7 things to remind myself daily why I chose to move back to Ireland
I find it really helpful to remind myself daily why I chose to move back to Ireland. This keeps me motivated on the days when I doubt the decision, or start to dream about moving somewhere else, or when I fear the winter coming. Everyone will have different reasons for their life decisions and self doubt will always be a factor in the process - before, during and after.
What has helped me greatly is having a gratitude journal beside my bed, where I write down three things every day that I am grateful for. Much research has gone into this process and it has been widely spoken about from people like Tony Robbins in the US to life coaches and therapists globally assisting people to reduce stress.
It wasn’t just me that moved back to Ireland, and I have worried about whether or not it was the right decision for our whole family, as my husband is from NZ and the children don’t identify themselves as Irish. To help us as a whole family, at dinner in the evenings, I love to ask them what they are grateful for that day and to tell me 3 things and 1 bad thing that happened in the day. I like to include one bad thing, especially for the children, so that they realise that good and bad things happen every day - and it opens a great discussion within the family if they need help to get over the bad thing. I often have to be reminded of that wonderful children’s story book Alexanders Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day - where he plans to move to Australia when things get tough. His mother reminds him that people have bad days in Australia too. I have had to learn that for myself, as I have often relied on external circumstances to change my life. “If I lived in a better house, my life would be better”. “If I lived in a warmer country I would be more motivated” “If I had a bigger garden I would grow my own vegetables” “If only ….”
Of course, I know that is not true. I have lived in so many different houses and different countries, but at the end of the day, I am always living with myself. Me, myself and I is the one thing that I have always guaranteed to pack in the suitcase. The surroundings don’t change that person. Only I can!
So, here are my 7 things to remind myself daily why I chose to move back to Ireland (even when people question my decision, or when it is cold and rainy, or when the heating bills arrive, or when the car insurance bill arrives!)
I am near my family. We see my parents every week. I have reconnected with cousins and other relatives.
I have a feeling that I am home and that I can look to the future and make long term plans. When I lived in other countries I always had a sense of doubt about any kind of planning “in case we moved”. Conversations don’t start with “How long are you going to be here …?” anymore. A 5 and 10 year plan is something that I can conceive. The children are at school with plans to stay and look to the future without having to make a fresh start over and over again - they can visualise their own futures within the realm of security.
There is so much to do. Every weekend and season there are so many events happening everywhere that we can be as busy as we choose to be. I could go to comedy events, ballet, pantomime, sports, festivals, music …
There is so much to see without getting on a plane. I love that we can head off for a long weekend with the car packed and take the dog without the need to book flights and pack liquids in little plastic bags.
Nature is everywhere. Being in nature feeds my soul and I love that the climate is hospitable to go outside every day. Nothing seems too extreme - the hills are not too high, the weather is neither too cold nor too hot. All you need is a good jacket and usually a beanie too.
The air and water are fresh and clean. Having lived in a country without an natural water source of it’s own and understood the difficulty to source it, makes me value what we have in Ireland.
The culture is my own. I recognise and understand the humour, I am not struggling with extra languages and traditions, casual conversations are commonplace, there is a simple affinity with other people. Reading the newspaper on the weekend with a cuppa is a delight and a highlight for me.
I am very conscious of the choice that we made to move to Ireland. I think about it every day. Every day I say to the kids, “Wow, look at how beautiful it is here”. The sunrise and sunset are extraordinary, the countryside is stunning and the streets of Georgian Dublin are majestic.
I can confidently say that I am so happy to be here. It is not perfect, but that is not due to the country itself or the weather. I am not seeking perfection anyway. It is home. It is our future. Any changes that have to made, have to come from inside of ourselves and our focus and ambition.