with our team discussing Christmas (traditionally a busy and hopefully prosperous time of year for our business!), we all agreed we wanted to be conscious of the challenges many people face, especially at this time of year. We have also long respected the incredible work of RizeUp, which works to support families impacted by family and domestic violence. And at a time of year when most of us are celebrating time with loved ones, for many families impacted by domestic and family violence, it is far from the joyous time of year it should be. We immediately knew that we had to do something this Christmas season to support this wonderful organisation. We hope our Kailo guests will also want to support RizeUp - because every little thing we can do for others can make an enormous difference. And after the challenges of the past two years, there is no greater time to do that!

On behalf of myself and my partner Kristy Morris and the whole Kailo team, we wish all our Kailo guests a safe, happy and joyous Christmas and holiday season. Like everyone, we look forward to 2022 being a better year for all of us. Kath Merlo