If 2015 was a year of consolidation and feeling more settled, then 2016 already feels different, maybe because I know that there are changes afoot already – I’m looking forward to starting a new job soon, in March, and to becoming an auntie in July, so this year is already looking like it’s going to be an exciting one! A lot of good things happened in 2015, like buying my flat and going on some proper holidays for the first time in years, but I won’t pretend it wasn’t also a difficult year. There were times when I felt like I’d hit a wall in terms of my relationship, and wondered if we would make it. It felt like the worst of all worlds, all the downsides of pseudo-single life as well as all the downsides of a long distance relationship. This was compounded by a long and stressful commute to work which only got worse after I moved in September. When I moved back to the UK in 2014, I had all these notions of the various things I wanted to do with my free time, none of which I was actually ever able to do (save for ballroom dancing) because I would get home from work too late in the evenings and couldn’t plan much at weekends because I never really knew what was happening with my partner’s plans, being as they were contingent on someone else.
A number of these things have since resolved themselves, or at least begun to, and things are finally starting to feel like they are coming together. My new job is far closer to home, within London, only half an hour away by public transport, as opposed to an hour and a half’s train travel to leafy Hertfordshire. This feels like my REAL move to London now; after all this time, I will finally experience the Victoria line in all its rush-hour glory/horror. My new role is out of my comfort zone in more ways than one; I’ve never worked for a unitary council, I haven’t worked in London and I’ve actually never worked in a service based role, by and large my previous jobs have been at the corporate centre in some kind of strategy or policy role. I’m taking on managing a team of performance and data analysts in Adult Care Commissioning. I have no experience in Commissioning so it’s going to be a very steep learning curve. It’s also a more senior position than I’ve had before, and although I very much welcome the extra responsibility and challenge, naturally I have been thinking about what leadership capacities I will need to develop further, and blogging is one of the things that helps me to do that so expect to read more here on that front over the next year.
Goals for 2016
- Appreciate living in London – I went to see a play last weekend, its the first time I’ve been to the theatre in about 15 years, how bad is that! I’d really like to do more cultural stuff, and also get to know the place I now call home better. In other words I’d like to become a proper Londoner.
- DO more – mabye start entering Ballroom competitions, get back into singing or music in some way, play guitar, maybe even find a kung fu class
- See more of my family – go down to visit more now Dad is retired and my sister is having a baby
- Do more for charity – whether that’s investing time or money, I’d like to do more to help causes I’m passionate about like homelessness and animal rescue shelters
- Write at least one blog post or article a month! I was lucky enough to have a couple of articles published in the Guardian in 2015, which was great, and I hope I will feel inspired by the challenges in my new job to make a worthwhile contribution to the discussions in my field and get published again. But I would also like to bring my blog back to life, and get back into some good writing habits, so watch this space hopefully for a mixture of personal updates and professional perspectives throughout 2016!