In the photo in this post, you’ll see what we call our “decking”. It’s a wodden platform at the back of our house in Limerick. In the photo, it’s still half-constructed, as one whole panel became detached.
Every summer, we have the job of re-painting this decking. The wood you stand on isn’t so hard. You just paint it up and down, and you cover a wide area quickly.
What did take a couple of weekends to finish was painting those upright intricate posts you see in the photo. It might not look it, but each one of those decorated posts takes a while to paint. There are four sides, plus the round shaped decoration in the middle.
It was taking such a long time, that I resigned myself to focusing on the current side of one of those decorated wooden posts. I could stress myself remembering there were another 60 to paint, with each post having four sides.
So I just focused on the one little flat area I had to paint at that very time. Doing that made it feel more like a craft than a long chore to do.
I think learning to speak the Irish language (Irish Gaelic) can be the same. From the thousands of people we’ve spoken with over the years looking to learn, we often here how overwhelming it is even starting.
One big difference between painting the decking and learning a language is that the decking is a closed limited challenge. I just have 60 more posts to paint. Learning a language is in another realm, although focusing in on essential expressions and words will give you a real jump-start.
If you can’t remember how to say “Dia dhuit” how are you to learn to understand and speak the important parts of a new language!
The trick here is to not stress out about how difficult and long a journey it is (because, hey, it is a long journey, actually more like an inner journey of a lifetime).
In our Bitesize lessons for learning to speak Irish, we focus in on one little topic at a time. Sure, you can (and sometimes, should) jump to other topics.
But if you’re feeling the stress of feeling just how much is still ahead of you, focus on what’s happening now. Focus on your current topic, or phrase, or new word.
Do you have similar experiences? I’d love to hear from you. Leave a reply below.
(By the way, are you looking to make a real connection with your Irish heritage? Our program of Bitesize lessons let you learn to speak Irish, all in little bites to take in your own time. Join the Bitesize Irish Gaelic clan today to access our program.)