So, life here is Dublin has been doing some shifting lately. I have had to really examine how I feel about living here and how much I want to stay. The answers – I kind of love living here and, at least for now, I would really like to stay.
The reason for all of this recent soul searching is that my job situation has gotten a bit more precarious than I would prefer. Long story short, I have agreed to temporarily go down to part-time (two days a week) starting next week. Luckily, I am smart with my money and have managed to save a bit of a cushion since moving to Dublin so, while things will be tight, I can manage for a bit.
I am choosing to look at this in the most positive way possible – not as a major shrinkage of my income, but as a major gift of time. I don’t want to waste this gift napping and watching reruns of Criminal Minds and Law & Order: SVU. This is going to be a sacrifice for me financially so I want it to count in other ways.
So, what shall I do with all this time? The list so far goes something like this:
GET EXPLORING – I have played the tourist a bit here in Dublin, but there is so much more in this amazing city for me to see. Work and life have gotten in the way of that recently, but now I can make it a priority to get to know my expat home better. And bonus – Dublin has a bunch of stuff – museums, parks, etc. – that are completely free! Huzzah!
GET TRAVELING – There is no denying that I am taking a big financial hit by working only part time, so lovely travel plans I had to go to Buffalo for a summer visit and a fall holiday in Sicily have had to be put on hold. But Ireland is a teeny little country, and I can see lots of it just by taking a bunch of little day trips. I’ve already made plans to go see the tombs of Newgrange in a couple weeks. And the options go on and on – Cork, Galway, Connemara, the Ring of Kerry, Dingle, Glendalough, Kilkenny…
GET MOVING – With all this free time, I no longer have any excuse regarding working out. I miss my cross-fitting terribly but as that isn’t an option over here I must resolve to work out in other ways. I’ve let injuries and my own apathy rule the day for far too long.
GET COOKING – I am notoriously untalented in the kitchen, but I do enjoy the act of cooking, plus I can’t really afford take-away thai anymore. I plan to really make an effort to experiment with healthy cooking, with what I am sure will be mixed results. Thank goodness for my crockpot and paleomg.com.
GET WALKING – I love walking. And there are lovely places to go walking here in Dublin. I don’t walk for exercise, I walk more as a meditation. I find it helps me clear my head, it helps me de-stress, it even helps me with my writing. And to that end…
GET WRITING – Most of you know that when I left Los Angeles for Dublin, I had to leave behind not only my writing partner of 10 years, but also my dream of a successful Hollywood writing career. What I didn’t leave behind was the fact that in my heart of hearts, I will always be a writer. One of my bosses, also a writer, completely on a whim a couple days ago gave me a Writer’s Workbook that he was saving for his next writing project. I was chatting him up about this idea I had, and he just handed it to me. Now, I am more inspired than ever and have vowed to make time to write each and every day.
So, there you have it. This is how I plan to spend my gift of time. And, honestly, I kind of can’t wait to get started.