Saturday, July 18, 2015

Celebrate This Week - Ireland

I love that Ruth invites us to celebrate each week. That chance to reflect and find the moments worth celebrating centers me, even when I forget to blog about it. Check out her blog HERE for more celebrations linked up at the bottom.

I’m back! We returned from eleven amazing days in Ireland, pulling into our driveway late Thursday night. While my eyes are still bleary from a bit of jet lag, and I am feeling very behind at home, I still wanted to take a moment to join Ruth in celebrating this week. I have so many reasons to celebrate…

I haven’t lived at home for over twenty years. My sister, brother, and I haven’t lived in the same house for such a long time. This is just one reason I was so excited for this trip. For two weeks I would live with my first family again. I’d see my parents when I went to bed, when I woke up. I’d talk to my siblings over every meal. As an added bonus, I would get to know the rest of my family – in-laws and nieces – even better. It was wonderful.

We stayed in three different towns in Ireland, for three to four days each. One thing that really struck me was the relaxed attitude. The Irish people that we encountered weren’t fazed by much. Whether it was waiting in line, finding a parking spot (and holy moly, they have some crazy parking and driving), or anything else – they were relaxed. They seemed to take everything in stride and not give too much of their attention to anything that really didn’t matter.

What did matter? Time with friends and family, laughter, and Guinness. J I will keep this at the forefront of my mind.

I am reminded constantly that our community is what we create. I have a fabulous one in my tiny town in Monticello. I also have an amazing one online. Friends in both communities knew how stressed I was about flying. They reached out and sent me text messages, emails, and kind notes checking in on me. I appreciated that more than I can say.

Returning home, I felt a bit of #FOMO (Fear of Missing Out – thanks Kristin and Franki!). Many of my friends were attending International Literacy Association in St. Louis. I had originally decided to go and then sometime last year reconsidered. I knew I’d be exhausted coming off of my trip. So while I’m sad I’m not there, I’m grateful for Twitter where I can read wonderful tweets sharing the learning from so many friends’ sessions. It helps lessen the #FOMO just a bit.

It’s no secret, I love sunrises and sunsets. My entire family knows this, and my students do too. I would say I get at least one email or text of an amazing sunrise or sunset photo a week, many from former students who saw it and thought of me. I tell everyone that I love them because they remind me of how beautiful our world is on a daily basis. Visiting Ireland was to be surrounded by beauty – all day long. Looking out my bedroom window in every house, I was struck by how blessed I was. I am so grateful I had that experience.

I’m glad to celebrate the past two weeks, and also grateful to celebrate everything there is to come. The final part of summer stretches out in front of me. I cannot wait to see what is in store.