I’m not a big fan of New Years Eve. I find it emotional during the countdowns and the singing of Auld Lang Syne. I’m not sure if it’s just me or if its a common theme but from the age of about 12 I’ve always hated it. I’ve had some great nights out as an adult surrounded by friends and family but have still always found myself reflecting on the year before; those that are no longer with us that we miss and the uncertainty of the year ahead.
I went into 2015 with a huge amount of angst. I was unsure of when I would return to work after my maternity leave, if at all and what job I would go to. I was struggling with the loss of my mother and being a first time mother myself. I just felt that 2014 had been such a challenging year that I was finding it hard to imagine that 2015 could be any better. How wrong was I!
It started in January with a job offer out of the blue. A real challenge and a move from fundraising to politics. Something that I was chuffed to be considered and that I was really interested in. It meant going back to work early from maternity leave and moving away from my husband but having to learn to balance family and work was something that I was going to have to face at some point. I was excited. I was really for the challenge. Literally a week later Rob came home and said that he had an opportunity to relocate on an assignment abroad with his company. Part of me wanted to say wrong time, wrong place but part of me was also intrigued and wanted to know more.
We graduated from University during the recession. A lot of our friends took time abroad teaching or travelling. We stayed in Ireland and worked our asses off. We both had permanent jobs within a year of graduating but were on average working 50-60 hours a week. We have had some amazing holidays and financially we were comfortable but we missed the travel bug. Our plans to travel the world had been replaced by working weekends and just trying to keep up. This could be a great opportunity to live abroad and for me to stay at home with our son. We took a risk and I’m so glad that we did.
There have been some hard times – missing family and friends, missing weddings and events and being so far from home. The language barrier can be a challenge. However, I’m so glad that we have done this. We have challenged ourselves, Rob in taking on more responsibility in his career and working in a new environment with a different culture. Me by giving up my career and learning to be at home all the time in another country. I’ve had to put myself out there more than ever before. I’ve always enjoyed meeting new people but my main resolution for making this move work was to say yes to every invitation. So I’ve said yes to every couples date, drink, play date, coffee that I’ve been invited to. And it’s been the most rewarding part of our move. We have made some great friends in the past seven months, people that I know we could rely on if we were needed anything. It’s been such a big move for us but I’m so glad that we have done it. I’ve worried about my career and what I’ll do when we come back to Ireland but I keep reminding myself that on my death bed I will never wish that I’ve worked more. Spending time with my family and raising my son is far more important. We may be far away from home but we now have a better quality of life, more time for just the three of us and I get to see my little boy laugh every day.
So all in all 2015 wasn’t the year that I expected it to be. It was so much better and I’m so glad that we took the risks that were presented to us. I’m now so excited for what the next year will bring.
So what do I want from 2016?
- I want to get through 2016 with my family healthy and happy.
- Learn Spanish.
- Do the Digital Marketing masters that I’ve been putting off for years.
- Do a course in graphic design.
- Continue on my fitness journey and be happy with my progress for 2016.
- Write more.
- Look after my mental health.
- Be more mindful of others.
- Be thankful for everything I’m so blessed to have.
- Most of all I want to wake up each day and be positive about the day ahead, take a deep breath, take in my beautiful surroundings and live each day to the full.
Wishing you all a happy and healthy 2016!!