Following a pretty shocking 2019, in which I was fighting to be paid for a role which I had left because the founder, amongst other things, justified robbing Peter to pay Paul as Treating Customers Fairly because Peter was dead and wouldn’t know the difference(!), 2020 got off to an excellent start with the final payment of my settlement.

The year has ended even better with an independent board advisor role with Crealogix, a Swiss listed wealth tech firm, and an introduction for a possible NED Role with a wealth manager, both of which were secured through virtual networking – a success from the pivot of my search for NED roles that I never expected.

In between, I’ve had my ups and downs but I’ve been through worse; I know from experience that I’m resilient and that to survive you must find the positives, no matter how small, and give yourself a break from time to time. So I took days off to sunbathe whenever the temperature hit 25 degrees, two kittens brought me joy and I added cyber risk management and ESG to my board skillset. The charities I am trustee of, including a care home, navigated the pandemic successfully in that they have got this far and remain financially robust and have suffered minimal disruption due to infection.

Two things did get to me…the negativity of those who lashed out at others for posting positive news and the endless sameness. This is where a Covid Christmas really worked for me – hosting my first ever Christmas with friends and my first adults-only Christmas in 15 years gave me something to look forward to, something to do (I love to cook, so I take days to make everything from scratch) and a Christmas Day that rolled all the missed Saturday nights and the soon-to-be-missed New Year’s Eve party into one. The recovery neatly took up the rest of the weekend.

So I am heading into the New Year realistic but hopeful: it will be hard, we will be locked down again and we will be living virtually for months yet…but things will get better. If I didn’t believe that I’d have given up seven years ago at the start of my rollercoaster journey, but things have got better in this, the hardest of years and so they shall improve further. So I wish you all a happy and prosperous 2021 filled with hope, handshakes and hugs.