It’s been an incredible year, which taught me one important lesson: in life, nothing is permanent and living means change.

I had found blissful equilibrium living on the beach for the last few years, recovering from a serious illness and finding new happiness with my simple life, when unexpectedly, in the summer of 2018, I found myself thrust into a new career back in London, putting on a suit for the first time in over a decade, and looking for a property to buy in the capital for the next stage of my life. I never expected this at 51; I was half expecting (and hoping) to grow old in a tiny house in a quiet part of the beach on my beloved island, far from the madding crowd.

Yes, my old life ended when the time came for me to move on, and it would have been foolish of me to expect my years on the beach to be forever. But this Christmas and New Year, I was back on the very beaches that I love with my family and loved ones, halfway across the world from my new life, to bid a fond goodbye to 2018, which had been so lovely.

So here’s wishing you the resilience to accept the changes that will come your way, the gratitude to appreciate the new things (and old ones), and the love that will see you through the tough times.