Leaving Cert 1998- If I knew then, what I know now…

It's exam time for the teens in Ireland but this Mummy Blogger takes a step back in time to her own Leaving Cert.

My ‘working mum’ hat goes on at 10 am. I like it, particularly today because the sun is shining.   I sit with my strong cup of tea and laptop and allow myself to think. Blissful bliss. Time to get creative, organised and do whatever needs to, and whatever can be done in a professional capacity, while the little people are away at school.
‘Mum chores’ have been completed at a remarkable rate for the morning, have definitely broken my personal best I should think. Beds made, kitchen tidied, laundry on, fire lit. A complete contrast to the chaos that was not more than an hour ago. Kids, shoes, toothbrushes and tantrums flying in all directions.

I’m feeling reflective today, perhaps because yesterday was such a miserable day, so miserable we weren’t permitted to think about anything else I think, but today the little bit of sunshine permits us to peep out and think nice things again.

I had a look at Facebook last night and saw a very funny but very true post about it being ‘Exam Day’ in Ireland today, and beckoning the Irish weather to not let us down. It has been the cruel case in Ireland that is we are to ever get any hot weather during our summer, it will inevitably be when the kids are doing their exams. True to form, we wake this morning and while it is not splitting the stones, it is definitely shining.

For some reason, I am thinking about sitting my own Leaving Cert in 1998 more today than ever. Maybe because I have finally arrived where I want to be after setting off to academia after my own Leaving Cert. Yes it was sunny and a very terrifying time, but there was also an excited anticipation because you knew that when exam time arrived, it was also coming to the end. Every day, we counted down how many done, how many to go, the ratio leaning to our favour by the end, so much so, you are too excited by the final exam to concentrate. Oh how we wished our lives away.
I remember so clearly sitting on my bed studying, rocking, bouncing, singing, doing anything to make me remember whatever I was trying to learn at the time. There were horses in the field behind our house and I remember looking at them running around in the sunshine without a care, and being so envious of their freedom at that time. But it would be me soon too, running in the sunshine. It was a wonderful. exciting time in Ireland then also. We were entering into Celtic Tiger Years and the world really was our oyster… for that short time. This day in 1998, I wrote my essay on the Celtic Tiger roaming Irelands fields, and what might happen should he decide to leave for pastures new. Little did I know…
The field behind our house today, is no more. The horses are gone. In their place, a housing estate. A nice housing estate as it happens, but a field full of houses instead of horses. It really makes you think how much can change in the blink of an eye.
How exciting for young people doing exams and making new choices in a world full of wonderful education and opportunity. I wish I could have recognised and appreciated the choices I had back then, and there weren’t quite so many as there are now. I wish I took my time to think and see what I already knew. Hind sight is great. Don’t be in a rush to make a decision on how you want your work life to play out. I know now, you have no control over it. I think it is always safest to follow your heart and instinct and avoid what is trending or popular, because I know now that constantly changes.
It is 17 years since I had this day! My first exams in Leaving Cert!!! SHOCK and HORROR. It has gone by in less than a heart-beat. So many changes, so many ups and downs. Brilliant ups and downs. Weddings, babies, deaths, booms, recessions, bad career choices, bad hair choices… all have shaped me. There is one thing I need to empart before I head to do some work at my kitchen table, I am where I want to be now. Yes, it has taken me 16 or 17 years to figure it out and I am really starting from scratch but I will get there in the end. I’m broke as hell, but more fulfilled than ever so my advice is follow your hearts and don’t be in a rush. There is lots of time really, it just goes a bit too quickly when we have fun. xxx
Written by Sonja, staff writer with Family Friendly HQ and mummy blogger too!
Read Sonja's own blog at lifeisnotpinterestperfect.blogspot.ie

Sonja Smith

Sonja is a contributor to Family Friendly HQ.

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