Reflecting on 2023

A look back on the great, good and not-so-good of 2023.


2023 has been a tough year. A really tough year for many of my friends, professional connections and of course, myself. The continued knock-on effects of Covid, the inevitable cost of living crisis, and other contributing factors caused a delayed downturn in business across the creative industries.

I’ve witnessed businesses close down and umpteen people get made redundant, or lose their job in another form or fashion. Freelance and small business life has seen the same results. Companies had to pivot, downsize, and be the most agile they have ever been, just to stay afloat and keep on top of bills. It has been a really tough year.

However, I am incredibly fortunate and grateful to have been able to keep my job. Albeit with a 20% reduction in time and income for around 7 months. I was happy, and just about able, to take this as a way of continued working – to save not just my job, but those of my teammates too. Nobody at LEAP has been made redundant, and that is something to celebrate.

The year of the four-day week

There have been other intrinsically linked benefits of dropping to a four-day week. I rebuilt my website to cater towards more freelance work and gained a number of opportunities because of it. I was able to spend a little more time playing sports, and seeing family, which I would not otherwise have been able to do. I have not made up what I lost in income, but, I have gained other important things instead.

At LEAP, we produced 8 websites–down from the 12 of last year. Sites for clients new and old. Some highlights have been creating a new hub for Digital Action, as well as an important campaign website for 2024, due to be a critical Year of Democracy. These sat alongside rebuilds and expansions of existing sites, creating digital spaces for those to learn about wave energy, as well as some smaller web builds.

In other work, I have helped Russ Avery re-launch his website, with a new low-carbon build. I have helped to reduce the impact of a board game passion project, as well as run a few carbon and performance audits of websites to get them on the way to a lower carbon digital presence.


Just like last year, this one has also had its ups and downs.

While I have spent some more time with family, I haven’t spent as much time with the people I work with. In general, I feel like I have spent more time alone this year than others. This, I have come to realise, has negatively affected my mental health. Something I am actively working on right now. It’s not easy to admit that, but I am happy that I am in a place where I feel that I can admit it.

Next year, one of my goals is to spend more time with people. To make new connections and build on my current ones whether personal or professional. I know I need it to be the best, happiest version of myself.

A couple of bearded men in worker jackets and caps laughing at their shared hipster looks, with the backdrop of a pub garden and buildings.

The times I have really enjoyed revolved around good people. One of these was spending a weekend with some fellow sustainable digital friends on our own mini hackathon and meet up in Bristol. Another, camping in very dark field, staring at the stars whilst enjoying a glass of wine (or three) with friends. Great laughs.

A much-needed break

In lighter news, my partner and I took some well-needed time off from work to explore somewhere new in the world, as well as to be big kids for a week, with adrenaline rushes a plenty on rollercoasters. It was a big holiday, where we saw many different locations around the Caribbean, as well as time in Florida. It certainly wasn’t the most carbon-efficient holiday, but with nothing else abroad this year and knowing we hadn’t flown anywhere long haul since 2017, I felt comfortable taking such a trip.

I have continued to read a number of books. Perhaps not as many as last year, but still a good number of them. The main topic has been sustainable web design and development, better business, climate-related fiction, as well as other aspects of life from the Do Book series. They are great books.

Personal wellness

The amount of exercise I have done has increased a little bit more, and I have enjoyed more yoga regularly, as well as taking back up a sport that I hadn’t played in about 12 years. I feel like I am listening more to my mind and body, and even though it has been tougher this year, I feel like I will exit the year stronger than before in both aspects.

Two people in full face helmets and protective gear posing with mountain bikes, with the backdrop of pine trees and the sun shining through them.


This is where I feel I have struggled the most this year. Balancing work and life, health and happiness. If you have read this post up until now, then it feels fairly obvious which aspects of life I need a little more of, and what I want to focus on in the year ahead.

Being consistently open and honest with both yourself and those around you about how you feel is hard sometimes. It is something I am always working on and will continue to do so. I feel these reflective posts can help with that. Whether anyone reads them or not!

A final reflection

The post on the same topic last year was the first of these reflections. I wrote then that being reflective is not something new for me. I think, and contemplate things in life, a lot. Sometimes too much.

As I have said a few times already here, 2023 has felt like a tough year. A bit of a slog. But there have been some positive elements and things I have enjoyed. Again, this post is just a snapshot of the year. Writing it in December, there are probably elements that I have forgotten about or glossed over, but that is ok. It isn’t about every aspect of what happened, but about what I have learnt over the year; and what I can build on for the next.

Again, if you have made it this far, to the end, then thank you. Maybe these posts resonate with you? If they do, let me know. It would be nice to find out if they do, and maybe, we can chat about it and help each other out with better balance in the following year!