It’s not yet summer, but already 2016 has been full of lessons. Here are a few of my key takeaways.
1 It’s worth upsetting the applecart. I’ll admit it, I love routine. I treat it like a cosy, cashmere blanket that makes me feel snug and secure. But because I know this about myself, I also know that breaking free from routine is not just the best medicine, but the only medicine. Luckily, my job presents some weird and wonderful opportunities, like the time I dived off the Jeanie Johnston into the River Liffey because Red Bull asked me to. Earlier this year, I took on a challenge of a very different kind, by flying over 5,000 miles to Malawi in South East Africa to meet women affected by gender based violence. The trip was daunting from start to finish, but that’s exactly why I’ll never regret it. Being scared isn’t always a bad thing.
2 Duvet days have a sell-by date. Long, leisurely breakfasts, check; afternoon TV, check; never leaving the couch, check. Sounds like bliss, right? If a recent illness taught me anything, it’s that horizontal living is not something I’ll ever wish for again. After a couple of weeks of bed rest, even a Netflix subscription can’t save you from the tedium. Holidays in your full health, on the other hand, well I’m a cheerleader for more of them. Just don’t tell my team.
3 You can have too much of a good thing. Case in point: sweet potato. Or more specifically, sweet potato fries. Just because they are orange and a foundation ingredient in most superfood salads doesn’t mean they are immune from the impurities of a deep fat fryer. I blame (and secretly love) our new culinary neighbours Gourmet Food Parlour for leading me down the garden path with this sweet, sweet spud.
4 If you’re good at something, say so. I used to be reluctant to admit my strengths. I assumed the people around me would just spot them. Newsflash: it doesn’t always work that way. I get to meet some incredibly successful women through the magazine, and they all have one thing in common: they play up their strengths. Take their cue and remember to never minimise your talents.
5 I don’t have nearly enough vices. I don’t smoke, I can’t drink like I used to, and my aforementioned penchant for sweet potato fries doesn’t count. I think I’m turning into a bore. I need to up my game. (All suggestions welcome.)