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Haven Diaries – Dear New Year, I’m ready!

white snowman figurine beside red heart ornament

My team at work decided to have a zoom Christmas gathering for our last day before breaking up for the holidays. We were all meant to put on our festive best and bring along festive snacks for ourselves, along with a few of our 2020 achievements to share. I usually struggle listing my wins so it took me a while to figure out what to share.

I did a lot of exciting things last year. From appearing on ITV, radio and podcast features, to submitting a winning entry for the Digital Agenda Impact awards and sitting on the panel to discuss tech for good and digital transformation in the third sector.

Yet nothing feels like a greater achievement than surviving lockdown, working from home as a single mother of one, with barely any support, and without having a single panic attack! And that is what I shared with my colleagues.

Because it’s been a tough year and none of the other things would have been possible if my head was not in the right mental space. I believe that this was partly due to the fact that for the first time ever in my life, as I envisioned what I wanted my 2020 to look like in December 2019, I intentionally neglected to focus on material gains or metric success.

I wanted to learn how to give myself permission to fail and give myself more grace. I wanted to be kinder to myself and more willingly accept help when it is available. I wanted to be less of a malfunctioning perfectionist and more of a thriving realist – less of a procrastinator and more of a doer. I wanted to be present in every moment remembering that I deserve to be and I deserve to be there.

Other more tangible things should have happened this year that would have made me feel more productive. I had a podcast pilot on my vision board, to coincide with the relaunch of my freelancing business. Alas COVID-19 had other plans and I rolled with the punches and thepenwarrior.com became my therapy. It was never in the cards to start blogging again this year. I just needed an outlet other than the Notes app on my phone.

I say all that to say, as people roll out their achievements and talk about how productive they’ve been in the most challenging year in recent memory, be mindful of your mental state and your journey. There is no race. There is no competition. No one is giving out awards or cash prizes!

If surviving and thriving are all you managed to achieve this year, that is enough. You matter and you are enough. Celebrate yourself because you are doing the best you can and honestly in these times, that is more than enough.

As weird as this year has been, I’ve probably never felt more secure in my purpose or more fulfilled. Now it is time to revise the vision board with contingency planning included this time and get ready for the new year. May it be a better one. For all of us.

Work Projects I am looking forward to next year:

  • The launch of the new and improved Haven website
  • Developing and implementing a more consistent digital/content strategy
  • The Haven Wolverhampton’s Impact Report 2021

All thoughts shared are my own and not the views of my employer.

Bonding over branded cupcakes

For our GSK Impact Awards film shoot in a refuge, I made Haven-branded cupcakes with my little helper – a meaningful bonding experience which sparked some necessary conversations.

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