Happy New Year – and Happy Women’s Christmas Tonight!

Happy New Year! But wait, there’s one more Christmas celebration tonight:  Here in Ireland it’s “Nollaig na mBan” or “Women’s Christmas!”

Happy Women's Christmas!
Happy Women’s Christmas!

As the Ireland Fun Facts website explains it’s a time for tired Irish women, who cooked and washed dishes all alone for their large families during the holidays, to finally get a break –  for one day at least.

It’s a time for women to finally get a break

Yes, this one’s just for the ladies, gents. It’s one of the lovely traditions I will be experiencing for the first time since we moved here to Ireland.  A night for the women to celebrate surviving another holiday break with the children, the husband and their extended family all at home. Together. For several days. In a row.

Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE the holidays.  I start cranking up Bing Crosby’s “White Christmas” immediately while I clear the Thanksgiving plates.  And this year was no different.

During the holidays. I cooked. A lot. Family cookie favourites. Ham with maple bourbon sauce. Mountains of mashed potatoes and now that I have discovered the glories of goose fat, truck- loads of roast potatoes too. (We’re in Ireland after all.) Mince pies with brandy butter.  Boiled puddings with brandy sauce.  Just plain brandy sauce and feck it, just plain brandy!  Needless to say that with all that cooking comes all that eating.  Too much.  I loved the holidays with gusto and now I’m glad to add them to my ever-growing memory box.

Not our house after Christmas - but you get the idea
Not our house after Christmas – but you get the idea

So! Here we are in the first week back at it.

bigstock-back-to-work-in-toy-block-lett-9894719

Did you skip while you took your children back to school yesterday?  Did you attack your first gym/pool/pilates/yoga class of the new year with a vengeance? Have you already vacuumed up the last of the dead pine needles and packed the stockings/baubles/Christmas village buildings and figurines tidily away? Did you possibly even kiss your desk and/or co-workers back at the office?

I did. Except for the desk and co-worker part.  I am simply delighted to be facing a fresh new year square in its little hopeful pink face.  A new year with new possibilities.  I, like you, have plenty of work goals.  I want to consult on more projects in more countries with more clients.  I am excited about new prospects and opportunities.

But first, tonight, one more fest.  I’ll be meeting some girl friends here in Cork at a restaurant downtown.  It’s a French place I haven’t tried yet called Star Anise.  That likely means small delicate portions. That’s a good thing. It’s a new year after all.

Cheers and here’s to a productive, but still festive, new year!

Love,

Gina

Copyright 2015 Gina London.  All Rights Reserved. 

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New Year, New You. and New Me too!

In the spirit of the New Year, let’s embark on a year of strength training:  Stronger in business, stronger in family and stronger in personal health and spirit!

strength

Are you ready?  I know I am!

Did you relax or stress over the holidays?

It helps to start with a sense of calmness and peace.

My family and I just wrapped up a wonderfully restful two-week holiday in Paris.   Yes, believe it or not, the bustling City of Light can provide relaxation when you don’t have a packed agenda of sight-seeing.

Just a relaxing stroll near a certain tower ...

Just a relaxing stroll near a certain tower …

Since we were fortunate to live there for two years, we didn’t stand in snarly long queues to cram into the Louvre with scores of tourists.

Instead, we meandered through our favorite parks, like Jardin du Luxembourg.

Fabulous Jardin du Luxembourg fountain
Fabulous Jardin du Luxembourg fountain
it's not just manicured lawns and ornate fountains, Jardin du Luxembourg has a one heckuva charming playground too!
but it’s not just manicured lawns and ornate fountains, Jardin du Luxembourg has a one heckuva charming playground too!

And shared peaceful strolls, conversations and meals with old and dear friends.

Conversation and Coffee. The C&C of R&R!
Conversation and Coffee. The C&C of R&R!

Now I’m refreshed and ready to tackle a new year full of opportunity! Are you?

Are you committed to learning and growing?

Don’t just make a list: Make short-term and long-term versions.  What steps do you need to take to achieve bigger goals? Write it all down.  Computer or Paper, it doesn’t matter.  After the short plane ride from Paris to Pisa and on the train back to our hometown here in Arezzo yesterday,  I wrote out day by day, plans for this week’s work and activities.

¨       Write business in Arezzo essay for upcoming book for the University of Oklahoma.  Check.

¨       Draft script copy for a pill video for a luxury hotel in Morocco.  Check.

¨       Organize Skype session with an associate for planned communications training session in Nigeria.   Check.

¨       Prepare presentation for the American International League in Florence.  Check.

¨       AND!  Begin promotion of my exciting new multi-platform responsive website to be launched next week!  Check.

One of my main long-term goals is to expand my client-base and professional presence. These short steps should all help toward that!

How flexible and adaptable are you?

When an unexpected set-back jolts you off your planned track, how do you respond?

Yesterday, I was prepared and ready to dig in.

I even worked hard with Lulu Sunday evening to make sure all her homework  was ready for school to restart on Monday.

Except.  Lulu’s school DIDN’T restart today.  It starts tomorrow.   Today is actually the L’Epifania, which marks Epiphany.  Here in Italy, a kindly old woman who rides a broom magically delivers sweets and small toys to children on this day.

La Befana
La Befana

I had my dates mixed up. I thought it was yesterday!! My husband had even arranged for La Befana to have already dropped off chocolates and a toy flute for Lulu when we came home yesterday.

I got Lulu up and dressed for school this morning but then received a text from another mom inviting all of us to a La Befana lunch today… Whoops!

But, that’s okay.  I spent another holiday day with my daughter.  I’ll just work harder at my list tomorrow.

What about you?  Let’s help each other!

Here’s to a stronger us,

Gina

Copyright 2014 Gina London. All rights reserved.