The year in review

First, the year in stats:

Number of teeth removed: 1
Number of moles removed: 1
Number of stitches: 3
Number of muscles built: a lot
Number of years on the planet: 40
Number of first dates: 6
Number of second dates: 1
Number of third dates: 0
Number of new tattoos: 2
Number of trips abroad: 1
Number of new courses launched: 1
Number of book contracts signed: 1
Number of years deleted from my blog: 3 (2006 – 2008)

I feel ready to say goodbye to 2013. After all the outward movement of last year, 2013 has been positively hermit-like in comparison. I started January wading through the depression my return to London had triggered, and for the rest of the year my goal has been to heal myself, physically, mentally and emotionally. Knowing I couldn’t do this on my own I reached out for help and found Wendy, my therapist, and Carrie, my personal trainer. I’ve been diligently working with these two wonderful women (who are both Americans living in the UK, interestingly) each week and the progress I’ve made in both my physical fitness — planks and push ups weren’t even on my radar last year — and emotional health has been enormous.

Of course, committing to an inward journey like this has meant I’ve been less present online this year. I’ve been plugging away at this biz of mine since I created my first ecourse back in January 2009 — after four years of steady growth, and a LOT of time at the computer, it was time to pull back and devote energy to my offline life. This hasn’t been the most comfortable transition, but it was definitely necessary. As I gave myself space to figure stuff out, I also started online dating again, and though I haven’t had that many dates the few I have had let me see the gap between my online and offline life needed to be tackled. My solution was to blank slate the first three years of this blog, a decision that’s helped me let go of the grief story I’ve felt defined by for so long and stand firmly were I am now.

As I greet the new year as a single woman, it’s clear the dating hasn’t been the greatest success, and while there’s a part of me that wants to quit, the desire for love and companionship still burns strong. I’ve made big strides in the direction of my dreams, and opened my heart in ways I hadn’t expected, so while this year didn’t bring me what I wished for, it’s certainly moved me closer — I have to believe that.

In summary, it’s been a quietly challenging year and I’m leaving it physically stronger, mentally clearer and emotionally humbler. I feel raw and opened, but rather than close down, I’m staying this way so I’m ready for whatever 2014 has in store for me.

Fave books of the year: Shockingly, I haven’t read any fiction this year, but I’ve had non-fiction coming out my ears. Some of the most useful include The Highly Sensitive Person, The Dark Side of the Light Chasers, True Refuge, Writing Down Your Soul

Fave music of the year: Gabrielle Aplin | London Grammar | Haim

Fave moment of the year: with Noah in the John Lewis loos

Fave week of the year: The week away with my family in May was wonderful, and my birthday trip to NYC in February was just what I needed, but it was our Redfox retreat in October that truly blew me away

Redfox retreat
Physical accomplishment of the year: maintaining a respectable level of physical fitness all year by going to the gym and working out with Carrie — her arrival in my life has been such a blessing.

Bonus physical accomplishment: giving up gluten has transformed my body, in a really good way. Decades of digestion issues have finally been resolved.

Fave posts of the year: Journaling & me: a love story | 40 lessons from 40 years | Eight years | This boy | Three | Notes on being a hermit | The exercise-hater’s guide to loving the gym | How I shoot with my iPhone | This is why therapy rocks

I’ll be finishing my workbook tomorrow with candles, incense and a heart full of intention. Thank you for sharing this space with me this year. I know I haven’t been here as much — in all honesty it’s been weird not to be able to blog about every aha as I had it! — but I’ve got plans for some ace new stuff in 2014, and I think you’re going to like it. xo

Other years in review: 2012 :: 2011 :: 2010 :: 2009


Wishing you all a peaceful end to 2013 — I’ll be back here on Wednesday with my word of the year (have you picked yours yet? The workbook helped me nail mine down, so give that a try if you’re still undecided. Then tell me what it is on Wednesday :)

22 responses
  1. elizabeth

    love love love you so much and how you share and how you reflect and write and photograph it all– just so much love. xoox, e

  2. Andrea

    I heart you Susannah!

  3. Kathleen

    Bravo you for tackling the tough stuff and coming out ahead! Even the dating – aren’t first dates kinda funny? We’re all here for you! May 2014 be exactly what you want!

  4. mindy

    my word for 2014 is COURAGE. it’s going to take all i have to see some of my dreams come true!!

    i’ve loved each and every post you did this year and am looking forward to what 2014 brings to you :)

  5. Jennifer Steck

    My niece just shared your site with me a few days ago. I’m looking forward to experiencing 2014 with you. I hope it is the best year yet for both of us. The workbook was amazing!!

