I often find myself feeling down as we draw to the end of each year, so to try to combat that, I write a list of the good things that have happened. In 2020 I wrote the first of these lists, and here’s my list for 2021.

Dear future Hannah, here are 100 good things that happened in 2022:

  1. It’s a new year, and I’m not ready. As a result, I finally make a new year’s resolution that I can keep: I will no longer be tyrannised by the Gregorian calendar, from now on the new year can wait until I’m good and ready for it.
  2. I make my first attempt at collage, reasonably quickly followed by a second attempt.
  3. I attend a residential flash fiction writing course which is wonderful, I write this (and more besides).
  4. My friend Nichola and I meet up in real life after the longest time and it is marvellous.
  5. I discover this article, which I think has the best headline I’ve ever seen: When an Eel Climbs a Ramp to Eat Squid From a Clamp, That’s a Moray
  6. I begin submitting my short stories for publication, and receive my first rejection. I thought I might feel sad about it, or discouraged, but am surprised to find that actually, I feel weirdly good.
  7. I get to invited to Dale’s wonderful birthday bash.
  8. I emcee WTSFest, and everything about it is absolutely wonderful.
  9. My friend Nichola hosts a dinner with a bunch of fabulous women and I have the best time ever.
  10. I enrol on a six week online short story course with London Lit Lab.
  11. I’m invited to speak at MozCon in July.
  12. I take Austin Kleon’s advice and intentionally spiral out.
  13. I get to see my friend Jess! We get lunch, and talk, and walk, and talk some more.
  14. I go to see the Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain with my Dad.
  15. My friends Hayley and Anna have a joint birthday dinner and it is an absolute delight.
  16. I have a lovely day with my friend Kirsty.
  17. I get to watch my Dad play a gig with his band Rolling Home.
  18. I am thrilled to be told that one of the stories I wrote on the residential writing course I attended in January, will be published in the National Flash Fiction Day 2022 Anthology later this year.
  19. Amira organises a gorgeous surprise brunch for Areej.
  20. I sign up to this workshop which I really enjoy, and would highly recommend if you too are a person who wants to make a thing (or things), but are struggling to figure out exactly what that thing should look like.
  21. I exchange a bunch of emails with David Gaffney (one of the tutors on my residential writing course in January) about our interpretations of song lyrics, and other things we find fascinating.
  22. The night before I run my course at BrightonSEO, I meet up with Julia (who had at that point recently traded London-living for Brighton) we eat amazing pizza, and catch up on *all* the things.
  23. I get to run my course at BrightonSEO which I really enjoy, my pal Paige invites me to crash dinner with her colleagues (we eat wonderful Indian food), then we head to one of the BrightonSEO pre-parties. There I meet up with a bunch of lovely people I haven’t seen in the longest time, and after heading on to some other bars, Stacey and I eventually end up in her hotel room setting the world to rights. The following morning, things are not pretty.
  24. The Thursday of BrightonSEO sees me mostly sleeping. I drag myself out of my pit to go watch my friend Nichola take part in an agency owners Q&A session which is ace, then a couple of us go and have a lovely quiet dinner. We elect to re-enter the fray, and a bunch of us end up in my favourite bar in Brighton. We get our faces painted, and we dance, and I am a bit sad when the bar closes. I head back to my hotel, and in the lobby I bump into Tom Capper plus a bunch of Aira folks and we talk each others ears off and it is ace. On the Friday morning I head home, and am grateful that somehow I manage not to get Covid.
  25. My friend Areej has her baby!
  26. I take Dad to Hawksmoor for his birthday lunch, and we go to see Come From Away – so good!
  27. I share some thoughts on how to write a compelling speaker pitch, for those who’d like to speak at conferences but don’t know where to start.
  28. My friend Steve takes me to Alton Towers so I can ride rollercoasters on my birthday. The park is gloriously quiet which means we get to go on everything a bunch of times. We have dinner in a restaurant at the park where your food is delivered via a rollercoaster track which winds around the ceiling.
  29. When I return from Alton Towers I go for a birthday dinner with friends, and we have the best evening.
  30. I attend the LondonSEO Meetup XL Conference with Areej. We get to catch up with a bunch of wonderful women, and we hatch plans.
