i LOVE being Irish!
We either have it in our DNA, or in our upbringing but eitherway, there are so many things we do – as Irish people – that i wish we didn’t!
- we are TERRIBLE at accepting a compliment. By the time we deflect it with embarrassed muttered “ach wise ups” or “why do you have to say that?”, “was only allright” we have insulted the person being nice to us. I still find a self loathing comment to throw at any semblance of you are looking lovely…they roll off the tongue so naturally!
- we are uncomfortable admitting a talent. We can nurture it, work on it, take a degree or make a career in it…but we equate saying we are good or gifted at something (such as music in my case) as being boastful…ie. BAD! Why can’t we admit we have a talent- and we do our BEST to nurture it?
- saying NO! we can be flat out, run off our feet, but will say “yes” to something we simply should not have agreed to take on, while all the time possibly giving out about the pressure we are under. It is ok to be folding under pressure or unable to take ANYTHING else on.
- we tend to raise “useless” children – in the nicest way possible ..and i love all 4 of mine! but we do too much for them- therefore we disable them developing skills of independence, resilience, realising that they NEED to do for themselves. I do think people of my generation as a gross generalisation have raised the “useless generation”….the one who at 21 can’t do the wash, cook a roastie, ….stop me now . the list could go ON and ON!
- saying “thankyou” at a time appropriate to a gesture that we appreciate. When someone does something over and bove expectation…i have made myself in my 40’s say “THANK-YOU”…not in a Helen Steiner Rice way…but a blank card with a few non-flowery way! It feels very good!…it similarly feels AWFUL meeting the intended person when you didn’t send the card, visit the house…#toolate!
- separating religion and superstition. I am a pic n mix Catholic. I do the parts of Catholicism which i find fit me well. Others i choose are outdated, and not essential to my conscience…and at the end of the day, that has to guide me. But the Irish Catholic upbringing meant for some people a lot of formal prayers….as in my parents generation the Rosary of an evening…or my friend who stands at his Holy Water font daily and recites his prayers. I keep asking what would happen , if for one day, they forgot? Don’t get me wrong i pray…mainly when prayer are needed but also in thanks…but not at set time and place…or else! CHRISTIANS are not necessarily found in Churches… PRAYERS are not necessarily on Sundays … my religion is very simple. THAT works.
- breaking the mold. We talk about the person who didnt take their husband’s married name, the one who home tutors the children… WHY is it so wrong to walk your own path? I know about 5 years ago at Christmas i decided that anyone whose childrens’ names i didn’t know and had been repetitively sending cards to for 20 years, was just silly gesture. People who i know, am in contact with by some means….so we CHOSE not to send Christmas Cards, and to make a donation to Concern or Trócaire with the £50 or so that would be spent on cards and stamps…some people don’t like not getting their cards. #groingup
- we do not COMPLAIN properly!. we whinge to each other, about the meal, the doctor, the way so and so spoke to us…but WHY can we not …or more of us (cos i DO often to my husband’s mortification) complain at the time, in a fashion tha will improve that exact situation for others? If Dr X doesn’t treat you as an intelligent adult able to make informed choices, then he probably will do the same to others! you will help his dealing with all others …or at last you MAY.
- we see WAKES as a thing i have to go to, rather than seeing the benefit that half hour meansto the bereaved family. We have as a couple improved at this consciously …and i have NEVER attended i wake and felt i shouldn’t have…have always been glad i went. But i do remember when i worked, the conversations about “have to go to that wake” or even in family “did they come to anyof our wakes?”…either GO with meaning or do NOT come to one of my family’s. no HAVE-TOs admitted! a MUCH BETTER thing to do is to show people what they mean to us when they are alive…
- remembering the fun had in small pleasures is NOT outdated. We feel we can either afford a holiday or …:(.
- remember the days of a day trip in the car, with no airconditioning,
- having stopped and ate your picnic,
- when your dad turned off the choice of 3 cassettes, and you had a sing song all the way home?
- When children made a tennis court out of freshly mown grass?
- When you and your frineds played”elastics” ?
- or a long skipping rope entertained a whole street?
- When you played “balls” on your side wall…which in our case was VERY skillful as our shed was pebbledashed….”one, two three and upsies…”
- And the very special ICE-CREAM-SODA…when your mammy threw a blob of icecream into the white lemonade and you were LANDED?
BUT we can make tea like no other race!