  6. Eternal Magpie

    My word for the year ahead is “Action!” This year’s been a very passive one for me (health reasons, plus big decisions that I couldn’t influence), so next year really needs to be a lot more active! I’ll make time to finish my workbook tomorrow. I can barely bring myself to think about 2013 any longer, so I want some really good goals and intentions ahead of me for next year. :)

  7. Roxanne

    I waded into the waters of online dating for the first time this summer. I felt like I’d landed on alien territory. It’s scary, putting yourself out there, isn’t it?

  8. Jill Salahub

    The loo moment was one of my favorites too. xo

  9. Angela

    I haven’t thought of a word. I couldn’t print your workbook, but was working through it in a private online journal, when I had to stop, because this year was mainly depressing. I think I’m digging myself out of the pit I’ve been in, but I also thought that last year, when I took your photography course, just days after my birthday. I felt so happy, and then…

    I’m going to try going through the rest of the workbook in the next twenty-four hours, though. :)

  10. Lisa Gordon

    Wishing you a bright, beautiful new Year, Susannah!

  11. Parisa

    I was truly blessed to find your blog back in 2011. As I told you before, reading your blog is one of the most inspiring things in my life. Thank you Susannah, and happy new year xo

  12. Sheila Bergquist

    I wish for you to find love this year. You give so much that it is only fair you get your share in return!
    Happy New Year!

  13. KelLY

    My word for 2014 is: FREEDOM! Bring it on! Thank you Susannah for the inspiration you have provided me this year – you are one special lady. Have just completed the Unravelling 2014 booklet and loved it! Very good process! Happy New Year all from New Zealand!

  14. Lucy Chen

    Wish you a very creative and happy 2014, Susannah!

  15. Mandy

    Wishing you a wonderful 2014 Susannah, thanks for all you do and the insights you share. Your blog and courses have really helped me this year, and I’ve just picked my word for 2014 – discovery. Thanks x

  16. La plume et la page

    I admire you. You did so much in 2013!
    I wish you a happy and wonderful year 2014!

  17. Sarah

    Lovely post dear one, your arrival in my life has been such a blessing! I started 2013 with your workbook and Unravelling, was blown away by RedFox and will finish 2013 and start 2014 with your workbook again. My intentions for next year are similar to yours for this, healing and my word for the year will be nurture. Thank you love for all your help xxx

  18. Annette Gendler

    Sounds like it’s been a productive year for you on many levels. More power to you!

  19. shanskibella

    MY WORD LAST YEAR WAS “SUGARMAN” BASED ON THE MOVIE ” SEARCHING FOR SUGARMAN” …. I WAS SO MOVED BY THAT MOVIE AND THE FACT THAT WE COULD BE IN THE MIDDLE OF A MIRACLE UNFOLDING WITHOUT EVEN KNOWING IT … SO IN A WAY IT WAS MY WAY OF SAYING ” I BELIEVE IN MIRACLES AND THE KNOWINGNESS I COULD BE IN ONE AT ANY MOMENT, JUST LIKE SUGARMAN” …. AND VOILA, I LANDED IN A MONSTER MONSTER MIRACLE THIS YEAR THAT INVOLVED FINDING THE MOST AMAZING PARTNER EVER WITH 4 GORGEOUS KIDS !!!!! oops “cap locks’ was on … haha but thats ok cuz thats how excited i am/was about my 2013 word and sooooooooooo many miracles within the miracle unfolded … including doing an amazing detox which ended up being mostly about sugar, which i had no idea about when i signed up … pick your word very very carefully as you have no idea how it can affect your life !!!!

    good luck with your miracles this year susannah and thanks for the amazing unravelling ! love every minute of it !!!! happy 2014 and may sugarman find his way to you this year !!!!!!

  20. Josephine

    Hi fives, lady! I’ve missed your more regular presence around here last year, but totally understand why. I hope 2014 is good to you, I’ll be a regular visitor here :-)

  21. nICOLE

    Hi Susannah,
    as to “True Refuge” – Tara Brach. Do you know the page It offers free Downloads of talks of Buddhist teachers about the most different Topics. There’s a link for those who want to donate to Dharmaseed… However: Tara Brach has a few (427) in there, too. the ones I listned to are amazing!
    xxx Nic

  22. susannah

    ooh, I’ll check it out! thanks love xx

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