  31. It turns out that I am not very good at making pots.
  32. I catch up with Surena and it is ace as it always is.
  33. Molly gifts me a ticket to see To Kill a Mockingbird, we eat fancy picky bits and drink cocktails at Ham Yard Restaurant.
  34. I read this list of modern delights, and then, for no particular reason at all decided to create my own list.
  35. I meet with my business accountant, who assures me that I am, in fact, businessing well (even though it doesn’t always feel like it).
  36. I also meet with a financial advisor to finally sort out my pension. I’d been putting off the pension stuff for ages, because *reasons*, but it’s actually not nearly as complicated, difficult, or scary as I thought it would be.
  37. Palo and I meet for cocktails and tapas and have a thoroughly gorgeous evening.
  38. I attend the funeral of a friend, and it is very sad, but it’s also a wonderful celebration of a life well-lived, by a woman well-loved.
  39. My Dad and I have the best time visiting our friend Diana in Devizes, we visit Avebury, play various boards games, the whole weekend is a delight.
  40. I spend an absolute treat of an afternoon with Areej and Amira and their gorgeous babies.
  41. I do a circuits class outside with my pals in the Spring Bank Holiday sunshine.
  42. My lovely cousins send me two wonderful poems.
  43. I spend at afternoon at Kew Gardens with Mum.
  44. The weather holds for Steve’s barbecue, and I make raspberry martinis.
  45. Mum takes me out for a very fancy belated birthday dinner at One One Four.
  46. I visit Dad and we go to a Kimber’s Men gig which is amazing.
  47. After way too many revisions and far too much overthinking I finally complete and submit my speaker deck for MozCon.
  48. And We Lived Happily Ever After (National Flash Fiction Day Anthology 2022) is launched and I get to see one of my stories, in print, in an actual book for the first time. There is much rejoicing.
  49. I meet up with Mary and we have a lovely long lunch in the garden of Ditto before heading back to hers for a swim.
  50. I meet up with my pals Ben and Gary, which spawns a wonderful email thread of recommended viewing and reading.
  51. I take Steve to a One Track Minds live event at Wilton’s Music Hall.
  52. Rather than write my usual newsletter missive, I write a slightly rambling collection of thoughts on what I think people mean when they say we need to “be more strategic”. People respond well and I am glad I did hit send. I realise it’s always the newsletters that I almost don’t send that seem to resonate most strongly.
  53. I fly to Seattle for MozCon. On the Saturday before the conference I take myself off for a long wander, before eventually ending up at one of my favourite bookshops, the Elliot Bay Book Company. In the evening I meet friends for an Underground Walking Tour which is ace.
  54. On the Sunday I meet Will and Tom for brunch before heading to the MozCon speaker’s rehearsal, then on to the speaker’s dinner where I get to see old friends and make some new ones too.
  55. MozCon itself rushes by like a blur – the conference is great, I get to have both loud and quiet dinners with friends, and get to catch up with my friend Britt who I haven’t seen since we used to work together at Distilled.
  56. My MozCon talk seems to go down well, and I publish this excerpt: Benchmarking the Performance of over 2,000 Digital PR pieces.
  57. I meet up with friends and we go to see Prima Facie at the cinema, it is incredible.
  58. I go to Summer School on a singing course with Dad which is a joy.
  59. I have a fabulous time at Palo’s birthday dinner in a wonderful restaurant by the river in Hampton Court.
  60. I get to see Laura in real-life! We grab lunch, and take a little walk (which I mess up a bunch by leading us in the wrong direction).
  61. Grace’s glorious birthday tea!
  62. I spend the afternoon and evening with a bunch of excellent women to celebrate Mary’s birthday.
  63. I go to a Gretchen Peters gig with my Dad which is ace, and the support act, Kim Richey, is also brilliant.
  64. I take Mum out for a fancy birthday dinner to celebrate her 80th.
  65. My friend Bridget visits from the US, and we meet up, and P-Nott comes along too.
  66. I meet my friend Nichola for a long Sunday lunch at the Cork & Bottle.
  67. Steve gifts me a ticket to see Dear Evan Hansen.
  68. I get to run a month-long WTS Training Workshop (loosely based on some thoughts I wrote on how to write a compelling speaker pitch). It was a privilege to work with such a smashing group of women, and getting to do anything with Areej is always absolutely dreamy.
