Christmas Time – A Time for Reflection

As the year is hastily making its way to a close, I thought for this month’s blog I’d reflect on the year gone by.  As my area of expertise is in Learning & Development, I thought why not reflect back on what I’ve learnt this year?  So here goes and not in any particular order:

My ability to work so hard:  This year has been a bumper year workwise.  I’ve travelled and delivered training in Donegal, Belfast, Carrick-on-Shannon, Limerick, Cork, Kilkenny and Galway multiple times throughout the year.  I’ve also delivered various types of Leadership courses, behavioural change courses and psychometric profiling workshops in Dublin.  I’ve also MC’d and Facilitated large Events and Workshops.

I honestly don’t know how I kept going as all of the above don’t just take time to deliver and facilitate, there is huge preparation, design, planning and travelling involved so a lot of my weeks for the first 8 months of 2018 were long ones. What did I learn from this? Well I have a great ability to work hard.

Knowing when to take off and relax:  At one point in May, on the back of the above,  I knew I needed some time away from my normal routine so I booked a 5 day trip to Spain to both practise my Spanish and also to chillax.  I spent a lovely 5 days in a beachside apartment North of Malaga.  I worked for 4 hours a day and then relaxed in the sun, went walking and sight-seeing the other few hours of daylight.  What did I learn from this?  That it’s o.k. to take some time off to recharge my batteries. It wasn’t a complete break from work but it was exactly what I needed at the time.

Enjoying enriching my soul:  Again, as I was working so hard this year, I made a commitment to myself to do something for me.  My choice of things to do for me is participating in historical walks of cities and towns as well as visiting places of interest either in Dublin or in the location I’m working in.

I attended walks and talks on the 1916 Rising, the history of Ireland from the 1600’s to today as well as a tour of Henrietta Street House in Dublin City.  I thoroughly enjoyed an extremely informative tour of the City Walls in Derry as well as The Medieval Mile Museum Tour in Kilkenny – this won top of the score card for fantastic historical information made memorable by the Tour Guide, Pat’s ability to use ‘story telling’ to relay historical facts.

I even managed to squeeze in some visits to a few Abbeys, Cathedrals, Castles and a brewery on my travels. What did I learn from this?  That doing things that enrich my soul is empowering, rewarding and increases my knowledge in areas of interest to me.

Continuously motivating myself to learn Spanish:  I’ve been learning Spanish for the past 3 years now and thankfully with the short trip mentioned above, a longer one for the summer hols as well as endless hours studying verbs and grammar on my phone and laptop, I now understand and speak a bit more Spanish.  I’ve a trip planned in the Spring of next year to a Spanish Language school in Madrid to learn even more Spanish.  What have I learnt from this?  When I really want to achieve a goal, I can carve out time to work away at it.  A lot of my studying was done on a Spanish language app on my phone while traveling on the Dart to and from client sites.

The ability to juggle a house move, office move while running a business and supporting a family:  I not only run my own business, I am also the mom and sole carer of my 3 children.  This I’ve managed to do for the past 10 years with the help of au-pairs and childminders on the kid front and a lot of late nights and weekends on the work front.

Earlier this year, I moved my 3 children, 2 dogs, 1 cat and my whole office to our new house.  All of this while still running the business and maintaining a normal family life. To say it was hectic is an understatement but we managed it with the help of house movers, family, friends and a lot of planning.  What did I learn from this?  That when I focus on my goals and enlist the help of others, I can achieve an inordinate amount.

So phew, I’ve learnt a lot and achieved a lot in 2018.  Here’s to a great 2019.

Happy Christmas, Feliz Navidad and Happy Holidays to you all, see you back in 2019.