A Review of the Year and Lessons Learned in 2023

Here we are again at the end of another year and once again I find myself wondering where the time has gone, but also what I’ve done with this year. Whether it’s getting older, because I’m tired, or because a lot of our excitement happened in the first half of the year, for some reason I’m finding it a lot harder to remember what we’ve done this year.

This year has felt a little bit at times like standing still and watching the rest of the world move around us. We’ve stayed in the same jobs, we’re still living in the same place and we’ve not made any particularly radical steps in any direction. Whilst we’ve had friends going through some major life changes and others simply travelling the world, it’s not too surprising that I’ve felt a little bit still in comparison.

In some ways, it’s felt a little bit like what was needed. There are most likely some bigger things on the horizon and we don’t always have to be moving at one hundred miles an hour to make progress. In others, after the stagnant COVID years it’s felt quite frustrating and I can’t help feeling like the year should have ended with us having done more. That being said, between being busy most weeknights and rediscovering how few weekends there are in the year it also feels like there perhaps hasn’t been the thinking time I’d have expected from a slower year.

The first part of the year was dominated by our trip to India. Preparing to go, the trip itself, and then the come-down from the trip. Having your main holiday right at the start of the year makes the rest of the year feel really long, even though it was nice to get some sunshine a little earlier. The last few months have felt a bit more focused on support – largely for friends and for colleagues. And that middle bit in between had a few highlights but I couldn’t really tell you what we did with the summer (except spend more time at an ice rink than I’ve done any other summer), and we didn’t get much time outdoors on a picnic blanket.

Highlights of 2023

  • The trip of a lifetime to India, including seeing the Taj Mahal, tigers and taking part in an Indian wedding
  • Seeing Mika in concert
  • Our weekend in the Lake District climbing Scafell Pike and staying in a tipi with a wood burning stove
  • Seeing Cirque du Soleil at the Royal Albert Hall
  • Time spent with friends and family in Bristol but in lots of other places too
  • Continuing the hobbies I started in 2022 – I love my choir and I’ve really enjoyed continuing to learn to ice skate
  • A wonderful night away in Bath featuring a fabulous roast dinner

Lessons Learned in 2023

  • Curry for breakfast, lunch and dinner is more curry than I regularly want in one day
  • India is the sort of country that’s overwhelming when you’re there but somehow your mind keeps slipping back to once you’re home – I can see how people do return trips!
  • The Taj Mahal is stunning
  • I love camping when it involves a proper bed and a wood burning stove
  • It’s much easier to be a vegetarian when you’re scared to get ill from the meat option
  • Your own ice skates are a world away from rental skates
  • Finding your edges is harder than it sounds
  • The Royal Albert Hall is a fabulous venue
  • If you keep telling people you need something, maybe it’s time to listen to yourself rather than carrying on telling other people
  • Slow cookers are fabulous, but frying onion before work will always feel weird
  • Sometimes you have to say no, and not everything needs a reason
  • Travelling as adults with a sibling is an experience
  • When it rains in Rome, it seriously rains
  • If something’s been on your to do list for multiple years, it’s probably time to accept it’s not getting done
  • WhatsApp voice notes are great
  • When leaving a voice note I will talk for far too long
  • True friends know you inside out and can make you laugh out loud even from the other side of the world
  • It’s pretty much impossible for me to return from the library without picking up another book, even if I have five on my shelf I haven’t read
  • I really do love learning
  • My husband knows me incredibly well and is great at surprises

What has been your highlight of 2023?

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