Today or never…

“Today or never. That’s my motto.” Wise words spoken by Mary Poppins in the sequel to one of my favourite childhood movies. I watched Mary Poppins Returns last night, having a beer, uninterrupted by my phone, or worries or stress. Why? Because last week I quit my job. I handed in my notice, on what my family might call a whim. I got a ‘sign’, and for a woman who really doesn’t believe in signs or ‘what’s for you won’t pass you’, this was a revelation for me. Two other conflicting life affirmations had come into play recently for me – ‘my cup was full’ and ‘you can’t pour from an empty cup’. My work load cup was full, and my self-care cup was depleted, if not bone dry, and I had finally had the ‘aha’ moment. It came as I sat, proud, at the second Marie Keating Foundation conference for families with a BRCA mutation. I was asked about my blog. “Blog”, I said, “is a strong word, in fact the last time I wrote anything for it was this time last year after the conference”. But I loved writing for my blog, for myself, my personal therapy, why had I stopped? Because I lost sight of why we moved to West Cork in the first place. I had taken on a role, perhaps out of obligation and perhaps out of my stubbornness to see a project through, that was all consuming, that demanded all of me, all the time. And while there was an inherent love for the job present, my priority path had diverged into a wood and I was a bit lost in the dense foliage. I needed to follow the breadcrumb trail out into the light again and go back to what I love.

I love writing; so here I am, tapping away today.

I love playing piano; I’ve spent a lot of time back at the keys this last week, a bit rusty but happy.

I love my friendships; this week and going forward I’m going to try and make up for all the things I’ve missed this last year. Weddings, engagements, babies being born, funerals, birthdays and the likes.

I love my family; we are far from perfect, but we are perfect for each other.

I love Toby Drummond; I once wrote that ‘mother’ would be the most important job title I ever held, and it couldn’t be more true than this week.

I love working; and the quest for a better work-life balance has started in earnest already.

I love helping people; taking care of myself will allow me to take care of others and I’m looking forward to starting my role with the Marie Keating Foundation in the coming weeks.

The dead weight that immediately lifted from my shoulders this week has reflected in my voice and in my smile and in my eyes. Those that I meet can see it instantly. Often people are driven by job titles, pay packets and ladder climbing, and once you remove that vanity from the equation and you peel back a few layers, you can assess if you love what you are doing. My BRCA journey has had ups and downs, but honestly the most fun part has been this impulsive nature that it has injected into me that never existed before. Instead of ‘what if?’, I am more likely to ask ‘why not?’. For that I’m grateful, even if those close to me might still be adjusting. If you’re questioning your life, your role, a relationship please remember that nothing is more important than your health, your family and your healthy relationships and friendships. Treasure those and question everything outside that bubble. Be brave. Today or never.


Some inspirational quotes from Mary Poppins Returns can be found here to brighten up your life…



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