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  • Writer's pictureSue Bulmer

Looking back to look forward

Happy New Year!! Congratulations – we made it to 2022!! And what a year it has been…. Starting with lockdowns, the continuing pandemic, political scandals, cancelled travel plans, increasing coverage of violence against women and children, racism against our England men’s football team, migrants drowning on their way to the UK to seek a better life, fuel shortages and rocketing costs of living in the UK post-Brexit, I have been wondering how to summarise the year. Would Annis Horibilis be appropriate?

Whilst at times, I have wondered what the **** the world is coming to, my faith in humanity has been restored by some of the good news stories too. The largest vaccination programme the UK has ever seen took place (and I was proud to be part of it in my capacity as a NHS Pharmacist), 8.47 billion vaccines have been administered globally, the WHO gave the green light for a malaria vaccine rollout, the G7 summit came to Cornwall with some very promising outcomes, the tampon tax in the UK was abolished and Donald Trump was banned from Twitter!! Need I say more….

December naturally comes as a time of contemplation and reflection for me as I find myself winding down, creativity waning as I feel myself wanting to hibernate, withdraw and be still. My time for thoughtful introspection is now over and as I start to look forward to 2022, I have taken a look back over my own year to see what my wins have been and to think about what I want to achieve in the coming year. I find this process helps to round off the year on a positive note as I celebrate my wins and achievements. This year it helped me realise the cumulative effect of all of the baby steps I've made whilst working pretty much fulltime in my other jobs and it makes me feel excited at the possibilities of 20212.

On a personal level, I think staying alive through a pandemic comes close to top of my win list, and thankfully I can say the same for my nearest and dearest. My heart goes out to everyone who has lost someone they love during this pandemic. 2021 saw me turn 50 and I was lucky enough to spend it with my lovely fella in a fantastic holiday cottage on the White Sands of Morar on the West Coast of Scotland. This year I managed to overcome my fear of public speaking and delivered several wellbeing and creativity sessions to a variety of groups as well as talking at an international book symposium about my Masters research. I certainly got braver and I cared less about what other people think.

From a creative business point of view I set up and launched my new website and online shop and became more visible across my social media platforms. I started my own email newsletter and also made lots of connections and collaborations with other creative souls. After much humming and haa-ing, I dropped a day of my pharmacy job in order to make space for my various creative pursuits. I started to take my art more seriously and began to invest in myself by joining a paid artist membership which has helped me to focus and get my sh!t together. I sold my first paintings as a result!!

I have continued to work on my wellbeing throughout 2021 to help me stay resilient during the tough times. I’ve been going to bed consistently earlier, I went forest bathing for the first time, experienced an amazing gong bath and have started a meditation practice.

I’ve looked back and reflected on my words for 2021. As I mentioned here I chose NURTURE & GROW and I’m pleased with how they have influenced my choices and decisions during the year. I’ve nurtured my important relationships, my clients, and myself. I’ve grown as a result.

I wonder what this year will hold!! I've already chosen my word for 2022 and will be talking about this more very soon.

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