Posted by: mdmusingsie | July 20, 2010

Lessons Learned, odds and ends

As I reflect back on the nearly three months I’ve spent in Ireland, I’ve discovered some interesting insights.  First and foremost is that it is extremely difficult to balance two careers and as many interests as I possess.  With only 24 hours in a day, it’s a challenging and delicate balance (especially with as much trouble sleeping as I’ve had this last year, a good part the result of this fragile balancing act).  I can’t do it all and at some point something has to give.  Thus far I’ve stuck with the paying career while I try to cultivate the currently non-income generating one.  However, that has come at a cost to the latter, which is still a conundrum I’m trying to work out.

  • I’ve learned not to sweat (some) of the small stuff like not having a dryer for 7 weeks; though my worry gene still seems to be stuck in overdrive.
  • I’ve learned that taking a walk when I should be writing isn’t always a bad thing.  Many an inspiration comes from such excursions.
  • I’ve learned how little I need to survive, and thrive – all the stuff at home is just stuff.  Though I wish some of it was here at odd times, that portion makes up a very minor percentage.
  • I’ve learned that what matters most is doing what you can to follow your dreams.  There’s no point waking up years from now wondering what might have been.

That’s just a sampling of things that are going through my head as I pack up to return to the US.

I hope those of you reading this blog appreciate the time and effort that has been expended to produce it.  Especially considering it took precious time away from my other writing.

Hotel odds and ends:

  • Floor numbering – there is the ground floor, sometimes having numbers starting with 0, which is equivalent to the first floor in the US.  This generally applies to all multi-storied buildings.
  • Several hotels had elevators where there was no “up” button when you traveled up past the ground floor – you could only go down.
  • Where do all those little tiny partially used soaps from hotels go?
  • Many hotels, even the upscale ones, lack clocks at all, let alone alarm clocks.  Also, never rely on the front desk for a wakeup call.
  • Short sheeting in many hotels – maybe it’s my overactive internal furnace, but I tend to sleep under only a sheet at night, except for the winter.  When hotels only have duvets instead of top sheets, it not only makes sleeping sometimes difficult, but makes me wonder how often those duvet covers are cleaned (one of the small things I tried not to sweat).

 A few of my favorite things:

  • Not waking up to an alarm (starting work at noon has its advantages, and those few extra hours come in handy after restless nights)
  • Leisurely walks, especially near water (the canals, rivers, and Galway Bay were instrumental in soothing stretched nerves)
  • Beautiful scenery everywhere – I even came to see beauty in Dublin City Center, and I’m not generally fond of big cities
  • Hazelnut yogurt – Yoplait really needs to bring this to the US
  • Liam O’Maonlaí, live in concert
  • Pub sessions

Items I missed most from the US: 

  • A working, correctly sized clothes dryer
  • Bug screens on windows
  • Proper kitchen utensils
  • Kraft Macaroni and Cheese
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