Be yourself; everyone else is already taken
Christmas can be a bit exhausting and routine particularly for children gets thoroughly messed up. But its back to normality and Amii McKeever is welcoming that.

While in this job I had the great privilege of being asked to be a panelist on The Marian Finucane Show on a number of occasions. My first experience was pretty terrifying to be honest. What if I said something silly? I was panicking just thinking about how one could be knowledgeable on the wide range of topics discussed each week, especially when my primary interest is in agriculture. But it was great. It was fantastic to meet the other panelists and learn from them.

She will be sadly missed, her voice and her passion for journalism

The experience also expanded my mind a bit as I felt obliged to read up on the subject matter that I might not normally read. But last Friday night a notification popped up on my phone: “RTÉ has announced the death of Marian Finucane”. Within minutes my phone was ringing and pinging with text messages to let me know the sad news. She will be sadly missed, her voice and her passion for journalism. RIP Marian and Larry Gogan.

That said, new life has brought joy to many households over the last few weeks and we have had some wonderful baby news in Irish Country Living. Katherine O’Leary is a granny, with her daughter Julie welcoming a baby boy, Ricky, just before Christmas. Ciara Leahy, our consumer and food editor, had a little girl, Molly, just after Christmas. And Aisling Meehan, our Irish Farmers Journal solicitor, welcomed her little girl Holly into the world.

Last night, we couldn’t get the children to bed, so this morning there were tears

Meanwhile, one of my college friends also had a baby boy Oscar (Ozzy). It was pointed out that this little man has a name to live up to, given that his surname is Wilde. The messages were flying within our WhatsApp group with congratulations and pictures. My friend Paul, who has always had a wry wit, sent a definition of sleep from Wikipedia saying it was “for future reference or nostalgia”.

Monday of this week brought the first day of “normality” post the Christmas break. Last night, we couldn’t get the children to bed, so this morning there were tears. Everyone had a pain somewhere and nobody wanted to wear their uniform.

A quick tot told me that between my college friends and my school friends, we have created 29 little people between us

While there was somewhat of a desire for going to school last week, this had disappeared following so many playdates since then.

Christmas can be a bit exhausting and routine gets thoroughly messed up. But, that said, it is worth it if you can catch up with friends. A quick tot told me that between my college friends and my school friends, we have created 29 little people between us, including the most recent arrival. Meeting up seemed easier before kids arrived when we met up for the annual age ceremony party and we had all the weddings (and the hens that went with them).

Now though, of course, the 29 take precedence. Well-laid plans will always be derailed by a sick small person or an “activity”. Trying to find a date to start with has become a military operation but we will keep trying. We had our college get-together just before Christmas.

The best thing about good friends is the acceptance. No one is perfect

It is sometimes hard to believe that it is 20 years since I first met this group of people. Life has thrown every one of us a curve ball at some stage. We have all faced challenges but ultimately I am blessed with the friends I have. The best thing about good friends is the acceptance. No one is perfect.

One of my favourite Oscar Wilde quotes is: “Be yourself; everyone else is already taken.” Good advice for Ozzy and all the new arrivals.

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