I renamed this blog Mid-life Reno because Josh and I had just taken the plunge on renovating a totally gutted, 113-year old home. And we were both in our early 40’s. Straightforward, right?
As far as major life events were concerned, we assumed that the renovation of Dorothy, and the subsequent transition from resort living to Springfield, would be big enough. As of March, we thought we knew how the rest of 2017 would look.
We were wrong.
It turns out that Dorothy was Chapter 1. The plot twist comes in Chapter 2: Off to Dublin!
Yes, THAT Dublin. It began with a conversation with my Big Big Boss during his visit to Jacksonville this past Spring. Professional development is a big priority at my firm (thank goodness). However, when I mentioned my aspiration to work internationally, I never figured it would materialize into anything.
Fast forward to May, when I learned that my company offers a Global Rotation Program (GRP). It’s an opportunity for associates to partner with teams worldwide, and also a proving ground for more global work in the future. My bosses nominated me.
I had been told not to get my hopes up. Only a dozen or so people get picked for each session and nominees are not only from the US, but China, India, and Ireland. But then…
I got an email.
“Congratulations! You have been chosen to do a GRP rotation in 2017 in Dublin, Ireland.”
Professionally, the timing is uncanny. It is wedged between the down slope of my volunteer season and the ramp up of the legislative season. Although there are things I will miss, my boss and colleagues have assured me the world will not end and that they can pitch in to support me. How amazing is that!?
For now, we are scrambling to get paperwork, housing and travel plans in order. Josh and the boys will be going with me for at least the first month, and we hope to leave in mid-July. I will be back no more than 89 days after I leave. (Eighty-nine days is the maximum amount of time that I can stay without special dispensation from the government.) My sleepless nights have quickly shifted from decisions about paint colors and door knobs to pet sitting (anyone want to try out a really cute dog or a low-maintenance cat for a month? Seriously.) and rainy weather attire, not to mention the pressure of being flown to another continent to prove your professional worth.
It is all every exciting and somewhat scary.
The house is still progressing, although I admit my attention has been totally diverted for the last few days. I have much to share about Dorothy’s progress, and I hope to get a chance to write more soon.
I know that this is a once in a lifetime chance to experience another culture as a resident, to test my skills as a professional and to spend time examining where the second half of this amazing life takes me, especially if I end up being on my own for the second 2/3rds of the rotation.
My mid-life reno just got more personal. And I couldn’t be more excited.
As always, thanks for reading.