Do you ever sit down and wonder – what have I actually done this year? It’s been another weird one hasn’t it, with Covid still dominating every day. Our office chatter often ends up with us wondering where the year has gone, how has it gone so fast? But then, remember we were basically in lockdown until April weren’t we?
Aside from Covid cancelling a couple of breaks away, and reducing the amount of time we can see family – it hasn’t really had an affect on our ‘office life’. With the huge move to virtual in 2020, most of our clients and events seem quite settled to have everything on Zoom or Teams. I for one definitely find Zoom calls more efficient than the travelling time I was spending in 2019, as well as saving on petrol costs too of course.
By autumn 2021, I was beginning to feel a bit stuck in the same Covid rut, I have to admit. I think many of us are the same to be honest. At the start of the year I’d written down some goals, and in August realised I hadn’t even started to look at them. Cue some panic during late summer and autumn, wondering where the year has gone and what have I achieved. But, it’s been a busy year and I’ve found it more important than ever this year to reflect on what we’ve done. It’s so easy to forget, and not pat yourself on the back. For myself as well, I’ve definitely felt a lot more anxious this year about the general day-to-day, so looking back, and having some time to reflect, is definitely worthwhile.
Things I wanted to do… but didn’t: write a book, launch online courses, launch a website academy. Still, there’s 2022 right!
Digital Women Awards: I was genuinly shocked to have been shortlisted for two awards at the Digital Women Awards 2021 – Role Model of the Year, and Entrepreneur of the Year. Not only that, but I was listed as one of the 40 Digital Women to Watch in 2021 too. Now that was definitely something on my bucket list!
Becoming an Aberystwyth Town Council Councillor: this wasn’t on my list of things to do for a while, but I was approached by a few different people when some seats came up for co-option. It was something I had planned to do later on in my 30s to be honest, but why pass on the opportunity? Also, being a Town Councillor linked in quite well to other community things I do. It’s been a big learning curve, the councillors have been very supportive and I’ve enjoyed the difference I’ve managed to make to my local community. Next year, it’s elections – so there will be plenty of campaigning before May! I’ve yet to decide if I’ll go for County Councillor or not…
Aberystwyth University Tutor: My first interview in years, and potentially, my first ever ‘real’ interview too, to apply to become a Tutor with the Lifelong Learning department at Aberystwyth University. They offer a range of short, online courses for anyone to purchase, and when I applied I thought it would be a great opportunity to showcase the expertise we have.
Facebook Blueprint Community Manager: a tough exam, but I was absolutely delighted to pass my Facebook Blueprint Community Manager exam this year. I’ve got 2 Blueprint badges now, and just need to plan and work on the next one.
Ardal Aberystwyth Rotary: I was asked to join a new Rotary club that was being set up in Aberystwyth, and before long, was putting my name in to be the first Llywydd (President). As a new club, we did feel it was important to emphasize that it was open to women, all ages – and well, basically just to everyone. Gone are the days of old-fashioned Rotary clubs! It’s been such fun since we began meeting in the summer, and we’ve already supported some great events. Our official charter arrived 1st December 2021. I can feel 2022 will be an exciting year.
Forward Ladies Awards: you may have read some blogs of mine talking about the Forward Ladies Awards in 2018. Honestly, they have been such an important part of my journey, so it was a delight to be shortlisted again this year! No Award on the night, but being listed against some fantastic women once again was an honour.
Gwe Cambrian Web: I can’t do a reflection on the year without quickly mentioning the business! In January 2021 we took on our first ever full time member of staff! We are since a team of 3 with Catrin onboard since June, and we are advertising for 2 full time positions. Hopefully this time next year, we’ll be a strong team of 5! We also took a huge office move in November as well, moving from our place on Bridge Street in Aberystwyth to above Nationwide on the main street. A much larger space for us to grow into, and we’ll also be able to open up our hot desks again in the new year as well. Finally, we smashed our record of website launches, from 26 in 2020, to 44 this year. Lots of hard work from the team, I’m so proud!
Holidays: Despite Covid, we’ve had 3 fantastic holidays to Scotland, and also explored county Durham as well. It’s important to me to take time away from work and also from Aberystwyth. Exploring parts of the UK was something we did pre-Covid, and although I miss going abroad and discovering new cultures, I’ve enjoyed discovering a lot more of Scotland.
When I started thinking about reflecting back on the year, I found myself feeling a tad deflated I’ll be honest. It’s been a hard year. I have found myself being quite anxious, I’ve dropped a few balls along the way and felt overwhelmed at times. But then I look back on what I have achieved and I know I can feel proud about the year. I’m looking forward to some time off over Christmas, to allow my brain to have a bit of a clear out. I’ve already got my Forward Ladies Goal Setting book, and I’m already feeling those first tinges of excitement for a new year.
What on earth can 2022 have in store? Aside from a few Scottish holidays…