Thursday, December 31, 2009

Return of the Halbury

At long last, the Traveling Halbury returns.  I am, however, going to keep "Spare Some Change" as the blog title.

I openly admit that many times having a blog and writing about your weekly adventures/thoughts feels a little...pretentious?  But this is a way for a few members of my family and a couple friends to keep connected with me, and more likely keep them entertained for a few minutes on their lunch break.   So for the next 4 months I will continue to give this little muse of a blog some attention.  Thats my justification, take it or leave it :)

Right now I am in the basement of my hostel in Dublin with my buddy Curt.  It has only been 2 days and so far luck has followed us.  Our flight attendant was Irish, and a sweet lil ol lady.  She gave us extra attention (and food) and warm conversation the entire flight over.  When we arrived at customs, the officer noticed that we both had musical instruments and he had me pull out my Charango and play a few tunes for him.  What luck that he was in such a great mood, because he stamped our passports with our brand spanking new work visas and waived the 150 Euro registration fee!!!  An excellent start indeed.

We have already enjoyed a few Guinness's (Guinni?) and enjoyed our fair share of cold rain.  Yesterday we went through our brief orientation, learning mostly about the paperwork that follows working abroad, and left feeling surprisingly optimistic about finding an apartment and a job in Galway.  We visited an art museum and a history museum and then got lost for an hour in a half around dusk in the pouring rain.  Hal and Curt, the wet rat brigade, returned to the hostel and settled in for the night with a few beers, a couple instruments (I realized that I cannot event attempt to play with Curt, he's too good!) and a lot of good conversation and interesting people.  Oh yeah, and lots of cribbage.  Curt won the first 4 games and I have won the last 5 in a row.

Today's plan is to buy a sim card for our cell phone, get Curt a towel, and see a few sights before trying to figure out how to spend the new year.  We have asked around and it seems there is no big event in Dublin for new years.  The common response is "Oh, I reckon any pub 'round will be a craic."  We know that we don't want to go to Temple Bar, maybe we can create a giant mixed group with the French, Spanish, and other Americans here at the hostel for an eventful evening.

Wish us luck on the job front! 
Luvin from Dublin :)


Wednesday, December 16, 2009

"Holiday Stress" or "Wearing your Sleeve on your Heart"

Had a bit of a mental freak out today. How, ladies and gentlemen, how am I going to get everything done? I could give you a list of everything in my life causing this stress, but I'm done thinking about it. There is never enough time in the world.

Last year around the holidays, in an attempt to alleviate some of this year's holiday stress, my family decided we would make all of our gifts next year. Brilliant right? We could avoid the unnecessary stress of shopping at the mall or borders or wherever. "We would save a lot of money" I add and "it could be fun!" I imagine my mom said. You can imagine how fun it was thinking of what we would make the next year. Well then is now and future Hal is not appreciating past Hal's decisions.

How ironic that making our own gifts for each other would be MORE stressful, cost a bit MORE money than anticipated, and NOT be very fun at all.

A lot more is on the line with these gifts. You have to think carefully about the person and what they might like and match that up with your skill and creative boundaries. We all are putting our hearts into these gifts and perhaps that is why it is proving to be so much more stressful. It is hard being this caring right? Maybe it is easier to go out and buy a book, cd, movie, ornament, article of clothing, or whatever but it is done with less of your heart.

I wish I put more of my heart into everything I do. It is a hard thing to do because it leaves you more vulnerable, but I think it is the truest way to exist.
Here is your homework assignment: try to put more of your heart into something small in your life. Contemplate what might make your husbands evening more relaxing, call a far away friend and ask them all about their life, wake up early and make breakfast for your wife, plan a spontaneous evening to spend with someone you love. It could be making coffee or an interaction with a cashier or petting your dog/cat or making a mixed CD for a friend. These are only suggestions, of course. Let me know if you notice a CHANGE and I'll do the same.

Back to putting my heart into x-mas gifts. I wish you all success!

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