January is a very long and often dismal month, so even those of us who try to be positive find it hard. Since Stephen died (it’ll be 3 years this February), I’ve found the prospect of the start of a new year, with 12 months stretching ahead, really tough to handle. To break the cycle, I spent a couple of days with a great old friend for New Year. It was a welcome diversion…that was until we watched a bit of Gary Barlow’s concert and he sang: “want you back for good”!! Cheesy, but that’s how I feel about Stephen.I just want him back.

I’m sure I’m not alone in feeling desperately lonely when I think of my departed life partner. It’s particularly hard when everyone around is in celebration mode. I feel guilty because I don’t want to dampen anyone’s spirits and yet I simply want time to wallow.

And then of course there’s Hector, who gets my moods and makes every attempt to fill the yawning gap. What a dog! He gives me huge purpose and a reason to get up each morning. He’s also quite good at a weekend lie-in.

A wise counsellor of mine suggested that I found a new place for Stephen in my life. He is with me now physically as I wear his wedding ring. More intensely, he’s in my thoughts and still guides me (when I listen in) to follow the right path on my journey with Evermore.

I was very lucky to have a fantastic partner for so many years. He used to say I could run the nation if I could be bothered. He made me fearless.

That’s why, from an Evermore perspective, I can confidently look 5 to 10 years ahead (and beyond) with a real sense of purpose. Evermore is the right thing to do. We all need to retain our independence to make choices at all ages. When do you want to cede daily decisions to others – I never do!!

So this year we’ll be start building Evermore Villages for like-minded individuals. And we’ll work across sectors to show how deliverable the Evermore way truly is.

I believe it takes energy, enthusiasm, the willingness to embrace change and quite a bit of courage to create something new. Without these attributes life isn’t fun or worthwhile.

At Evermore, we’re not waiting for permission. We won’t be shoe-horned into existing categories. We ignore barriers and refuse to stand still. We know the opportunities are limitless and the desire for real change is tangible. And above all, it’s the right thing to do.

That’s why I’m not daunted by the challenges ahead. I’m raring to go, confident that my life partner is still guiding me along the way – somehow.

Happy New Year – let’s make it a Big One!!  

Sara McKee

Founder and Director of Market Innovation

@SaraMcKeeFRSA