Writing to you from Belturbet, Ireland. As many of you know, my husband Paul and I decided to take a global gap year, spending longer periods of time traveling abroad in several countries. We rented out our house for a year and arrived here in Ireland about a week ago. What an experience getting here, especially with a cat in tow. More about that adventure in another post.
This past Sunday we decided to check out one of our local pubs, The Widow’s Bar , where they have Irish music on Sunday evenings. It was so much fun listening to the music, sipping a combo (Bailey’s Irish Cream/Bushmill’s Irish Whiskey) and talking with everyone.
The bar owner, Brendan (also bartender extraordinaire), welcomed us and shared how he had acquired the bar and its history. When asked by the locals how long we were on holiday, we shared for two months. I then shared my husband was on permanent holiday due to retirement, while I was on a work-holiday; working full-time, but electronically from a foreign country I’ve always wanted to explore more intimately. The funny thing is that everyone kept asking us where we were going after our brief stay in Belturbet. After closing the communication gap – no, not in Ireland two months but in Belturbet for two months, everyone started welcoming us to the town. According to Brendan, we only had to be “nice” for one week. After that we were part of the family and could say whatever we wanted, to whomever we wanted.
What really struck me was when he shared his view (and everyone in the pub agreed) on tourists, especially Americans. They save up money for their whole life to travel to Ireland, and then only spend three weeks at the most trying to take in the whole island, culture and history. How insanely ridiculous! And then he shared, “They want to see everything, but enjoy absolutely nothing. I’ll bet they go home and don’t even remember what they were doing or seeing six months later.” He gave the example of a couple who had stopped by for a drink during their few days in Belturbet. He shared several walking trails they may want to try. And their response, “Oh we don’t have time for exploring. We need to get on to the next town in our itinerary.”
As I took it all in I realized it’s so true. We speed headlong down our life journey, focused on the next activity or event in our life. And when we get there, we take as many pictures, see as much as we can, and are ready for the next adventure. When do we (YOU!) take the time to just enjoy where we are? When do we stand at the bridge and watch a meandering River Erne (just a few steps from our front door) flow past us?
Yesterday our landlord reminded us that the electrical power would be down from 9:30 am to about 4:30 pm. In reality it was actually 6:30 pm. My first thought was, are all my technology tools charged? And when I discovered they weren’t, let out an exasperated sigh and asked my husband what were we going to do for seven hours without electricity? The answer was easy – we took a three hour walking hike all over the area, exploring the Upper and Lower Putnaghan Lough, picked up our favorite book and read, and visited with our new neighbors.
Here’s my question – if you were without electricity for seven hours what would you do? How would you enjoy the day without email, Twitter or Facebook close at hand? What would enable you to unplug and enjoy your life journey?
Kathy Hart, Ed.D. has a driving passion for human change and transformation. Her goal is to provide professional women with the support and resources needed to re-imagine and lead even more abundant, joy-filled and purpose-driven lives. If you are a woman wanting to re-claim your voice, realize a long-held dream, or just live your life to the fullest, take concrete action by contacting Kathy at firstname.lastname@example.org. The choice is yours!
Services that Kathy offers:
- 1:1 coaching to support the journey into your next life transition, whether work or personal
- Trusted advisor for leaders navigating work changes and requiring an expert guide
- Speaking and workshops on human change and transformation
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