I was planning on writing this next blog about hope, what it means to me and where I get mine from. But with all the shit that’s been going on in the world I just didn’t see the point over the last few days. Not only that but the weather has been atrocious. There’s a direct correlation between MS and a lack of vitamin D aka the sunshine vitamin. I haven’t been eating as well as I should and certainly haven’t been getting the exercise I need either. All in all not having the positive outlook I pride myself on. This might sound silly but I had been getting a sense of hope from two chimneys on the edge of Dublin. Let me explain why 🙂
Last year, Michelle’s sister, Christine was talking to Ivan Yates on TV3. There was news that the ESB were going to knock down the Poolbeg Chimneys at the edge of the city as they are no longer of any use. This meant very little to me at the time but Chris told Ivan that she really didn’t want to see them knocked down. She had spent some time living in London and whenever she flew back to Dublin they were the first things she would see to remind her she’s home. This inspired one of my greatest ever tweets:
It was confirmed the chimneys were going nowhere. I begun to realise that, from where I live, they are nearly everywhere I look. Michelle and I started to take selfies whenever we were out and we passed them by; which was becoming more and more regular. When I was told exercise was one of the best ways to recover from my first MS attack I went on daily walks as far as I could to get both vitamin D and to re-discover my self-confidence. After a few weeks of long walks I noticed that I’d been going as far as the chimneys each day. I would walk from my house until I was facing them directly from the promenade in Clontarf. It wasn’t intentional at first but I started to say to myself each day “I better go see my pals”. They became a welcome addition to providing me with motivation. Even when I went back to work, I ‘d never noticed before that you can see them directly down the quays from the office. On the first morning back I was walking across the Samuel Beckett Bridge and could see them in the distant sunshine as if they were saying “You look after yourself now, we’re not going anywhere”. I don’t know why but seeing them that morning was almost comforting.
Back to today and it’s hard to appreciate and find hope from large inanimate objects when the suns not shining on them. I know Ireland qualified for the Euros so not all is bad but within myself I was struggling to see hope or motivation around. I put the wet gear on this morning for the walk to work. The only thing inspiring me was the thought of staying dry. Storm Barney soon put an end to that.
So there I was en route to the office getting soaked. Walking past the Royal Canal towards North Strand even the ducks and swans had fecked off and I didn’t blame them. Then I saw this young girl. While I, and everyone else, was in a hurry to get away from one of the wettest mornings you could imagine there’s this little kid no more than 7 or 8. She was making her way to school and was fully kitted out in her rain gear; wellies, rain-jacket, umbrella, the lot (all with Frozen logos on them, as standard). Rather than sprinting to the classroom, like her teachers and her peers, she was jumping two-feet at a time towards the schoolyard. Each splash in the puddles bigger than the one before. Not a bother on her. Well she put the biggest smile on my face. There was I miserable as anything because I was inconvenienced by the rain and there was she taking full advantage of it. Hope restored.
“Positivity. It is the way for me. It is truth. It is youth.” Damien Dempsey, It’s All Good