I usually have my first blog post of the year written and published by January 3rd. After the chaos of Christmas, I love shutting myself away to reflect on the previous 12 months and document my plans for the year ahead. The words flow readily. I always enjoy selecting the right photos to add colour and context to my memories. In many ways, it’s the easiest thing I write all year.

This January, I’m feeling fragile and tender. A couple of nights ago, I found myself in A&E due to a ruptured ovarian cyst. It was completely unexpected and excruciatingly painful. Although I’m OK now, it seems I have a few more days of discomfort ahead. As someone who usually enjoys the fresh start feeling of a new year, spending the day in bed weeping through the latest season of Queer Eye is not the beginning I imagined for 2022.

Today, I’ve made it to my desk. I’m putting one word after another. It may not be the energetic leap I imagined, but it’s a start. I’m also finding comfort in these words from Elise’s latest email:

January 1st is just a day. The same as January 10th or February 7th or August 28th. You may be ready to leap into the new year on Saturday. You may already be off and running with your list of 2022 goals. You may have carved out some time for reflection on January 3rd when you’re back at your desk after some much needed rest. You may be expecting a major life change in March and are considering that the start of your “new year.” You may have stopped looking at all calendars back in 2017 when you retired… The point, as always, is it’s all okay. There is no wrong way to approach these next few days. I am rooting for you (and for all of us) in 2022. It’s coming! We may not be ready, but onward we will go anyway.


Looking Back…

2021 began with another long stretch of home schooling. Like many people, I found the third lockdown more gruelling than any of the others. To be honest, I’m not sure I ever recovered! Pandemic fatigue on top of chronic fatigue is a pretty exhausting mix. But we took our daily walks, logged into Google Classroom and hung on as best we could.

As restrictions eased and the world gradually reopened, we were able to reunite with friends and family. From picnicking in the cold when we could only gather outside to finally meeting some of the babies born during lockdown, these are my best memories from 2021. Other highlights include visiting London for the first time in two years, celebrating Izzy’s GCSE results and the couple of nights we spent glamping near Frome. No doubt you’ll understand when I say all these things hit different post-2020.

I worked on some incredible projects last year, writing copy for six websites, two digital brochures and too many blog posts and marketing emails to count. I feel lucky to have been stretched and challenged in the best possible way. I didn’t launch the physical product of my dreams, but I did deliver multiple online workshops. Two of these were hosted by others for their own communities. I’m grateful to Sarah D Rees and Maddy Shine for giving me the opportunity to reach a new audience.

Writing for this blog and sending regular emails to my mailing list was a source of great joy in 2021. I learned a lot about the type of work I want to focus on and realised I’m itching to try new things. I missed podcasting a great deal, but Charlie and I have big plans for a new season of Friends with Business Benefits. Watch this space!

two children playing in the snow


From school closures and cancelled exams to catching COVID at the start of the summer break, the children went through a lot last year. I am simultaneously in awe of their resilience and desperate for them to have a more ‘normal’ childhood.

Izzy is thriving at drama school. Watching her transition into young adulthood is proving to be one of my favourite parenting phases so far. Jesse is bright, full of energy and unceasingly curious. I genuinely love hanging out with them both.

One of the best things I did in 2021 was carve out plenty of time for creativity. I picked up a hobby, explored new crafts and really leaned into doing things ‘just for fun’. In many ways, I consider these my greatest achievements of the last year.


Looking Forward…

Using the phrase ‘cautiously optimistic’ to describe how I feel as we enter 2022 seems like tempting fate, but whatever Omicron or any other variant has in store for us, I have plenty to look forward to over the next 12 months.

Top of the list is becoming an auntie. My little sister {who’s obviously not so little anymore} and her husband are expecting their first baby in June. As they live in Australia and we haven’t been able to see them since November 2019, my biggest wish this year is for the borders to open so we can fly into Sydney and meet my new niece or nephew for the first time.

There will be other things to celebrate including our 10-year wedding anniversary in a couple of weeks and 10 years since I first went freelance a little while later. We’ve booked ourselves a romantic weekend away to mark our anniversary, but I have no idea how to commemorate my business birthday. All ideas welcome!




1. having or showing mental or moral strength to face danger, fear, or difficulty; having or showing courage

My word for the year ahead is ‘brave’. Plans and goals remain vague and nebulous, but I’m certain ‘having or showing courage’ will be essential. I want to experiment, explore and discover new things in 2022. At the same time, I plan to maintain the small, daily habits that make a big difference to my overall health and wellbeing. Kayte of Simple & Season perfectly captured some of my creative hopes, dreams and intentions in her description of a ‘writerly life’:

‘I want to read widely and often, I want to write more steadily, I want to feed my imagination, I want a devotional routine within creative work that I can hang my days upon. I know that when I say “a writerly life” that this is what I mean, and I can use it as a compass – to choose a book over a Instagram scroll, to prioritise the writing I keep putting off over some sort of admin.’ – Intentions and Word of the Year 2022

How about you? What are your hopes and dreams for 2022?

Love Audrey xxx

P.S. Can you believe I’ve been sharing a version of this post every January for more than a decade?

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