So, 2009: virgin territory. For the first time in my career, I have absolutely no idea what I am going to be doing in the year ahead. Whatever happens, I’m pretty sure it can’t possibly match 2008’s rollercoaster ride.
Working on a New York style magazine fulfilled one of my longest held work ambitions and, although I eventually decided to restore my work/life balance by returning to writing and freelance consultancy, I relished the inherent challenge and was proud of my work and of the many relationships I built.
Personally, it was a complicated year. In late summer my parent’s increasingly contentious marriage irretrievably broke down after forty years and my mother served divorce papers.
Illness made being so far away from England increasingly stressful when it became clear that my mother need an operation for her cataracts and my father suffered a minor stroke, and then heart problems. My sister’s MS fatigue continued to sabotage her plans, and I ended up in the ER in September when I fell asleep bolt upright on my sofa in jacket, heels & contacts after a sixteen hour day covering New York Fashion Week. I was diagnosed with extremely painful (and very expensive) Thygeson’s Disease and had to rock a pirate look with an eye patch through the Milan collections.
But there was good too: a brace of new babies (hello to Charlie and Constance), bridesmaid-ing in Cap Ferrat (congratulations BA & M) and J&J’s wedding in Scotland (which I missed at the last minute because I was on a ludicrous not-of-my-making print deadline.) Work also meant that relationships took a back seat – it’s difficult to date when you are either trying to attend four advertiser events in an evening, or are stuck in the office ‘till ten replying to the hundreds of daily emails you can’t pass to your inexperienced assistant – and I didn’t see nearly enough of my incredibly supportive friends here in New York.
I have several resolutions for 2009, many of which relate directly to my recent experiences. Learning to say no is one of them. Being more proactive about my freelance career is another. The rest are private, but I hope that in trying to fulfill them I keep you all successfully entertained over the coming months.