I haven’t posted much recently because I’ve just had the gift of 5 weeks off work (one of the perks I get after 5 years at the job) and it was a truly remarkable experience.
A few reflections.
There is no escaping how taxing the last couple of years have been during the COVID pandemic. I knew it had impacted me, but it wasn’t until I took my foot off the gas that I truly understood how much. When you really slow down for a moment in this non-stop world, it’s incredible how much you can take in. You see new things, you make connections, you rekindle old friendships, you find treasure in places you forgot to look.
I didn’t want my time to be too open ended, so I decided early on that I would try to accomplish five simple things while I was off.
- Travel to the places I love the most.
- Spend time with people I love the most in this world.
- Eat my favourite foods.
- Do something creative every day.
- Do at least one thing I’ve never done before.
I managed all of that and more. So much more.
Spent time in brilliant Berlin with my American family. Watched my brother-in-law run a magical marathon (he finished in the top 1%); Ate Currywurst & Kebabs; Wandered by the Berlin Wall; Made a million memories.
Returned to the inimitable New York City (where I lived for 7 years) and saw some of my oldest & dearest friends. Ate at my favourite restaurant in the world – Sripraphai; Saw some of the best art at the Met; Had a drink in the best boozer – Scratcher; Strolled the streets of 4 Boroughs in a way that Auster or Joyce would have been proud; Visited old haunts; Remembered fond old memories and made a mountain more of them.
The rest of the time was spent at home in bubblin’ Dublin. Jumped in the icy Irish Sea a few times; Did my first live gig in years and felt the warmth of a friendly room; Saw a fabulous Fringe show by my friend Erin; Dear friends and extended family stayed in our home, and we laughed and talked until deep in the night; I wrote something every day – some decent, some average, all good for me; I gave myself a creative challenge and wrote a drum n bass song (something I had never done before); Started some new healthy routines; Took some time to really rest.
Most importantly, I got to spend precious time with my wife and beloved boys. That was the golden ticket.
It was a privilege to have this time to recharge, reflect and refocus. I have only gratitude in my heart and I’m ready to bounce back into the river of regular life once more.