A quick review of 2023

With 2023 slowly crawling to an end, it’s time to reflect on the year so that I can step boldly into 2024 in just a few hours. As is often the case, the year has not been what I hoped it to be. Early in the year, a series of little things got in my way and led me to start working towards some Big Things instead.

Those little things meant the year was a little more challenging than I expected it to be and were a cause of stress and anxiety. But they were also opportunities for personal reflection which led to some Big Steps that will (hopefully) lead to some Big Things in 2024.

But despite the little (stressful) things, there were moments of joy and happiness to be found throughout the year. Normally, this is where I would share 1-2 highlights from each month. However, not all months have highlights (beyond simple enjoyment) so I’ll just share a few of the “big” highlights for the year.

Culinary heritage: I cooked several new recipes this year from my family cookbooks as well as trying my hand at recipes from the Internet. Oh, and I made cherry juice, too. I also spent a lot of time editing the final instalment of my family cookbooks, which should be ready to share with loved ones in January.

Time with friends: In addition to the several walks and lunches with friends throughout the year, I enjoyed a long weekend in Miami with a friend in March.

Time with family: I started the year with a sad airport goodbye to Dad. But by July I was in The Homeland again, spending lots of time with Dad and enjoying lots of fun adventures and activities. And then, I returned to The Homeland for another Christmas with Dad. (My carbon footprint has been high in recent years!)

Life milestones: 2023 marked 22 years since I first arrived in Scotland. I also took my Life in the UK test and gained Indefinite Leave to Remain – meaning that my 2024 highlights should include applying for citizenship.

Whilst there have been many wonderful parts to 2023, the little things I alluded to before meant that the year wasn’t as carefree and easy-going as I had imagined it would be. (I didn’t expect complete easy sailing, but I didn’t anticipate the way the year unfolded.)

But the little (stressful) things in 2023 led to some exciting and hopeful steps towards some significant things I have planned for 2024. So, I suppose that 2023 will be viewed as a year of thinking and planning so that 2024 can be a year of doing and implementing.

So, thank you, 2023, for the inspiration I needed to do some amazing things in the coming months. (I am being vague, but I hope I can share some more concrete details early in 2024. But just know: my plans are still based in Scotland and at the same place of employment.)

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