A Cause for Pause

It’s December of 2021, and we’ve all made it through yet another grueling yet enriching year.

How the balance of good and bad are striking us these years is something my mind settles on often. I know that in senior living, we’ve been hit by blow after blow: devastation to the residents and families who call our clients’ communities ‘home’, staff shortages, supply shortages, overwork, and stress. It’s been one heck of a year, following another heck of a year. It’s time to remember to pause.

December in senior living is always the hardest month. Providers do all they can to secure the last move-ins of the year, to prevent any move-outs, and to push through to get occupancy solid before the close of the year. Every year it’s the same, and these last two years have been some of the hardest.

I tend to approach December with stillness and gratitude, and I counter that with go-go-go energy and a steady heart. I work to balance my days to find pause and stillness in the dark of night and early morning, and to pull hard through the brightness of the days.

This December has been a little different for us here at Craft & Communicate, as we have hit a company milestone — something that puts a hold on further growth and hones us in to our why:

We now represent 150 communities across the United States.

We know we could grow more, hustle more, represent more, and if we do so, our quality would go down. We’d hurt our clients who trusted us and counted on us by continuing to grow, to take on more, just to get big.

That means we’re pausing.

What a great month for this to occur.

When Rich and I founded Craft & Communicate in 2016, we knew we never wanted to get so big that we didn’t know what was going on at the communities we represent. We didn’t know what that number would be at the time: 100? 150? 200?

I can say today that we found it: 150 is our cap. We’re no longer growing.

We’ll continue to refine our craft, dig into the communities we represent, do our absolute best work for the senior housing companies who trust us, and strengthen our fantastic team, all while pausing. All while settling into the stillness of winter during the most hectic season of the year.

This note is in part a letter of gratitude – a huge, wide, enthusiastic thank you – to all the companies who have trusted us over the years. For those clients who joined us on day 1, thank you. For the 3 of you who are joining us this month, thank you. We are pausing for all of you.

And we’re pausing for us, too. Our sanity, our strength, our resilience: this all only goes so far. I’d like to ensure all our team gets to live to see the ages that we are honored to represent. I am fully aware that none of us will if we keep pushing. The healthiest option — for us and for our clients — is to pause.

I hope you join us in finding your moments of pause this season. It can be a few minutes each morning for deep breathing, prayers at the end of the day, a walk around the block during an afternoon break, or a stroll through your communities to hold hands with a few incredible souls who may not have families checking in on them this year. It could be discovering your own company’s balance, too, or your team’s.

Whatever you choose, I wish you a season of peace, gratitude, and love, and much time for a few moments of pause.

Happy Holidays,
Jen Malloy
Owner, Craft & Communicate

Jen Malloy | Craft & Communicate

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