Its not difficult….but can be lonely

A bit of a thoughtful post today. As I have stated recently, I am only 3 months in the USA and still can’t work as I await paperwork to clear. As a new immigrant to the country and someone who had either been in school or work constantly since I was 17, not working is difficult but with structure and support from loved ones it can be done.

I worked for Irish Rail for 3 years, the Irish Defence  Forces for 23 and Dublin Airport for 2, as well as attending college in the last few years, so I have always been busy. I did take 8 months off back in 2011 when I retired from the military and that was more to get what I had planned going and every day had a certain amount of structure.

2nd Cav Sqn Exercise Carlisle (121)
Me while serving in the Military

Its very easy to fall into a life of day time TV, which i hate, or just staying in bed till noon. Neither of those options appeal to me so a plan was needed. As we have 2 dogs that helped with any plan as they love to go on walks. Also I love to drive my wife into work so that means most mornings we are out the door by 7.15am.

My day starts once I drop Leanne to work and come home with the dogs. A quick walk around the neighborhood is followed by breakfast and a mug of tea. I now have a subscription to Lynda.com which allows me to learn new skills with the aid of video online lessons. Normally i will do 90 mins at a time, 2-3 times over the day, depending on what else i need to do.

20160109_131933
Walking the dogs

The real difficulty is loneliness, being on my own most of the day it takes discipline to make sure I keep at what I am doing. The dogs keep me company but its a chat with someone that I miss the most. I do keep in contact with friends at home via Viber but there is a 5 hour time difference s that can be difficult at times. I am lucky as i have a few things on my side, firstly I have the support of my lovely wife, secondly i am quite disciplined to keep at what I am doing and finally daytime TV sucks!

If you are in the same situation as me, make a plan, stick to it and have structure for you day. Yes take a day off, go for lunch but have a plan of what to do. In a few short months I hope the paperwork comes through and I can start following my dream of being self employed as a photographer, but for now the planned and structured days of being at home and a house husband will continue.

 

Five years

One of the most important steps I took on the journey to the USA was taken 5 years ago today. On Feb 6th 2011 I retired after 23 years military service with the Irish Defence Forces. At the time and even until quite recently I didn’t realize how important that step was.
image

Making the decision to leave a job I loved after 23 years was easy. I was a photographer within the Defence Forces Press Office, travelling the world with the troops, covering military events all over Ireland and supplying imagery to media outlets at home and abroad. So what made me leave? Well the fun had gone out of the role and it was time to move on.
image

So in Feb 2011 found myself at a loose end and made a decision to go to college, at 44 years of age. Three years later I had attained my higher Diploma in Media Studies and had got a job in Dublin Airport in Security and also producing a staff newsletter. All these things meant when myself and Leanne had a certain conversation in early 2014, I was in a much better place in my life and the decisions that were going to be made over the following 18 months were going to be easy and correct.
image

I will delve further into my military career as I move forward as it helped me meet Leanne and gave me some lifelong friends on both sides of the Atlantic. Two of those friends, one from Ireland and one from Savannah, GA, stood beside me on our wedding day and it was my honour to have them both there on our big day.