I did not blog once in 2022, other than to declare my word for the year. This is the first time this has happened since launching this blog. I am not sure whether not blogging all year is a good thing or a bad thing, either way I want to return to this blog anew in 2023 and to start using it differently, so I thought I would do a bit of a 2022 round up to tie up loose ends.


Iceland, 2022 – me getting steamy!

‘Joy’ was my designated word for the year. Every year I choose a word rather than a resolution to focus on. Though I did not blog I did keep this word in my mind very intentionally in 2022. After the aching sadness and loss of the year before I had wanted to be intentional in my joy, I wanted to be generous with myself and my friends, I wanted to curate moments of joy. Did I achieve this? Sometimes. Here are some of the moments of joy or practices of joy that emerged in 2022:

Nurturing friendships I have had for years and building new ones. I have been grateful for old/gold friendships this year and for new ones. The older I get, the more I appreciate the role friends play in my life. I firmly believe friends play as just important a role in our lives as romantic partners or blood family do. This image was taken in Egypt with my work colleague and friend Pippa in November, 2022.
Joy comes in appreciating those you have with you. I still miss my father terribly. Grief is still a sly panther that stalks me and can catch me unprepared at 2am in bed or can blindside me at 4pm on a sunny afternoon. I wouldn’t say I value my mum more than I did before my dad’s death, but I certainly appreciate her differently. It has been wonderful to travel twice with her this year.
You don’t have to travel away from your own island to find joy in new places. In the Summer we went to Cornwall and found new nooks and crannies to explore. The turquoise of the water was as vibrant as any Caribbean holiday destination. This image was taken at Kynance Cove in Cornwall.
Joy is a daily practice. Joy is as much about seeking in the midst of the mundane as it is big, bold new adventures. I want to keep furthering my efforts to find joy locally, is n my own home, by my own bit of the Essex coast. I want to find joy even when I don’t feel happy. More to be done! Image taken in December in Southend-on-Sea.


This year was a very busy one at work, this combined with beginning a PhD, volunteering with Women Beyond Walls, Girls Interrupting and Guiding meant a very frantic 2022. I struggled often with burn out and feelings of overwhelm. I won’t say much more about this except to say it does play into my already chosen word for 2023!

Sometimes in spite of my best intentions life gets too crowded! Image taken in Iceland in November at Thingvellir National Park.

Lessons Learnt

My main lessons from 2022 were: 1) Joy is well worth seeking but is as much about finding the right frame of mind in the mundane moments. 2) Generous living creates moments of happiness for the giver. 3) I am.still nowhere close to being good enough at saying no. 4) I am surrounded by incredible people who inspire me and show me joy in action. 5) I need to be kinder to myself to protect my physical and mental health.