2020 has, without doubt, been one of the most unusual years of my life, and I know I’m not alone with this experience! From every corner of the globe there’s been some commonality to life that, in a strange way, has felt quite comforting. For the first time, certainly in my lifetime at least, we’ve had the experience of “all being in this together”.

The first half of December is traditionally a busy time in my business. But once Christmas rolls around and I can stop for a few days, I like to spend some time reflecting on the year and thinking about plans for the next.

It would be really easy to look at 2020 as a terrible year and one to forget. And please don’t get me wrong, I absolutely understand and respect that for many it really has felt that way. But I genuinely believe that, even in the darkest of times, in the end there’s always an opportunity to find positives and learning.

A year of personal discovery

One of the beautiful things reflection gives us is an opportunity to look within at how we react and respond to the curve balls that life throws at us.

“I discovered how much I appreciate the little things in life”

When I sat with the question, “What did I discover about myself this year?” so many great things emerged. The first thing I realised was just how important having a healthy relationship with myself has become. I’ve started embracing myself, my needs, and my growth and really recognising how vital my own well-being is in order to get to where I want to be.

I was kind to myself during the COVID lockdown and allowed myself to move at a pace that kept me as a top priority. I discovered how much I appreciate the little things in life. I enjoyed walks in nature and had more time to cook and bake and play the piano. And for the very first time in my life, I meditated.

There’s been something truly remarkable about the way my overall outlook on life has evolved this year. With less “busyness” and feeling like I need to be running around doing all the things all of the time, I feel far less stressed. Now, rather than rushing about like a crazy woman, I’m happy to take my time and, if I need to postpone things till later, I have no problem doing that.

Cultivating self-awareness is a life changing gift that I feel so happy to have received this year.

It’s important to be thankful 

This year has given me so much to be thankful for. I feel blessed that through everything my loved ones and I have stayed safe and well, and my beautiful granddaughter is now out of danger and healthy again. It’s been really special to have my whole family in one place and to spend evenings together playing with the kids – we’ve made some precious memories that we will all cherish forever.

“Recognising the fact that we’ve all had our struggles, has encouraged me to continue…”

And I couldn’t be more thankful for my closest girlfriend. Through everything she’s been available to go for walks and share great laughs with. She’s indulged my passion for classical music, and in moments of doubt she’s encouraged me to continue with my jewellery creations. She has been the most wonderful lifeline.

I’m thankful to have realised that my long-held belief that I’m the only one who’s had a tough time as a small business owner simply isn’t true! Recognising the fact that we’ve all had our struggles throughout our entrepreneurial journeys, has encouraged me to continue to make an effort to bring my jewellery to as many women as possible.

The gift of time this year has also allowed me to do a lot of reading. ‘The Island’ by Victoria Hyslop has been my standout book. It generously and compassionately describes the struggle between higher humanity and the ability of the human psyche to choose to bring a reversal of destiny, provided that a genuine personal revolution has taken place. The book reminds me of the COVID situation and made me think how life has turned into something that no one ever thought about.

“The most important lesson I’ve learnt this year is to stop worrying about everyone else and to start taking care of myself”

Find opportunities to feel proud

I’m really proud of the fact that in both business and life, I’m someone who’s tenacious and patient and I persevere even when things look bleak and impossible.

In my business I’ve greatly improved my consistency with Instagram, and I’m proud of how far I’ve come with getting in front of the camera and taking better pictures of myself. I’ve also been really intentional about having more time to create new pieces of jewellery, which I’ve loved! These three things alone have made a huge difference to my business.

Lessons learned

The most important lesson I’ve learnt this year is to stop worrying about everyone else and to start taking care of myself and doing what’s best for me first.

I’ve learnt to slow down, to enjoy the simple pleasures like a morning or evening stroll and to worry less about the things I can’t control.

Looking forward

When the clock strikes midnight on New Year’s Eve, I’m going to be excited to leave behind in 2020 all of the things that have frustrated and stressed the life out of me – I simply won’t accept that as part of my experience anymore.

In my business I’m looking forward to building on foundations laid in 2020 and becoming more visible, so I can drive a higher volume of traffic to my website and generate more sales. I’m eager to learn new skills like photoshop and photography, and really support my business with incredible visuals. And I’m looking forward to finding someone to hand over the reins over to for my promotions and marketing, to free up my time so I can concentrate on doing what I do best – creating.

So, what have you discovered about yourself this year? What have you learnt? What are you thankful for? What are you proud of yourself for? And how do you want to shape your future in 2021? I really encourage you to honestly reflect on these questions and see what comes up for you – you might be pleasantly surprised with what you discover.

If you’d like to look at some of the beautiful jewellery I’ve been inspired to create during this most unusual year, come on over to my online shop.