It’s the end of the calendar year. The turkey has been eaten, the gravy has been slurped, the mince pies have been nibbled, and the mulled wine has been drunk. And here I am, reflecting on the past 12 months.
I’m aware this isn’t everyone’s cup of tea, comparison is the thief of joy and all that. But personally, for me, I find reflection a good thing. I want to look at the past to re-evaluate and realign what I’m currently doing to get to where I want to be.
I’ve been in professional services for 6 years and this year I finally made the leap to industry. Well, the decision was made in 2020 but I started my new job in 2021 so this was the year I lived the change.
I remember saying at interviews that I wanted to move away from being an external business advisor and move internally to actually action things and add value – that hasn’t changed.
Yes, sometimes work can drag; and yes, sometimes I feel like I’ve hit a wall. But walls are there to lean on; to rest, take a breath, and take stock before planning and actioning the next step.
Sometimes it feels like two steps forward and one step back, but I think I’m quite ambitious and want to do so much. The reality of the situation is: things take time. I haven’t even been there a year and I’m only human. I’m learning to be patient.
On working late nights and pulling long hours, the hubby has noticed a shift: I don’t complain as much. I’m doing something I enjoy, I’m adding value somewhere, and the work I’m doing is being reciprocated and appreciated – that’s the shift this past year.
I think it helps being in the sector I’m in – it brings joy to people. It’s a product I understand, buy, and consume. Everything I’m doing or working towards is helping future me or the company.
And I am so proud of myself for moving to industry, working in a sector I enjoy, and working for a company that appreciates and celebrates staff.
My conclusion of my career shift in 2021 is that I feel I’m at a good place and doing the right thing for what I want to do right now. Who knows if there will be another shift later down the line – but right now, I’m content.
We have been thinking about moving and buying a place since 2019. Something almost went through, but we felt we were being messed around and called it quits in Feb 2020. Then the pandemic hit.
We renegotiated our rental contract so we kind of had a time limit to move out by May 2022. We’ve now moved and we are now, finally, homeowners!
We are so happy to see some green now – there was not a leaf in sight where we were before. We were younger then and all about that city life. Now we’re a bit older and want a quieter scene with a lot more green and a bit more wildlife.
It’s been a super long and arduous process, and it’s not quite over yet – there are some improvements needed etc. But we’re happy with how things worked out in the end.
The transition has made me reminisce back to my uni days where I lived in a village in the quietest county. I had the green and the nature and a few beaches, but I didn’t appreciate it back then – I wanted the city. Now things have flipped.
I realise now, perhaps because I’m older, or perhaps because I’ve seen friends go through similar transitions: wherever you go, you take yourself with you.
A city or a village or a town won’t make you happy – you make yourself happy. I also realise this past year, it doesn’t really matter if you live in a flat or a house or a mansion, it’s the people and the neighbours around you that make a home. And yes, for me, having a bit of green has helped a lot too.
I have been reading and writing about wellbeing and mental health on and off since 2019. The first piece I wrote was for work actually and it was as if Pandora’s box opened.
I have since written several posts about this topic on this site. 2020 was hard for everyone and it kind of just continued into 2021.
2021 was the year that I actually started to research and investigate why I do the things I do and why I am the way I am – to actually work on myself. I followed therapists on Instagram, went on their websites and read more, did a load of googling and read even more – Pandora’s box just kept opening wider and wider.
The first step was to understand – and it helped. But work still needs to be done. A little progress has been made, and with all the things that have happened in 2021, I’m happy with the progress I’ve made so far.
This is a reflection on my 2021, and with so many people in my life, their lives have also impacted my life. Previous colleagues have had babies, so many babies!
Previous colleagues and friends have become engaged, moved houses, and bought houses. It brought me joy seeing their news and their transitions, and it made me happy that they wanted to share their news with me.
A dear friend also got married and I was a bridesmaid. It was lovely seeing the transition of their relationship over the years from strangers to lovers to engaged and to now being married.
Good things happened this past year. But one big bad thing happened too: death. I’ve dealt with death before and assisted with funeral arrangements too, but this one was different. There were other arrangements.
Work were so supportive, I cannot imagine how I would’ve carried on without the help and support of my colleagues – they are all wonderful people.
The death wasn’t a surprise; in fact, it was a long time coming. But as many people have experienced since 2020, the pandemic and the overrun NHS really can’t cope, and I genuinely feel this death wouldn’t have happened in 2021 but for the pandemic.
Grief hits you in waves. Sometimes it’s strong, sometimes it’s weak. It makes you reassess your relationship, I remember the favourite food but had no idea what the favourite colour was. But I have no regrets. I gave all that I could with what little I had – you can’t pour from an empty cup.
A lot has happened in 2021; some good, some bad. I’m grateful that I’m still alive and reasonably healthy. I want to live a life of no regrets and feel I’ve accomplished that in 2021.
How do you feel about your past year: have you lived it with no regrets, or do you wish to realign what you’re currently doing to get to where you want to be?