With A Little Help From My Friends

It’s my favourite time of the year, but since I write about this every single danged year, I think I’m going to spare you this time and just, well, mention it. The light. Oh the beautiful, endless luminosity, the nights full of blossom scents and pleasure. It’s so bloody sensual and sexy.

I guess I should give you all an update on the house. In short, it’s going well and ticking along, and looking more and more like I’ll be moved in before August. In the meantime, I’m doing unsibylle-ish things such as picking out colours to paint the rooms and buying a sofa. It’s going to be so pretty!

I could also use some help. I’ll probably start on the last weekend in June or the first in July, and spend Friday evenings and Sundays during the day painting. I love painting, but it’s more fun in company! So if any of my Irish friends could spare me a few hours some day, please send me a text or email, or a PM on Facebook and we’ll sort something out.

Apart from all that, I’m working. And while I still enjoy my job and love, love my business(es) work, there’s just so much of it. Way too much, to be honest, and it still isn’t enough and will have to increase before I can leave the job. I tell myself it’s only going to be till the end of the year (hopefully), but gods, am I tired.

Not that I’m complaining, mind you, in fact, everything is going according to plan. It’s just, the plan was to work like a maniac, and I’m beginning to realise that five months without time off is a lot less fun than it sounds.

What keeps up my spirits, apart from my lovely friends (who visit me and keep me from becoming isolated – truly don’t know what I’d do without them!) and thinking of my house, is that I’m counting down the weeks to the Pogorelich recital in Hamburg in August and my three weeks in Vienna in September (I’ll be studying my hagish ass off, but I’ll be outrageously happy doing it). Today it’s exactly 13 weeks to go to the recital, in case anyone’s interested. Yes, I’m counting.

I’m also stubbornly insisting on one day off per week, and while I usually cheat and sneak in a few hours of work in the morning, I do go to Mayo almost every single Saturday to wander around Ballinrobe and then do a round of archery in Massbrook. It’s even more ridiculously beautiful there at this time of the year, with the rhododenron blossoming all over the place.


I don’t nearly practice the piano as much as I’d like to, and I skip more of my morning workouts than I’m comfortable with. Something’s gotta give, and while I don’t like it, I try to just go with it and repeat “only until the end of the year” in my head.

This sounds a lot more grim than I feel. It’s not easy, but it’s joyful, and the overload is temporary. When all else fails, there’s always Chopin. I recently read Alan Walker’s biography of him, and I didn’t think I could love Chopin any more, but I do. Here’s the waltz I’ve been practising, played to perfection by Kissin:

And now I’ll go to bed. It’s ten, but still light. By the time I wake up, it’ll be light again. Bliss.

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In Which I Get Scared

Plitvice Lakes National Park, Croatia
Photo by Milada Vigerova

Nah, not really.

Maybe a little. When things are amazing, and everything keeps happening, I sometimes feel a little queasy, like I’m waiting for the other shoe to drop. And right now the good news keep on coming (more about this a few paragraphs further down).

I just wrote about it on my Facebook page: It’s the “Upper Limit” Gay Hendricks talks about in The Big Leap (highly recommended). Basically, we tend to sabotage ourselves when things feel too good, because we subconsciously want to get back to the level of happiness we’re used to. And in order to prevent this, you have to train yourself to raise your happiness baseline, so to speak.

This is at the core of my work as a Coach. I call it “increasing one’s capacity for happiness”. It’s not something you suddenly get and then know once and for all, it’s more of an ongoing thing. I’m pleased to announce that I am getting better at it!

And boy, do I get a lot of practice these days. So which news do you want first, the crazy shit or the really crazy shit? Let’s start with the crazy.

In September, I’ll spend three weeks in Vienna to do an intensive course in Croatian for beginners. Yay! People keep asking: “Why Croatian?” and I keep asking back: “Why not?” If you’re one of those who insist on a proper reasoning, here it is:

  • I love learning things.
  • I love languages.
  • I’ve never studied any Slavic language, ever.
  • I tend to learn “niche” languages (Norwegian, anyone?).
  • I live in a wet, windy country, so it makes sense that I’d pick the language of a warm, sunny place. And a gorgeous one with incredible nature (see above) and rich history.
  • Helena tells me that Croatian is a great way to get by in the entire region, not just Croatia itself. Win!
  • I keep reading about new Croatian writers who produce these amazing books that are never translated into any other language.

Are these enough reasons for you? There are more, of course, but my most to-the-point answer to the question “Why learn Croatian?” is: Because I can. To me, there’s nothing more exciting than learning something new. I’ll do it for the sheer, wild joy of it.

As a bonus, I’ll be in Vienna! Woohoo! I’ve already booked a temporary flat with a piano in it, and I’ve also paid for it. It’s all in the budget, and yes, that scares me too at times, but right now everything, including the solicitor handling the mortgage and house stuff, is budgeted and paid for.

In case you were wondering, the house has been approved by the bank and so it’s only a matter for the solicitors now. If all goes well, I’ll move in late July, only to disappear to Vienna in September to study Croatian! Ha! I think it sounds perfect, and it makes me so happy I feel slightly drunk from it.

The one place in my house that’s never dusty

If that wasn’t crazy enough for you, here comes the really bonkers stuff: I’m looking to transition out of my daytime job. Yes, I know I’ve talked about doing this for years, but I’m actually building multiple streams of income now. Remember The Bilinguist? That’s one of them. And I’m building my Coaching business – my calling, my purpose – more than ever.

It’s not set in stone yet – after going broke once in my life, I’m not going to leave my job unless I’m certain that I’ll earn enough money, reliably, every single month including holidays and Christmas – but if all goes as planned, I’ll no longer be an employee this time next year.

Don’t worry about me saying this in public: My manager knows and is cheering me on, and I’ve also told him that I love the job and wouldn’t consider it hardship to stay on for another while if it turns out I can’t quite live on my business(es) yet. There’s no fixed timeline yet, and I’m welcome to stay or go (there’s a Clash song in there somewhere).

The reason why this is important is that whilst I work from home, I’m only allowed to do my job from Ireland. But with my own business, I can work from wherever I have an internet connection, and that means fulfilling my other crazy dream: that of spending a few months every year in Vienna. If all goes well, I’ll start next year! Then again, it might well take another few years to materialise, and that would be fine, too. I know it’s going to happen eventually.

I’m slightly hyperventilating from all the happiness! I want to include you into this, so please feel me reaching through the computer and hugging you right now. I hope this isn’t weird? I just want to spread my joy, and I hope you’re having a wonderful Bealtaine, the beginning of my favourite time of the year, the “luminous weeks”, and the sexiest, most ecstatic and beautiful month there is.

Please feel free to leave a comment below. It will be visible after approval and I respond to every comment, so do check back later!

If you’d like a quick email notification every time I post something new on my blog, fill in this little form. I give you my hagish word that I’ll never spam you or pass on your data!