Thursday, December 24, 2015

Brisbane, Shrone, Melbourne: A 2015 Reflection

So how was 2015 for you? Did you lead? Inspire? Volunteer?

It was certainly a big year for me. Leaving one job after 9 wonderful years. Taking up another role with the largest humanitarian organisation in the world. Moving to another city to take up that job.  

Melbourne is a beautiful City but only being here 12 months I have much to discover. Some of things I love:

The Trams: They are such a great way of getting around. I always feel like a child when I get on one. It’s like I’m on a ride in a huge amusement park. Some cities let their tram systems go and that’s a pity I think.

The Weather: Ok, so Melbourne has got some crazy weather. One day I was suffering in 42 degree Celsius. Two days later there was a chilly wind blowing and 19 degrees was the top. You can get four seasons in the one day in Melbourne.  But I have decided that I am very happy without the humidity. Humidity and I have never been friends. Nothing worse than getting out of a cold shower only to perspire again while dressing. Nothing worse than tossing and turning in bed at night as the humidity envelopes you and the fan blows a heavy hot wind upon your body! I like the cold. With cold you can rug up. People are warning me about the winter. They forget I had 25 winters in Ireland so bring it on!

The buildings and architecture: Sometimes I walk around Melbourne and feel like I am in an European city. Their buildings are beautifully designed. I especially like the ones with a Greek or Italian influence:

The food: There are so many options for all sorts of taste buds. I’ve tasted sensational Souvlakis to perfect Pizza.

The Pubs: Some awesome bars can be found. The locals are friendly and the pints are cold. Favourites are The Snug on Sydney Rd and the Turf in north Melbourne.

The people: Friendly, multicultural, diverse and vibrant.

I’ve done a training course and am now a Team Leader for the Red Cross State Inquiry Centre which is activated during any disaster such as bushfire. Here I will wear my volunteering hat with pride.

I’ve also put in place plans to set up an Irish Theatre Company in Melbourne. The idea would be to present plays by Irish playwrights to the Melbourne public.  Our first meeting will take place early in the new year. A bunch of volunteers getting together to see if we can do this!

This year I spent a few weeks in Ireland. It was great catching up with family and friends. I met some wonderful class mates that I had not seen for 20 years! We even spent a night in a pub watching old plays that we were involved in 20 years ago! The following morning there was a beautiful sun rise as some of us left the pub! Ireland will always be my spiritual home. There is no better inner peaceful feeling than there is when standing next to Shrone lake on a cloudless fine day with the Pap mountains towering above you.  It is a timeless place. Many a day was spent in childhood exploring the area. It never changes. I hope it never does.

Now I am back in Brisbane for the holiday season. With those I love. My family. Those I cherish.

Its lovely to see the city again. It seems to get bigger and taller every time I come back!

2015 has been good to me. Were there challenges and tough moments? You bet there were. But through it all the support of family, friends and the best volunteers in the galaxy was amazing.  People are good. As one volunteer used to always say to me “It’s nice to know nice people!”

I am grateful for all that I have.  I’ve gotten into the habit of waking up and just saying “Thank you” each morning.  I was inspired to do that by a movie with Wayne Dyer. ‘If you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change.”

I’ve been inspired by Alan Watts – “This is the real secret of life — to be completely engaged with what you are doing in the here and now. And instead of calling it work, realize it is play.”

I continue to be genuinely inspired by volunteers. The world would be a darker place without them.

And that’s just my little reflection.

I wish you and yours a peaceful holiday season and may 2016 bring you much joy!

“Peace can be made only by those who are peaceful, and love can be shown only by those who love. No work of love will flourish out of guilt, fear, or hollowness of heart, just as no valid plans for the future can be made by those who have no capacity for living now.”  - Alan Watts

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