  69. I record an episode for the We Earn Media podcast with my friend and fellow Distilled alumna Britt Klontz.
  70. We have a lovely time celebrating Steve’s birthday.
  71. I write some stuff about fun again.
  72. I spend an absolutely glorious weekend at the Marlborough Lit Fest with my wonderful friend Diana. We see five amazing talks: Ali Smith spoke about her latest novel, Companion Piece; Kamila Shamsie spoke about her latest novel Best of Friends; Ruth Martin and Shaun Whiteside each translated the same Grimms’ Fairytale, then compared notes; authors Ayanna Lloyd Banwo and Bobby Palmer talked about how their respective debut novels took shape; and Sam Knight shared the story of how his non-fiction book, The Premonitions Bureau came into being. At one point during the weekend, I manage to get trapped in a toilet and have to be rescued by a man toting a toolbox – WHY DO THESE THINGS ALWAYS HAPPEN TO ME?!
  73. I get to run my course at BrightonSEO again, and also get to meet up with a bunch of lovely humans who I haven’t seen for a long time.
  74. I head to Milton Keynes to see my Dad and our friends Dale and Wendy, who take us to see Fishermen’s Friends (the Musical)and then on to a fancy dinner event at the Bodleian Library in Oxford which was absolutely incredible.
  75. I meet up with my friend Amira, and we see the amazing Lips Choir perform at the Clapham Grand.
  76. Steve and I put the world to rights on Friday night.
  77. I get to spend Sunday evening at Hawksmoor with Laura because she’s in London for SearchLove.
  78. I attend SearchLove, and get to see yet more lovely people I’ve not seen in far too long.
  79. I become obsessed with an art, and make this haphazard collage to remind myself to think.
  80. I get to speak at MKGO alongside a bunch of wonderful humans, plus we get to tour the Red Bull campus.
  81. I join my friend Jono on the Yoast SEO news webinar, and also write this accompanying blog post.
  82. Aleyda invites me and Jess Peace to talk about content that earns links for an episode of Crawling Mondays.
  83. Steve and I finally make it back to Disneyland!
  84. My Dad and I have a wonderful time celebrating Diana’s birthday.
  85. I visit Areej and get to hang out with her and her baby.
  86. Dad and I take Diana to see the Ukulele Band of Great Britain and I buy them both commemorative tea towels.
  88. After my dose of Covid scuppers our original plans I finally get to take Mum to see Hamilton.
  89. Mum and I visit Mary’s Christmas market. I buy gifts for various people, and a beautiful big old rock for myself.
  90. I get glasses and, as a consequence, realise that my vision has been not very great for quite a long time.
  91. Matt and I treat ourselves to a trip to Hawksmoor.
  92. It snows and I watch a group of foxes frolic on the rooftops at 2am.
  93. Dad treats Dale, Wendy, and myself to a wonderful evening at Ray White’s. We sing carols, eat amazing food, and I feel wonderfully Christmassy.
  94. We meet for our annual urban family Christmas lunch (which extends way into the evening) and is lovely.
  95. I drive over to Jude’s to drop presents and play with her children and all their amazing toys. We visit a park, and get cake, and I am sad when it’s time for me to head home.
  96. We sneak in a bonus gathering of the urban family for Christmas drinks before various folks disappear for the holiday period.
  97. I go for a walk, and look on in fascination as a heron battles to eat a snake.
  98. On 23rd December I devour Go On by Tania Hershman in a single sitting.
  99. Mum and I have a lovely Christmas. We to get Christmas lunch on the table by 3:30pm (our earliest ever!), I select Ghostbusters as our Christmas film (I stand by my choice), and we take our annual trip to the panto on Boxing Day (it’s Goldilocks, Matt Baker is in it, and it’s great) . I then spend a couple of lovely days at Dad’s before driving home on New Year’s Eve.
  100. I see in the new year with a brown food buffet and Cards Against Humanity at Steve’s.

Leave a Reply