Last year brought the opportunity to learn new things about ourselves and even new skills. Louise Roseingrave asked some people what the year had taught them
Fr Tom Hayes, Enniskeane, parish priest
I NEVER expected that I’d be saying Mass one day with a mouse beside me on the altar.
The Covid-19 pandemic meant that a day came in March 2020 when I was on one side of the altar with a computer and I was staring into an empty church.
With the help of some techie parishioners I took to Zoom and Facebook Live. I learned that technology made it possible to retain and to grow an online community of people looking to nourish their lives with prayer. Many people deeply missed the church and their connection with God. God and hope overlap, especially in times of great uncertainty.
April Dannan, Caheragh, nutritionist
DON’T put your dreams on hold! Like all of us, I have things I always wanted to do one day, and 2020 has been the year to do these things. Everything is upside down and it’s upside down for a reason.
A big part of my work was teaching and running my boutique natural clinic at the market in Skibbereen. I no longer have these options but this is a year to focus on what I do have and to be grateful. My clinic and herbal dispensary are still open and I have moved my products online.
It’s been a time to let go of things and say okay, maybe that phase has ended for me, now I can concentrate my efforts, reinvent myself and do something different with my talents and abilities.
Ed Harper, Cape Clear, goat farmer
I MISS the live music but because everything has gone online now, I’ve been able to join sessions in Dublin and London that I otherwise would never have!
If I was in Dublin for a meeting or for politics I would always try to get to An Goilin, which is a singers’ club off Parnell Square, but that was rare.Now these things are on Zoom and I can join in. For somebody who lives on an island, it has its advantages.
On the last session I joined there were 75 of us singers on Zoom and another 1,350 watching on Facebook, which is remarkable.
Christy Collard, Bantry,
builder & landscaper
I’VE learned how very lucky I am to have a wonderful partner and family. I’ve been quite content in my life this year and not really missing events and festivals and the associated socialising that would ordinarily be a big part of my life. My partner Robin and the children Ciarán (22), Tristan (18), Izabella (16), Saira (13), Naoise (11) and Oscar (3) are so important to me. I’ve been anxious about the impact of the pandemic on other people’s lives.
I think we need to pull together, look out for each other and learn how to live successfully, happily and abundantly.
Anne Marie Kingston, Clonakilty, professional declutterer
FOR me personally I realised that my business model had to change rapidly if I wanted to survive.
I have to embrace every opportunity and see how could I support clients, in other ways besides with one-to-one sessions.
It took a world pandemic to give me that loving shove I needed so I could take my business online.
But I had to become tech-savvy and now I am, and I’m embracing Zoom.