Stacy-Ann Hayles

Web Designer for small businesses

State of the Union 2023

In the past, I’ve tried to have these posts up within the first week of January, but now I’ve decided that within the first quarter of the year is good enough for me – and that’s a great indication of the laid back, easygoing year I had in 2022. Here’s a quick recap…

What happened in 2022?

Work took a backseat

Yup, you heard me. After dealing with my father’s passing very early in the year, and moving to a new home, I decided to put a pause on all side projects, web design, studying, etc. and focus mainly on just one thing – my work with Notion. It felt like having a full time job again, but with flexible hours and a great team. This allowed me to switch off when I wasn’t “at work”, something I haven’t been able to do for over a decade.

Rest and leisure took center stage

With all my newfound free time, I got to take some well-needed rest, take a few trips and spend time with my family and friends. Trips included a theatre week in New York City, where I got to watch a few Broadway and off-Broadway plays – including The Book of Mormon, which was spectacular – and an early winter trip to Europe to see Christmas markets, which I bailed out on earlier than planned because I just couldn’t handle the cold.

Prioritized physical and mental health

While home, I made efforts to improve my health in a sustainable way. Sadly, throughout the last few years, my lifestyle and circumstances took a serious toll on my body, resulting in weight gain and other related ailments, and that also affected me psychologically.

Unfortunately, most of the work I’ve been doing to improve – exercise, journaling, reading and researching, etc. – has been on my own because I’m yet to find consistent medical professionals in Jamaica whom I feel are supportive enough to help me through this journey. (If you have recommendations, feel free to send them my way!)

What’s planned for 2023?

Slowly reintroducing other pursuits

Now that I’ve taken some time to relax, I’m ready to slowly return to doing other projects outside of my main “job”. However, to avoid sinking back into overburdened and burnt out mode, I have rules. I can maintain a list of Someday projects as long as the sun is hot, but I can only take on one at a time. Additionally, I’m only allowed to move to the next one when the current project is finished, paused due to no fault of my own or I’ve decided to quit it entirely. This includes books, courses, side projects for clients, etc.

More travel with friends

My trips last year were so much fun that I decided that’s one thing I wanted to carry over to this year. After some terrible trips with folks in the past and all my fun solo adventures, I never appreciated the value of traveling with people you actually like. So for this year, I have a couple trips on deck to spend time with friends – and I’m doing another theatre week in New York because that was a highlight, for sure. More details to come…

Continued focus on health

While progress in my health pursuits – particularly weight loss and managing possible ADHD and BPD – has been slow, it has been fairly steady. So I continue to challenge myself to get incrementally better at doing the little importnat things that made a big impact over time.

The final word

I’m used to big, dramatic things happening in my life. But save for my Dad’s passing – which wasn’t very dramatic to be honest, because it was expected – last year was mostly lowkey. I admit, it made me uncomfortable. For a while, I was just waiting for the other shoe to drop. It didn’t.

So now, my main priority is simply to live in the moment and be content with what I have, understanding I have little control over what comes next but trusting that I am strong enough to get through it.

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