Tuesday 17 September 2019

Bairbre Power: 'I’m cross with myself for not attempting more ‘firsts’ in 2018. So, bring on 2019...'

Mid Life

It’s time to write your 2019 ‘To Do’ list
It’s time to write your 2019 ‘To Do’ list
Bairbre Power

Bairbre Power

Quelle surprise! I've eaten way too much over the last few days. There's still half a ham to be enjoyed and the chocolate advent calendar is winking at me from on top of the piano. But sure there's the guts of a week left to ease myself into new ways for a new year and hopefully, into a new headspace.

It's not that I want to re-invent myself, or change my hair colour dramatically to a sassy pink but I still acknowledge that I need to take myself in hand in 2019.

I could still do with losing weight and I'll leave the wrinkles alone. But I'm going to stop measuring myself because I swear every time I do it, I seem to have shrunk another few centimetres in height.

Farewell 2018, it's been a good one. I bid it adieu rich with memories of magic moments, from sunny family days in the south of France to gas times in a biblical downpour at the Galway races.

So, what did I learn about myself in 2018? For a start, that I like my own company far too much. I really need to go out more with others at the weekends and not play to type, pull on my armour and walk for miles with my dog while listening to podcasts.

Just because I don't like crowded, noisy environments doesn't mean I should retreat so much.

Balmed out on the couch like a beached whale with my hand hovering near the last of the runny Brie de Meaux and the blackpepper crackers, I'll admit to being cross with myself for not attempting more 'firsts' over the last 12 months.

It's not that I'm competitive by nature or pushy with myself. Far from it, but as years go, 2018 was more about 'plain sailing' than 'highs and lows'. And I guess the drama queen in me is wired more for the latter.

There have been vintage midlife years when I surprised even myself. Like when sedentary Bairbre kayaked under a 2,000-year-old Roman aqueduct on a French river cruise, a trip on which I succeeded in ticking off two items from my bucket list in three days and also attended a class at the Paul Bocuse cookery school in Lyon.

Such glorious productivity. So why did I take my foot off the pedal in 2018 and not push myself to achieve more? Too exhausted, or just lazy? I suspect it's that annoying C word again...complacency.

I must seriously address this behaviour - starting with a list on December 31. The plan is to open a nice bottle of port, top up on the cheese plate and embrace the new year with a good movie and a new notebook in which to start my lists.

I have a weakness for compiling lists. I buy long, skinny notebooks in the supermarket in France and at the end of each week, I tear off the pages with a flourish.

On my 'To Do' list for 2019, I will add a number of courses I want to do, starting with one on dream analysis.

It's one of the ironies invading my life on a weekly basis now that my dreams are more vivid and easy to remember that I'm suffering from that awfully annoying curse of broken sleep.

It's plagued me ever since vertigo came thundering into my life last March - but I won't let it define me and you'll never guess looking at me that I'm awake half the night and up with the larks, ready to welcome Shay Byrne's lovely broadcasting style on Rising Time on RTÉ Radio 1 each day at 5.30am. Seems like there's quite a club of us up with the larks, or staring at the ceiling in my case.

This year I was in and out of Dublin airport on a regular basis but I kept flying to the same places. I seriously need to broaden my horizons, move the grid and taste the fear.

This year I was totally rattled by the unexpected death of a close friend in September.

The subsequent feelings of immense sadness and shock have lingered, and now I'm more acutely aware of not letting opportunities pass as I prepare to face down another New Year's Eve.

Who knows what 2019 will throw at me. I've a welcoming mat out for an Annus mirabilis - a year of wonders.

May it be good for all of us.

Irish Independent

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