First post of 2018..

I haven’t left you, you’ll be glad to hear.

I can’t believe it’s nearly a month since I last wrote here. Time flies so fast. I keep thinking of writing however. I hope you all had a good Christmas and New Year.

I think about my upcoming Camino everyday. Some days I have concerns, some days I feel everything will be ok. I leave for Vigo in just over 100 days with my brother and we make our way to Santiago. That is May, however, and so much has happened in the meantime.

I have been busy assisting with the brand new online e-zine for Camino Society Ireland members. Members should have received instructions on how to view the e-zine yesterday. It is packed with articles and I must thank the contributors for their work. April 2018 and the Celtic Camino Festival is next on the radar. If you wish to subscribe to this new e-zine, you can become a member at www.caminosociety.ie. You get so much more other than the e-zine, just to let you know.

So that explains my short term absence. I will be posting a lot more as the time draws closer to my departure to Spain.

One other thing, I am hoping to meeting the author of The Camino Way: Lessons in Leadership from a Walk Across Spain on Thursday, the 25th. Victor Prince has written an excellent book, and while I have not completed it yet, it is different to your average book on the Camino.  It is a combination of a travel guide and an invaluable set of lessons for success in life at home and at work. I’m looking forward to meeting him for a chat.

 

Not Successful…

I’m stuck between a rock and a hard place at the moment.
Let me explain why.
At the start of 2011, I received a CIP (Certified Insurance Practitioner) qualification which I had been working on since 2008. Six exams that contain material that is lost on me now. It means nothing but I needed it to continue doing what I am doing today. Without it, I need to be supervised (see http://is.gd/K3ZnW5). I was delighted with it as I felt that was it..no more reading and no more stress.
Fast forward to January 2012. I learnt about the QFA (Qualified Financial Advisor -http://is.gd/TrxhBE) exams and how they can further your career. Employers look for people with this qualification and being stuck in a dead end job, it can only help springboard me.
So I signed up, I received the first exam course manual, the first of six may I add. Life Assurance. I read it, tried to understand it and dived head first into the exam in March 2012. The confidence was low and leaving the hall, my expectations were not high. After receiving my results, and seeing the “Not Successful” words, I said “feck it” and decided there and then to pack it in and forget about it.
I then went on my trip to Spain in June and had time to think about the important things in life. I got home and signed up again. The next sitting was September, last month. So I read over notes I had kept from March. I dived head first again and some nights I stayed up until the early morning drinking coffee before getting up at 6 for work. I better pass this, I kept saying to myself!
Exam day, confidence high, expectations high, I left the hall thinking about the next exam “Loans” and what lied ahead.
Fast forward to October 5th, two days ago.

“NOT SUCCESSFUL”

I missed out by 7 marks. There were no words. Things like these make you lose faith in furthering careers. If I am being overly dramatic, I apologise but it is very hard to remain interested in a chosen subject if I get knocked down.
I will repeat in January. Here’s to better luck.

Moving forwards or backwards?

Hello all, I hope you are having a good weekend, like I am. I don’t plan to write much but after writing last night’s post, it got me thinking of something else…education.

In 2002, I graduated in the Dublin Institute of Technology (DIT). I studied Business & Finance for 4 years and eventually obtained a degree. I was delighted as it took me forever to finish the course, I even had to repeat a year. From what I remember, I studied Economics, Accounting, Marketing, MIS, and some law. At the time, I just wanted to finish the degree and the interest in the course had long vanished.

Fast forward 4 years..I started out in a new job in travel insurance sales, and the degree I had was little use to what I would be doing on a daily basis. On the first day, I was told that I must complete 6 exams as required by the Financial Regulator (read more about it here). As you may know, I passed the final exam in December ’10.

All well and good. Now, I have the option of going forward and grabbing a few more qualifications and I’m seriously thinking about it. Who knows where it may bring me a year or so down the line. But you have to see what the syllabus is. It is pretty much the same as the degree from way back in 2002, a degree that means nothing to me now. Economics, Marketing, Accounting, and more here.

 

New Year but ..same old..same old.

Firstly, just to wish everyone a Happy New Year and all the very best for 2011. If you didn’t catch the fireworks display in Oz, you can watch it here. It looks amazing. However, I’ve never liked new years eve. Mainly because he whole countdown to another year has no real purpose other than being a great reason to have a few drinks and have a sing song. I have no problems with either of them though 🙂 I woke up this morning and wished one and all the very best for 2011 and lets hope it is better than the year gone by. Everyone I spoke to had serious hangovers, a sign of a good night.

Let’s face it, it hasn’t been that good. There has been almost daily negativity in the news, papers and internet in the last 12 months and it very hard to avoid it. Unless you lock yourself away in a room. I have a few demons to deal with myself. Not achieving goals I have set for myself, becoming too comfortable with what I have and worrying about meaningless things are a few. There is no clear direction. Resolutions are one thing but it is always good to have a direction of where you would like to be at the end of a year. Where I am now…I have been since 2007. Maybe these goals are pipe dreams and I should be aiming for something more reasonable. A promotion, finding a place of my own, widening my circle of friends, writing more music…these are the things that I am aiming for. However, I have a great fear that the end of 2011 will be exactly the same as the start of 2011 just like December 2010 held no change from January 2010.

Some may say “there’s no point writing a few lines about it, go out and do something about it!” and “stop feeling sorry for yourself” So be it. 

One more exam over…

It is Thursday evening at last. The week has dragged in and all my thoughts are on the weekend..roll on! The last few days have been a bit manic and I haven’t had a chance to do what I would like to do when I get home….go for a walk, listen to some music and even write something on this well neglected blog. I am due to sit my annual review any time this week and have been preparing for that. It has not happened though. After the end of each day, we were promised it would be the day after..maybe tomorrow? I just need to get this over and face the music as I did last time. I have no problem accepting constructive criticism..I love getting feedback but this feedback is getting boring now. Very repetitive! On a positive note, you remember me posting that I was sitting an insurance exam? Well I passed it! Being relieved is an understatement. The minute I heard they were out, I rang home, asked for the envelope to be opened and to my amazement I was told there is a big “P” beside my name. A voice inside me screamed but somehow the whole office heard it! Should have kept it to myself as I knew some had failed it. Two more exams to go and I am qualified in what ever I do..daydreaming or something like that! I have the Tottenham match here on telly as I write so I’ll sit back and hope for a Shaktar Donesk win 🙂 Ciao!

Spoiled for Choice

RTÉ Sport: Sunday’s Live Sport

Well today is probably the busiest day for Irish and UK sport in a long time. Not only are Ireland going for two wins from two in Rugby as they play Italy, there is a host of hurling and football games throughout the country. Dublin play Galway in both football and hurling while Kilkenny start off their campaign against Limerick.

Further to these, the FA cup continues across the water with Manchester United square up with Derby..AGAIN! And added to this is the Old Firm derby in Glasgow! TV viewers will be spoilt for choice as viewers who are not into sport will need to find other activities to take part in!

Personally speaking, I will be working in Croke Park, not at an Allianz league match, but at the All Ireland Intermediate and Junior Football finals. Approximately 4000 fans will be in attendance and somay may wonder why the GAA bother to open up the ground for this challenge match. Anyway, I shall go with radio in hand listening in to all the news.