Last Saturday was my one year anniversary of leaving the full time corporate life. I would have written then but I was with my best friend in Paris for the day, dealing with the sweltering heat in the best way possible… with rose wine!
After recovering on the Sunday I was in the process of posting this up when I received the heartbreaking news that my Uncle had died. For me, it was very sudden after seeing him at Christmas – he was a slower in mobility but as always, his mind was sharp, active and funny. I’m truly glad that as a family we all got together over that time – I just couldn’t have even imagined that would be the last time I saw him, but the one saving grace is that it was a fantastic last memory.
So I felt a little odd and maybe felt it seemed a bit pointless to provide an update on where I am and what I’m doing; but figured he always asked me how things were going and what I was up to, so have decided to now.
In the corporate life we always talk to full and mid year reviews and well; that’s what I’m doing!
Full Year Review
I feel that H2 2018 was a bit of a whirlwind and I was running on adrenalin – leaving work, travelling through France, studying for and passing my French Wine Scholar and getting my first wine client.
I think overall I’ve become far more confident but there’s still some way to go. When I think about last year’s attendance at the London Wine Fair compared to this year it was completely different, I felt more confident to go and chat to people and just felt like I knew what I was doing.
But I know deep down I should be doing more from a career perspective; I got a three day contract earlier this year which has given a lot of financial security but sometimes I feel a little fraudulent as I left my job to get a career in wine or to help smaller companies.
I spend a lot of my time working from home, it’s quite solitary and despite that it can be quite difficult sometimes to find the effort to then go out in the evening; it’s just ‘easier’ to go nah… and find something to do at home, but I need to stop doing that.
I have to start saying ‘yes’ to more things – for example I went to an amazing sparkling wine tasting with Decanter a couple of weeks ago and met owners of a new sparkling wine bar in Covent Garden; and there could be some potential there, I just need to put myself out to make it happen.
So a simple H2 2020 goal is to say ‘yes’ more to potential work opportunities.
Half Year Review
Readers of this blog know I set out rather detailed goals for 2019!
Career and Finance: To earn the amount of money I need to live and enjoy life by working with companies that hold the same or similar values to me.
Personal Development and Learning: To retain everything I have learned whilst also learning more about wine.
Probably not as much as I should have been actually… yes I’ve been to a number of tastings but until recently I’ve wasn’t feeling as confident as others in the room. Having said that, I’m now part of a super wine community called #UKWineHour and even established people in this industry don’t always feel confident!
Family and Social: It’s a two parter this one…I need to start dating again.
Well… I tried. You may have seen the online dating blog. Just proved my own point that for me it’s not the way to go. I’m pretty convinced that life will take its course and it will happen, so… I’m taking this one off the goals and just waiting for fate to intervene.
I want to spend quality time with my nearest and dearest wherever they are in the country or the world.
And I’ve definitely been doing this. I had a wonderful long weekend in Turkey celebrating my parents’ Ruby wedding anniversary and catching up with friends I haven’t seen for years. I had a wonderful week in Greece with a bunch of girlfriends and later this month heading to my annual festival get together with my two best boy friends. But this will always be tinged with sadness that I didn’t get to see my Uncle again.
Health and Wellness: To lose a stone and half by the end of May and retain it.
So I signed up to do a half marathon to achieve this. But now I’m injured; I haven’t been able to run for about five weeks and it’s quite soul destroying. In between I have taken up yoga and have fundamentally changed my diet and believe it or not, massively cut down on alcohol. It’s made a difference. I feel more energised, clothes are fitting better and I feel healthier. But sadly it looks like I am going to have to defer the half marathon which I feel terrible about given the donations already made.
Spiritual. I’m not particularly spiritual so I’ve also added ‘Time Out’ to this category and the goal is ‘to make each moment count through work and relaxation and to never be bored’.
One of the beauties of flexible working is just that. So for example I woke up last Thursday and just decided to take Rex out; he had a run out and then I just sat and sunbathed whilst he was cooling down in the shade and I have to admit, I did just think to myself – this is great! I could never do this in the previous life and I should remember that when I have a little stress about not achieving everything I want to.
Physical Environment. It’s a tactical one but I want to have my garden looking amazing or at least starting its journey to becoming amazing.
The one thing I’m most pleased about is the ‘Physical Environment’ goal – my garden is looking awesome! It was a project for the year and I am super pleased with how far I’ve come with that. I sometimes just sit outside and just ‘look’ at it. I feel I’m turning very middle aged but it brings me incredible pleasure. I think next year it will be amazing!
I think I’m prone to putting pressure on myself to achieve. I spoke to someone last week and said that I feel that after the huge amount of things I did last year I feel like I’ve plateaued and need the next big thing. And it’s only me that can deliver that – whatever ‘that’ is!
So overall I’d give myself a ‘B’ or in corporate terms a ‘good’ rating. But I also need to learn to give myself a bit of credit… maybe I’ll upgrade to a ‘Superior’!