Week 25: thinking about this past year

Paris ❤️Paris ❤️

Looking back at my reflections at end of 2022 I’m struck by how much there was to ponder. Some really big things. I thought about funeral literacy and how we’re all a bit uncomfortable around death and dying. I also had the biggest health scare of my life which thankfully ended without bad news, in fact quite the opposite.

Again I find it hard to think back on a whole year and pick out moments, so I’ll reflect on my 2022 list.


It’s funny I still think of myself as a boomerang employee despite having been back for two years. Reflecting on another year of work - I’m still thankful to work in a sector and on issues that are intellectually challenging.

The problems are gnarly, the topic is deep and important and my colleagues are great. It’s a fine balance though. This year has shown how tough it can be working around death and dying. Everything and everyone can seem fine and resilient… until they’re not. No one is immune from stress and burnout. I said I don’t have any answers, but I do think we’re aware of it which is a first step.

Oh, soon I won’t be the only boomerang 🪃.


We launched a new website, and a new online advance decision service.

Both huge projects that at the time didn’t feel perfect or perhaps go as intended but with time and perspective I’m really pleased with the work. Incremental progress, and a platform for future good work.

Godfather (and uncle)

I’m still thinking about my role as both a godfather and an uncle. As someone who’s on the fence about whether I want kids I do think about the role of kids in my life. I feel like I’m learning from friends and family about what it takes (a lot). And the beauty and wonder of raising another human being. Also, just the sheer effort… kudos.

Filial duty

I’m very much still grappling with this concept of filial duty. A hard year in this respect, with no answers. More questions really but also more reflection that family is important to me.

My back, hobbies and holidays

I had a bit of a renewed effort this year to work on my chronic back pain. I’ve had a very short-lived experiment joining an outrageously expensive gym with personal training sessions… the whole shebang.

My take is that spending more does absolutely NOT equal better when it comes to this sort of thing. It’s crazy how many people want to spend this much on gyms, absolutely nothing against it - but it’s not for me. Back to Better for me in 2024 I think.

I’ve carried on with my movie thing this year - to the point where I’ve recognised it very much as an outlet for me. I think I need it. I’m a member of Curzon and Picturehouse. Both nice. I’m pondering a Curzon Cult membership, basically unlimited films. One day perhaps.

This year, I made it to:

I’m grateful for lots of trips, but was talking recently how I’m hankering for a big trip somewhere soon. There is something different about a big trip isn’t there…

A health scare, and what it led to

So, best till last…

My first ever proper health scare changed my life. I’m very very lucky that for me, it was in the best way possible. I remember at the time being very aware that for loads of people these health scares end up with awful news. I’m still a bit reticent to talk about it so openly, but weeknotes innit.

Anyway, for someone with a health anxiety the whole experience made me double down on an already formed view that life is short. Working where I work it’s hard NOT to think in this way, but this really crystallised my outlook on life. Health changes at the drop of a hat. One moment you’re fine, plodding through life and within what seems like a second - it can all change.

In my 2022 reflection I said I’d use this to guide my decisions even more in the year ahead. What I didn’t quite expect was that it’s led me into my first ever long-term, loving relationship. Those that know me may laugh that this is what it took, but it really is funny what an impending colonoscopy will do. It’s all a matter of perspective.

For years, I was someone who genuinely enjoyed being single - and the solitude it brings. Now I’m living with someone I love doing all the usual couple things. Who’d a thunk it? Not me.

The best example of this life is short philosophy? Asking my new partner to come with me to Paris two and a half weeks after meeting. Fun times.

Plans for 2024

More living. More travel. More work.

Over and out.