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A moment of celebration

It’s my birthday at the end of this month, and I want to make the most of this moment of celebration in my life.

Looking back

The past year has been one of change for me, and A LOT has happened. Having so much going on makes it hard to recall and celebrate what I have accomplished and enjoyed. To make some time for reflection, I have looked back at photos from the past year, month by month, and picked one from each month from July ’22 to June ’23 that shows me doing something that I really enjoyed, a moment that stayed with me. I purposefully chose photos of only me, rather than including family and friends.

What I noticed looking at those twelve photos is 7 of 12 photos are outside, on the beach and in the woods…, four pictures include the dogs (no surprises here), although there’s no pizza visible in any of the shots (atypical), ice cream and holiday cocktails do feature. They reflect the things that are important to me and things that I enjoy.

I also made a list of things I’ve achieved in the past twelve months, which includes publishing my first book (a lifelong ambition), started running again, going to see live music and supporting my parents in a move from Britain to Germany.

Looking at my list (20+ things in all), I had not appreciated how recently lots of things happened. Some of the things that I did last autumn seem much longer ago and similarly, some of the things I started to work on as recently as February now seem well established.

  • Most fun of all, this past year, has been embarking on more travel and holidays again, especially the trip to Greece with my partner, which was definitely the highlight of my year.
  • Most unexpected was becoming excited about seeing ice hockey locally in Cardiff!
  • Most hard won… that’s probably a tie between getting my first book published and completing my coach training and 50+ practice hours in my evenings and weekends.
  • Most creative… starting my first podcast and developing a podcast based course.

Charting my course

I have a five year plan that I find extremely valuable. I used a lot of the tools I trained in as a coach and applied them to my own values and vision, resulting in a comprehensive plan that covers everything from adventure to career, health and family. Some parts of the plan are mine alone, others focus on goals shared with my partner.

On the career front, major change is happening: after 15 years in the same organisation, I am now only three months away from starting a new self-employed career, so that’s an exciting and somewhat scary prospect.

I didn’t accomplish everything that was on my plan for the past year, some goals changed or were abandoned all together, but overall I followed the direction I set out in and I am really happy with my progress. I’m proud of what I’ve achieved.

Here’s to what’s next

The past twelve month felt hard. It took so much energy and time and effort to achieve the things I wanted to achieve, to move ahead with what’s important to me. It had huge moments of joy and fun and yet it felt like a grind a lot of the time.

It feels good to let go of all that effort. Those days are behind me, the effort spent and the goals accomplished. Having done what I set out to do, now I am set for a year of… creativity.

I’m going to do less heavy lifting and succeeding by sheer determination alone and find more balance. I am looking forward to re-imagining my daily and weekly routine as I start a new chapter in my professional practice, and I am excited about bringing creativity to all aspects of my work and play. I will prioritise my physical and mental health and enjoy the outdoors on walks and runs and in all seasons.

Here’s to year year that lies ahead. A brand new chapter.

Photo credit: Photo by Amy Shamblen on Unsplash

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