As many of us are doing, its nice to take some time to reflect on what 2018 has been like in order to put some perspective about what will make 2019 better.
2018 has been a huge year of change for us as a family because we moved to Wales, having said goodbye to 12 massive years in Gloucester. This was always going to be a tough move, because we made this decision largely with our hearts more than our heads and therefore everything was to organise and sort out. But, despite the challenges, it has been an amazing change. 12 months and a couple of days on, it still feels like we are moving in as we obviously still have boxes to unpack and our renovation plans have not moved on anything quite as quickly as we would like, but we now have space to grow and last summer was simply amazing with the weather – it’s going to be like that every summer, right? 😉
Professionally its been a very challenging but rewarding year. We took some decisions about work to go for on the thinking that if one of them paid off then that would be brilliant, but we had the surprise of both of them coming up trumps, which meant all hands to the decks and delivering the most amount of work that K Sharp has done to date. In amongst all that we moved our office to Llanelli, said goodbye to some of the team members and hello to new ones. This year also gave me the personal challenge of leading multiple teams, and having to learn how to manage my time effectively in meeting both of their needs. Thankfully, both teams are brill, and they are great in supporting me doing my job. Driving 6 hours to and from Cumbria has been a challenge in itself, and somewhat exhausting . But it has been a great opportunity to take in some of the amazing Welsh countryside, not to mention get through some Audio book learning.
Politically I had always said to myself that I would be taking time out after the events of 2017. However 2018 has been amazing for meeting new Labour friends and refreshing about why I got politically involved in the first place. In many ways coming to Welsh Labour has had all the challenges of when I joined the party the first time round, not knowing anyone, not realising internal politics, etc. But the climate is also very different here, its much more tuned to the Community aspect, about doing the right thing for people. I’ve already had some great opportunities, from enjoying the Welsh reception at Labour conference, to getting involved in some round table discussions on the local economy as well as working to revive our local Labour branch (I’ve never really worked at a Branch levels before).
2019 doesn’t look like its going to be any less challenging, I am still going to be working in Cumbria for a chunk of time, but the opportunities that we are looking at do seem hugely exciting and if only some of them come off then it will be very cool indeed.
Professionally, I am setting us some challenging targets, and I have decisions about what to do with my PhD, as it has been on hold for nearly 12 months, and I have to decide if it’s the right thing for me to do (an hours in the day question) or do I change it to something else, perhaps just get the Masters for now. K Sharp is now 7 years old, its scary to think just how much time has flown. We have dealt with some tough times, but hopefully 2019 is the start of some really growth and opportunity.
Politically, this year is going to be dominated by Brexit, but there is little we can actually do about it except roll with things as they are presented to us. I am hoping to get involved in our community more, and in our local Labour party as I hope to be spending more time at home. We are lucky to have a great MP and AM in Llanelli, as well as some fab councillors and members, just getting stuck in will be fantastic.
Personally, as I say every year, I do want to blog more, so I will try again this year to do something at least once a month. I need to get back on the running bandwagon, setting myself achievable targets. I want to learn the saxophone (I won’t be forcing anyone to listen), and make an effort to meet more of my neighbours (well not all of them as we live next to a graveyard, but you know what I mean).
More importantly, I want to spend more time with my Family. Working away gives you real perspective on missing the simple things and just how much time you lose. And to actually take a holiday this year too.
Happy New Year – I wish you all the opportunities of 2019 and if there is anyway I can help you realise them, just shout.