The HR Juggler

Day 31: Looking Back In Gratitude

Posted on: December 31, 2012


Happy New Year’s Eve to you! Where has 2012 gone?! Whatever you do (or choose not to do!) to mark the end of the old year and the start of the new one, I wish you all the very best for a wonderful celebration.

Today’ s post is by Vera Woodhead, who can be found on Twitter (@verawoodhead) or on her excellent blog.


2012 has been a year with more challenges and failures than successes. It has been tough for those who work independently, as training budgets have been tightened and the market is becoming saturated with coaches and those transitioning from redundancy into consulting.

Going back into employment seemed a lucrative option, but I have persevered. And with that has come much learning, finding ways to be creative and innovative and most significantly, the need to be resilient.

I have enjoyed sharing my team coaching ideas at conferences, starting my research on mentoring and have worked with some amazing organisations and people and continue to find my writing ‘voice’ through my blogs.

Connectedness has been a thread this year. Coaches Connect has drawn together a wonderful bunch of coaches. I have been most humbled by their support in making the event a continued success.

Social media has given me the opportunity to connect and have insights into people’s worlds that I would have never dreamt of before. The world has shrunk, making it easier to engage with people from afar and in the sharing of knowledge, ideas and even support.


There is no handbook for child rearing and my two have provided much fodder for learning – not only about them but also about myself. A momentous period has been when my eldest aged 15, spent the summer in the Andes with a group of teenagers that she had never met before. Whilst there was much pride about her sense of adventure and curiosity, equally there was anxiety about her safety, health and wellbeing. I was relieved that the foundations that were laid in her upbringing served her well.

Strange things happened this summer holiday. For the first time we had more than 7-10 days away and Mr W. wasn’t connected to an electronic device – bliss. Our three weeks of outdoor adventure seeing animals in their natural habitat has given us the bug for exploring. Next Easter we head off to Rainforest in search of jaguars, anteaters and giant otters. I am mindful that soon my eldest will not be holidaying with us and to treasure these remaining family moments with her.


Being part of the community has featured highly this year. I suppose that has come from me coming to England with my sister to live with a spinster aunt and leaving my friends and family behind when I was a child. I find it difficult to name a place that is ‘home’ (as in where I grew up) and am conscious of trying to put roots down for my children and being involved and a part of the local community.

Taking up the Chairmanship of the Business Forum seem a good way of doing this. However, coupled with my Board duties at my local hospital Trust, I have found managing my time a struggle. Being naturally curious, I continue to go off tangent to find out and read things that I find interesting – with late night consequences!

Looking ahead

I don’t ‘do’ resolutions and am nurturing several things which I hope will blossom. One of these is closing the main street off in my town to host a food and drink festival and showcasing the businesses of Ilkley and surrounding areas. (Do visit on the 31 August!)

The second is to grow my new women’s network and use their resources, expertise and talent to mentor girls in schools. And to bring them both together for a day of inspiration, sharing and connecting.

Thirdly, doing more with my writing though not sure what! And finally, to take part in my yearly physical challenge, especially as I have not been able to do one in 2012 due to injury.

As 2012 closes in, I am immensely grateful for another year. After surviving two life threatening operations and a near-death accident, every day is an opportunity to do good, be the difference and cherish those around us, the time we have and the world we live in.

Thank you Alison for the opportunity to reflect and wishing all of you a Mindful 2013 – there is much to be grateful for.

1 Response to "Day 31: Looking Back In Gratitude"

A great set of insights, some of which I am familiar with in 2012. Perhaps this goes to prove that we can prevail if we adapt.


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