A Snapshot Of A Year

In June of 2021 I posted my most two most recent blog posts. An attempt to get back into blogging after 11 months away from blogging. It didn’t stick. Will it this time? I wonder.

To bring you up to speed on the past year or two, I’ll try condense time into one concise blog post. I’d planned to do this yesterday actually, thinking that it being the longest day of the year you, my dear reader, might have two or three minutes to spare to skim my latest post. (No one actually properly reads articles on the internet, do they?).

So, here goes. Let the condensing of time begin. Here’s my last year or so of life in six snapshots.

Working: Almost a year ago I swapped the telecommunications branch for the exciting world of cybersecurity and haven’t looked back. After many, many years of working hard in a decent job but in a toxic environment, I handed in my resignation. The relief was incredible. Getting to that point took a long time, a lot of self-doubt, good friends and family, determination, training, reflection and a fantastic career coach. It was all worth it. My new employer is a dream to work for. Facing challenges knowing I have their support and belief in my skills. Enjoying my work again. Playing to my strengths. It is a great feeling!

Doing: Apart from work, I have been discovering the joys of being a mother to a teen and a tween. Again, a challenge, and one to be taken seriously. It is a whole different ball game to mothering under tens. It feels like it is as contradictory as it gets – give them freedom but keep them close, guide them but let them make their own way, they are so grown up and yet so young. Every day brings something new with it that I haven’t dealt with before. It’ll be a memorable ride, that’s for sure.

Listening: Late to the game (and every other activity) as always, I have discovered the joy of podcasts. To be honest, I was fairly sure I would enjoy them but never had the time or headspace to listen in peace until last year. Rather than be constantly frustrated at being interrupted, I didn’t bother venturing into the world of podcasts at all until about 18 months ago. Two of my favourites are Adam Grant’s Taken for Granted and a BBC Radio 4 comedy history podcast called You’re Dead to Me. They are my keep fit routine. I go for long, brisk walks just to be able to listen to their wisdom.

Reading: Anyone who knows me knows that I have been reading. Of course I have been reading. I have been reading anything and everything this past year. Biographies, German novels, American novels, Irish novels, British novels, even thrillers. Whatever falls into my hands and several recommendations I have ordered via our wonderful, local, independant bookshop. Particularly memorable books over the past year include The Mitford Girls by Mary S. Lovell, All her Fault by Andrea Mara, Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens, Fortune’s Daughters by Elisabeth Kehoe, Ask Again Yes by Mary Beth Keane, Beautiful World Where Are You? by Sally Rooney and Sommer Schwerstern by Monika Peetz.

Wearing: Second hand shopping has always been my official favourite way to shop for knick-knacks and furniture. Clothes shopping was never a favourite pastime of mine, but now with so many wonderful opportunities to buy quality second hand clothing online, I have become addicted* over the past year or so. From Monsoon and Boden dresses to Seasalt anoraks and stripy tops, I have managed to vastly improve my faded, dated wardrobe while trying to live a sustainable life. *When I say addicted, I mean that when I buy clothes, I buy second hand, not that I am addicted to buying clothes.

Going: Like the rest of the world this past year, we were chomping at the bit to get away whenever school holidays came round. Our annual summer trip to Ireland was not possible in the end so we booked a week in Austria and had an amazing week in the mountains near Salzburg. Just looking back at the holiday photos now to choose a couple to post here has taken my breath away. Stunning is not the word. We will definitely go back. The midterm break in Autumn took us to southern Netherlands for four days. Being at the beach with the wind beating my hair about my face, cold saltwater splashing my face and watching the children play in the dunes was pure heaven when you live, as we do, a good six-hour drive from the sea. That said, Ireland is still on the itinerary for this year.

Drop me a comment and tell me if you think I should get back to blogging. Having been absent this past year has made me think I would like to.

2 thoughts on “A Snapshot Of A Year

  1. Hallo Fionnuala,
    You have heard from me before once or twice only. The main reason to write to you is to tell you that you now have some competition here in Germany, name-wise. One of my daughters called her younger daughter Fionnuala. It will be interesting to see how Fionnuala copes with that when she is a little bit older. She is just 2 now. You could give her some advice!!!
    I used to follow your blog a bit but found it was more for female readers. I am an old male (now 80) living in Germany like yourself, a bit longer than you though (about 50 years now), four daughters and five grandchildren and glad not to have those (school-) worries anymore which plague most parents in this country. Your blog about your son getting a five at school and the teacher not being very helpful (what do they think they are teachers for?!) I found fairly depressing. I hope things are turning a bit for the better for him.
    You will be a bit amused to read that I think of you sometimes on my travels from Aachen where my (German) wife and myself usually live to a place in South or Middle Baden called Ettenheim to our other house there (my wife’s parental home). We go there quite regularly and when the traffic gets bad coming up towards the A5 and Karlsruhe on the way we take the A65 and go around via Landshut and the French A35 and back to the A5 south of Karlsruhe. Sometimes we take the B9 via Speyer, Germersheim and Wörth depending on the traffic. I think you live around that area because you mentioned Germersheim in some of your posts.
    I liked your snapshot of the year. Glad you liked Austria and the mountains. We were in South Tyrol this summer for a fortnight. The whole family was with us, 13 of us in all. Wonderful. I was amazed how well the grandchildren climbed the mountains, with a little bit of coaching of course.
    Whether you should keep up your blog? It would be nice to read about how you are coping with things. One of my daughters listens to a blog on Irish history. It is a nice feeling to have at least one of them interested in my heritage.
    Christmas is now coming up. We will all be in Ettenheim for that. My wife and myself have just come back from a few days in Ettenheim. There was a Xmas market there but nothing to write home about!
    Enjoy the Advent season!!
    George Reilly

    1. Dear George, I remember your comments on previous posts. I don’t know how I managed to miss this one. I am delighted to hear about your little Fionnuala! How are you?
      My sons are doing much better in school now, thanks for asking.
      Take care.

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