It’s been two years since our Sara had her first operation. Tomorrow is what we call her ‘cranioversary’ and although it sounds strange to say I am really looking forward to it. We are having a party. We baked the cake already. It turned out a bit flat, but what hasn’t in the last 12 months? (Apart from our collective waistline)

I am looking forward to marking the day, not just because of what my baby, who was just shy of her 6 month birthday went through, but what I am really looking forward to is marking not what she did, but what she has done since, how far she has come, and what she and her siblings have taught us.

Bouncing Baby

Sara got through the surgery really well, and within the first day through the bandages, swollen eyes and with two metal bars placed inside her skull protruding out the front of her forehead we saw her little face smile up at us. Since that day she has continued smiling and has continued to move on with her life without ever dwelling on any of it. Her siblings have supported her every step of the way and along with her parents, they will be the biggest (and only) supporters at the party tomorrow. Because that’s what children do, they don’t dwell, they don’t judge, they help each other bounce back and they move on. 

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2020 has been a difficult year for everyone, and it has been a collective loss of our old lives. Much like the stages of grief, we have all gone on this journey with:

  • denial
  • anger
  • bargaining
  • depression 

in different amounts and some times we can even manage the 5th and most difficult stage of:

  • acceptance

But sometimes what we forget to do is to to look back and to see how far we have come. 

The Wood for the Trees

Before Christmas I had so much going on in my life that it was difficult to see the wood for the trees. Since then a few small but meaningful changes, assisted by the good people at the new MTU, Vivienne Griffin, Pio Fenton, Zahid Aslam and Maire O’Sullivan have resulted in me finally taking the time not to look ahead and worry about how much work I had to do, but to look back and think about how far I have come. 

Space to think

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Image source: Republic of Work website

I have recently been very lucky to win a 6 month membership in the Republic of Work (ROW),  thanks to all the gang but especially Jason Woodard and Muriel Foley who chose me as their winner. This has given me the physical space I have needed to conduct my business, but also the head space I so badly needed. 

(For ROW membership, check out their website here. It’s brilliant)

(Jason & Muriel produce a great podcast called ‘Content is King’. Check it out on Spotify or Apple Podcasts)

Time Out for your Heart

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As part of the ROW membership, this week I participated in a quick lunchtime meditation at my desk with the talented Trisha Norton. It was a session where Trisha asked us all to recognise how far we have come the past year, how hard it has actually been for us to do this day in day out and to come up smiling. This image shows my Fitbit stats from that day and you can clearly see the effect that little reflection had on my heart rate. Just a quick time out can have such an impact on your day.

Bounce Forward

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I am a member of the female professional networking group Network Cork, and our new 2021 president Barbara Nugent has made her hashtag for the year #bounceforward 

Bouncing forward is something that, unlike ‘bouncing back’ involves progression. For me this theory starts from acceptance. Progressing is something that the network has allowed me to do better and I am looking forward to a year of bouncing forward with the support of my business family, particularly Ingrid Seim and Linda O’Connell who are always there rooting for everyone.

Let it Go

So I guess where I am going with this is that we have all been through a lot, not just our Sara, but everyone, and somehow, with support from others we are managing. And just like the celebration of Sara’s operation tomorrow, we all need to look back and notice how much we have done and a little reflection along with some small positive changes go a long way towards making stress levels and heart rates go down, getting us further along to the acceptance of our current situation, which may not be the one we hoped for. And in Sara’s own words, ‘Let it Go’. Then we can start to smile again and move on again, bouncing along the path

So as it (almost) approaches a year since we started this journey together apart, join Sara in spirit tomorrow to celebrate the anniversary of us all. 

And if you have managed to read this far, you deserve a photo of the crazy gang to inspire your day. (If the Frozen video wasn’t already too much)

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