Author Archives: junemvc

Timing: What I Wish I Knew As A 23 Year Old

You know what they say about time?

Well, many things, actually.

Time flies, Time is of the essence & time waits for no man are all phrases that have been uttered in some blog post or deep meaningful conversation, once or twice. When do these words really resonate and how often do we say them so flippantly that it actually sinks in? On our birthdays? New year’s eve? Or, when we have some time during a Pandemic to over-think on it?

There were messages popping up in my college WhatsApp group this week highlighting that it’s been eleven years since we packed up our cars and headed to our family homes as we vacated our University accommodation for the very last time. That day marked the end of random Tuesday nights in the Lodge, ditching classes during Rag Weeks and cramming for exams over red bulls in the library . It meant that the times of actually having to figure out our next moves could no longer be put on the long finger. We needed to make decisions on the next phase of our lives that hadn’t been pre-planned for us.

With the end of a milestone come reflections and thoughts of whys, whens and what ifs? Certainly as I look back to who was a 23 year old June without a notion of her next move, I realise how clueless I really was and how I didn’t know what was ahead of me.

Firstly, the job I’m doing now has little to do with my studies. During the adventure of my twenties, I ventured into a few different career paths to eventually land on people management. Of course it’s super relevant and I wouldn’t change any of it for the world but certainly, that was a path that came through discovering what I enjoyed and being given opportunities to progress.

An added two continents later, I can safely say that the idea of traveling more has gone the way I’ve wanted and hasn’t stopped there (watch this space).

I have travelled quite a bit more & have grown in more than one way. I’m in a totally different relationship and indeed, have had to reinvent myself two or three times over. When I consider those in my life who were around then, some friendships have stayed strong while others have fizzled out. I’ve needed to say goodbye to one or two people for reasons out of my control and serendipity has re-introduced me to people from UL as we were meandering along random journeys.

There’s none of it that I’d change for the world.

The reasons for posting about this are many. When we look back on time, it can be easy to go into a rabbit hole of thoughts and reflections. That’s a good thing – we need to look at where we’ve come from to set intentions for where we’re headed.

My tips here are plenty.

Journal, journal and journal some more. This means deliberately writing about particular times in our lives, our respective days and what we are grateful for. As we look over our journals, this helps to guide us on how far we’ve come. This article by Jame Clear outlines the impact of journaling to the likes of Oprah Winfrey and Virginia Woolf to their success. Start with just a sentence a day and watch how that adds up to lots of content in the archives.

Make every day count with your most important relationships. It can be easy to take people for granted and not put in the little touches to their days in order to thrive. Remember, it’s better to stay consistent rather than attempt a big gesture once per year. Be present. This video by Simon Sinek is a wonderful reminder that it’s the little things that matter in every relationship.

Regularly check in with yourself on how you’re doing on your path. Life is short and actually asking ‘is this right for me now?‘ goes a long way in guiding you toward what’s meant for you. It won’t always be perfect but acknowledging what isn’t perfect will help you get or stay on the right path.

Here’s some reflections of mine from 2019. So much can change in even a few months – including this Pandemic. Keep moving forward but don’t forget to look back and see how far you’ve come :).

Knowing Me, Knowing No : Building Intentions In Our Day To Day

This one Sunday, I sat in Dundrum town centre for several hours hoping to get some peace and quiet. Those were the days when pure silence in a shopping centre wasn’t based on it being deserted because of quarantine. It was a time that I had been so inundated with options of places to go that I simply set my phone to airplane mode so I could peacefully read my new book. That’s not to say that I’m sooooo popular, it’s more based on the fact that actually, plans are like buses – either one comes or they all arrive together or at least this was the case prior to pandemic-life. Therefore, disconnecting can elicit the most exceptional FOMO.

Thankfully, that particular day I purchased a book called ‘Fuck No!’. This bestseller by author Sarah Knight covers the topic of saying no to what we hate, what we are unsure about or simply can’t be bothered with. It can apply to all areas of life from work & friendships to random self-care. It reminds us that indeed, we don’t need to do anything out of obligation or because we think we should. Rather, it emphasises the importance of our own time and energy management as we go about our days and lives with clearer and more deliberate intention.

Sarah reminded me of what I already felt in my gut: indeed that we are here for a short time, not a long schedule-filled time. Therefore, we need to make the most of it and be clear on what we want and where we’re headed. For if we don’t know where we’re headed then how do we get there?

A big part (probably the biggest is how we spend our time). We have 24 hours in each day where we need to sleep, eat, work, exercise and maintain our sanity. In that time, we want to self-develop, form and navigate hobbies and that applies to those of us without kids. Add on top of that 1 or more children, pets, uninvited family members and friends plus social media time and being distracted and well… 24 hours can seem like not quite enough.

Being deliberate in what we say no to is as important as what we say yes to. If you’re anything like me, you’ll find this hard as you want to keep people happy and don’t want to miss out.

