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My Year in Review…& what a year to review.


A look back on the year 2020! And what a year it turned out to be!


2020! What a year you have been! You snuck up and pounced on us unawares. We always thought that you would deliver 20:20 clarity, however we underestimated you and paid dearly.

Still, there were some wins in the midst of the carnage. We spent quality time with family; we had headspace and “me time”; we became tech savvy with Zoom and MS Teams and virtual consultancy by medics and so much more.

We also learned, if we didn’t already know, that health is wealth and that the best things in life are absolutely free. May we hold on to this going forward. Here’s my year in review:

January

A great start to the year. Maroon Mindset Mentoring was launched: https://nicholemcintosh.com/2020/01/02/maroon-mindset-mentoring-%e2%9d%a4%ef%b8%8f%f0%9f%92%9b%f0%9f%92%9a/.

February

This was a quiet month and so I rested…little did I know how much I would need that rest. Things were about to get really busy.

March

As the reality of the pandemic set in, I took up my pen and composed poetry in preparation for my first booking as a poet in the summer. Unexpected 2020 clarity: https://nicholemcintosh.com/2020/03/21/unexpected-2020-clarity/

April

By April, I wrote, “Where do we go from here? The covid diaries” as we all pondered what was in store for us in 2020. https://nicholemcintosh.com/2020/04/27/where-do-we-go-from-here-the-covid-diaries/

May

I was honoured to be featured for Nurses Day in Woman’s Weekly magazines as one of the NHS National Treasures in the Year of the Nurse and Midwife.

Pic credit: Woman’s Weekly

I also published in the Royal College of Nursing Institute’s Nursing Management Journal to commemorate the Year of the Nurse and Midwife as an editorial advisor.

Pic credit: Nursing Management Journal

June

I shared my views on life and the world with the wonderful Tamsin Bishton for the Secret Dreams Project. Read and watch it here: https://thesecretdreamsproject.com/

The murder of George Floyd triggered emotions in me and the result was profound. Here’s a poem, “Don’t be shocked”, https://nicholemcintosh.com/2020/06/02/dont-be-shocked/

and I also delivered it in a podcast so you can hear the raw emotion in my voice. https://youtu.be/9r-oyvSKItY

Published with a group of distinguished authors in the prestigious Journal of Nursing Management: Realising 2020 as ‘International Year of the Nurse’: Is nursing management part of the problem, or part of the solution? https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/jonm.13077

July

The Nurses Association of Jamaica (UK): Building resilience in unprecedented times webinar .

I penned a poem, The Maroons and knew for sure it would be included in my set on the poetry festival. Have a read: https://nicholemcintosh.com/2020/07/18/the-maroons/

I rehearsed it too…https://youtu.be/QYu8yiNVXgM

The pandemic with the disproportionate impact on our people, the racial awakening and resultant tension that ensued were devastating to so many lives and I thought, I would use the emotions for good. I launched a consultancy company called, Maroon Mindset Unlimited Ltd to support and facilitate “safe space conversations” on equality, diversity and inclusion.

Not to mention my podcasts, here’s one I shared, Poetise it, https://youtu.be/bAaNWyobtRM

August

The 10th Jamaica Poetry Festival was a phenomenal event at a time when the world needed healing. Mother Earth was represented globally.. Watch it here: https://youtu.be/Vqm2lZ5Euc4.

My blogpost captured it here: Mother Earth rejoiced: https://nicholemcintosh.com/2020/08/11/mother-earth-rejoices-my-reflections-on-jamaica-poetry-festival-2020/

Pic credit: Jamaica Poetry Festival
Pic credit: Television Jamaica and Jamaica Poetry Festival

Smile Jamaica Diaspora Check in: I was invited to check in and it was wonderful to feel so connected while we were socially distanced.

Pic credit: Television Jamaica
Pic credit: Television Jamaica

More poetry came along, We are strong https://nicholemcintosh.com/2020/08/04/we-are-strong%e2%9c%8a%f0%9f%8f%be/

Rasta inspired, safety pins earrings by Earrings by Marlo.
Click to see many more wonderful designs: https://instagram.com/earringsbymarlo?igshid=1hiumlndl3

September

Where there’s life, there’s hope: A brighter day, https://nicholemcintosh.com/2020/09/03/a-brighter-day/

We hold on to the firm belief that, The sun will rise, https://nicholemcintosh.com/2020/09/16/the-sun-will-rise/

Published in prestigious journals with distinguished authors. What did nursing do in the culture wars? in the Journal of Advanced Nursing. https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/jan.14507

October

I took a sabbatical to get some much needed focus time and secure employment. Poetry doesn’t pay the bills, sadly 😊.

November

I returned with a vlog at the end of my first week in my new job: https://youtu.be/FZCU1f14kXk

A reminder to Stand tall, https://nicholemcintosh.com/2020/11/14/stand-tall/

Making eagle moves as only a maroon can, https://nicholemcintosh.com/2020/11/28/making-eagle-moves/

Amazing feature interview with the Jamaica Gleaner: http://jamaica-gleaner.com/article/lead-stories/20201118/trailblazing-jamaican-nurse-tougher-nails-credits-maroon-mindset

Pic credit: The Jamaica Gleaner

And the video went viral: https://youtu.be/hvZOIaXeq0w

Oh yes, I launched Maroon Mindset Unlimited Ltd and successfully held our first event, Everything you wanted to know about racism but were afraid to ask with NHS Quest

December

The Nurses Association of Jamaica (UK) Festive Event was full of jolification: I shared a poem too. https://www.instagram.com/tv/CI_clnHBzQz/?igshid=hjmioko1y30g

Sometimes, we need to look back to remind ourselves of how far we have traveled. In the times, when we feel like we can’t go on, the chronicles of our journey help us to regain confidence, motivation and the will to carry on.

As we approach the end of 2020, I’m expectantly waiting to see what is in store. I’ve certainly become more resilient as a result of my 2020 experiences, so I pray I will be able to navigate the course. Rocking the boat, without falling over. Thank you all for being on the journey with me.

I hope you will also speak your truth and live your best life. Let nothing stop you. Yes, we can!

PS. My next adventure will be to write a book. There, I have said it now. This will be the 2020 chapter: The Awakening 😉🙏🏽

Follow me on socials for inspiration and honest reflections on life:

By Nichole McIntosh FRSA

I am a Jamaican-born British nurse, poet, blogger: http://nicholemcintosh.com, vlogger, podcaster, motivational speaker, Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts and Editorial Advisor of the Royal College of Nursing Institute’s Nursing Management Journal.

I am also the Founder and Director of Maroon Mindset Unlimited Ltd, a consultancy company that works with the NHS and other systems to learn, think and behave differently.

Follow me on Twitter: @McIntoshNichole
Instagram: @tyrese876 or @maroon.mindset
Facebook Page: @NicholeMcIntoshFRSA
LinkedIn: Maroon Mindset

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