Thoughts of the unfolding of years are among the Decemebery things that come round every year for me like berried holly and fresh mistletoe.
As I was out walking yesterday, I was thinking of how so much of own’s life can be encapsulated by thinking of the defining events, images, memories associated with particular years in each decade.
This brought me to:
1964 ~ I was seven and we had just moved to Castleblayney, Co. Monaghan. That was a whole new adventure and it was the last year in which all five of us (Mother, Dad and us three kids) were together as a family as my sister headed off to boarding school in 1965. Being insulated by a warm, warm family is what stands out most as well as the arrival of our very first television in time for Christmas.
1974: I did my Leaving Certificate in 1974 by which time we were living in Drogheda, Co. Louth. It was a year of turmoil in quite a lot of ways and the Troubles in Northern Ireland were a huge worry.
I had placed all my hopes on pursuing a career in tennis but a serious wrist injury put all that on hold. I had deferred taking up a university place in the hope that summer surgery would rectify the problem but by the December it was clear that a career in tennis was out of the question. That was the year I began learning to drive and it was also the year that my sister and I were re-united as she came back ‘home’ to teach in the school that I had just left. It was all a bit of a social whirl with big sis as ‘chaperone!’
The song I played over and over in 1974 was this one:
1984: This was a year in which I was still reeling from the death from cancer of my long-time boyfriend from cancer in 1981.
I was ensconced in Trinity College, where I had embarked on a PhD on the experiences of people with physical disabilities in Ireland and I was also very busy working as a researcher on an exciting EU project in the Midlands about the integration of people with disabilities into society.
Tennis was back on the agenda and I simply adored being able to compete again after all the missed years.
1994: Undoubtedly the highlight of 1994 was pregnancy and anticipation of motherhood.
That was a year in which I was working in two areas I love: teaching and research and was able to work from home base here in Tramore.
2004: This marked the last year that my parents were in good health but they loved spending time with our son, Harry, who was very close to both of them from the moment he was born.
This was a time of major juggling between work and ferrying 9-year old Harry to all sorts of sporting activities.
A major highlight of 2004 was Waterford’s victory in what is considered to be the greatest Munster Hurling Final of all time:
It’s a year I very much associate with my father’s photography and being down in my parents house hearing about their outings to places here in Co. Waterford which they adored.
2014 ….. Right now, it’s hard to focus on highlights of 2014 but I certainly associate it with an ever-increasing love of Co. Waterford, nature, the ocean, blogging, poetry and a whole new adventure into the world of carpets.
And, of course, the new love affair with Stan!