In quarantine life, this can apply to endless Zoom calls, phone conversations or even, walking the dog. It can mean that instead of having a ton of meetings that you send an email instead. It can also mean you take a rest rather than racing around pretending that productive is always better – it’s most definitely not always better.

Remember life before? This is a great time to reflect on what worked and what didn’t when it came to saying yes or no.

What does that look like and how has it left you as a person? Did you spend some time each week visiting people you didn’t necessarily like? Did you have an unhealthy balance between work and personal life and did you want to say yes to every plan that popped into your calendar? That’s okay either way, reflecting is key – that’s all.

Some considerations as you weigh up what works or not and where you want to say no when that yes pours out of your mouth.

When does your energy increase and when does it feel drained? Your body is always listening and can tell you when you’re invested or not. This is not to be confused by a reaction from your body when out of its comfort zone – start to listen and recognise what you’re being told.

Always ask yourself, ‘do I have the time for this?’ and could it be more of a pause and think about it rather than a ‘oh why did I bother?’ kind of reaction, afterwards.

What is your biggest goal you want to move towards and how are you going to get there? In what way can you get there and what do you have to say yes to? This can be broken down by looking at your time, what resources you have available and your ‘why’ behind what you do. In any way that you can, honour your goal and maintain that as much as possible.

Know the reasons for the yeses and know yourself. Be aware that we are here for a certain amount of time and being as intentional as possible is necessary to get the most from our days and goals.

Sorry, that was the Pandemic talking.

Ever have those days you feel like uttering ‘Feck off, Pandemic’?

Thought so.

Thankfully, that’s not today for me. It’s out of my system from last week when I got into a rut of ‘should I be reinventing myself’ or ’embracing my past self?’.

That phase passed with enough chats with my friends and walks in this glorious sunshine.

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This week, I’ll get back to the bizarre balance of getting as much rest as possible while also multiplying my skillset in a bunch of areas that I didn’t even know I wanted to.

Most days, I try to focus on the ”thank you, Pandemic’ mentality. The ‘what have I learned’ & ‘which parts of normal do I want to return to’ one that it seems, a lot of us are grappling with.

I’ve done the banana bread thing, replanted my unidentified living room flowers and added a few bulbs to my endless Dealz supply of plastic pots. Meanwhile, I’m celebrating the fact that I’m super flexible as a result of the yoga sessions, random challenges and downloading fitness apps. Those 21 day meditation challenges have allowed me to find myself a few times over (nice to meet you again, by the way).

You see, the rules are different in the Pandemic. We get to rediscover ourselves while getting lost in endless realms of our past lives. Our brains can’t help but remind us of those old encounters when our Instagram feeds fail to do so. Our old erroneous mistakes and once forgotten chapters resurface and oh my, how they’ve shaped this inevitable reflection time.

 

Meanwhile, being away from all of those who are loved most has re-iterated the fact that yes, we can build a stronger cadence of contact once we are out in the free world again as it’s already being done.

This blog post title is aptly named though. Sometimes when we’re against a wall and such a huge area of our lives is uncontrollable, it can impact our behaviour in a multitude of ways.

While I maintain that indeed we are responsible for how we act and how we consciously manoeuvre our days or interact with those around us, our emotions have the power to inevitably drive this, should we let them. When our emotions get carried away, so too do we and trailing back to calm can be a tricky journey to navigate. The map to this also happens to vary from person to person.

Thankfully, as is the case with everyone around us, we can build in habits that help us to balance our minds and reset ourselves when a rut of uncontrollable reactions tend to surface.

*Building and maintaining a support network who we trust and who lift us up is important. This applies to Pandemic days more-so than our normal lives as we need it. We become like the five people we spend the most time with & that includes Zoom calls and random Tik toks.

*If you must, follow social media that incites positivity. That’s not to say that we only follow those who are being productive and teaching us that we ‘should’ be doing all the things. No. Follow those who inspire you (in whatever way that is) and encourage you and yours to feel good and to do what’s right for you and your mindset. (Feel free to hit me up for some suggestions).

*Do some exercise, please. I’m certain this point has featured in so many of my posts because well, I’ve learned from this myself. Sure, resting is important and please do lots of that. Doing some form of exercise releases endorphins and helps to build you, your body and mind up. Check out Yoga with Adriene, Joe Wicks or Well Fest Ireland this weekend.

*Do some journaling or write something (anything) down.¬† All those thoughts need to go somewhere. Chat through them or write them down so there is an outlet to make sense of them. I’ve filled a journal in the past month and it’s helped me make sense of so much when I would’ve otherwise felt pent up with ideas and thoughts.

There’s so much more. The main thing is here is well, this is going to be over soon and we will get back to our lives. I’ll keep sharing ideas and tips on moving yourself forward and taking care of yourselves.

Be kind to yourself now and always as you navigate your way through quarantine life. If you don’t feel great, that’s okay. Do what you can with what you have wherever you are.