An Event Coordinators Diary
Gina Sophia Lumsden MA
Events Coordinator for Fitzers Catering Ltd at the Royal College of Physicians.
“Oh no! No, no, NO!” I eternally scream at myself, as I scramble through my handbag. This particular handbag is so crammed full of things, it nearly gives me hope that I’ll find them hidden under my overflowing make-up bag, or entwined amongst the various receipts I keep “just in case”. Alas, after pulling apart my Mary Poppins bag, the inevitable truth emerges- I had forgotten my earphones. I look around at the other train-goers; every single one of them has their earphones in, and are vigorously scrolling through their phone. Checking their Facebook updates. Checking their Twitter Feeds. Checking their Instragram photos. And most importantly-listening to their Spotify. Before the train sets off, I try to remain calm and keep my spirits somewhat up- I too scroll through my Facebook. In hindsight, it was actually quite boring- no major updates, no massive news- oh wait! A video of a dog dancing to an ABBA song, hilarious, I’ll give that a watch for the- but I can’t. No earphones. And I’m hardly going to listen to it out loud. Rude. And then the train sets off on the 45 minute journey to Docklands. Then a 30 minute walk to work. A lonely, long, Beyoncé-less journey to work. I scowl in jealousy at everyone else who are able to seclude themselves from the rest of the world. Great. What an absolutely fantastic way to start the day.
The train trudges on. It’s not a particularly bad day, slightly overcast but sure look, this is Ireland. I have no other option to gaze out the window. We are still in the outskirts of Meath at this stage, so the train has fields on either side. I see a family of bunnies galloping through the fields, their fluffy white behinds disappearing into shrubbery. It brings a smile to my face because, hey, who doesn’t love bunnies? Further down the train journey, there was a fox lounging in the middle of a meadow, before leaping exceptionally high into the air to chase magpies. I couldn’t help giggling to myself, before hurriedly looking around to see if any caught me. Everyone was still glued to their phones. Nobody else had shared these lovely moments with me.
When we disembark the train, the standard scramble towards the exit machines ensues. Usually, I have my music on full blast, so can’t hear grumblings from those who my 5ft 3 small self can slip in front of with ease. I noticed myself paying greater attention to those around me, and insisted that they go ahead of me- sure what’s an extra 30 seconds taken out of my day to be polite? I continued my walk to work in a much better mood. I walk alongside the quays, and besides from the rumblings of early morning traffic, I heard an almighty squawk beside me- a seagull, swooping down to collect her morning fish for the day. Had I of had my earphones in, I wouldn’t have gotten to see this example of nature’s daily routine.
As I arrive to Kildare St, I pop in to grab a coffee. The cashier asks me where I work, and I reply “The Royal College of Physicians”. Blank stare. “Do you not know it? It’s right around the corner- it’s the beautiful big building with the columns outside”. I walk around to work, and I see a group of tourists across the street, trying to take a picture that grasps the true beauty of the building. I find myself joining them in taking in the architecture and scale of the building, and I can’t help but wonder to myself “how haven’t I appreciated this before?” And I realise- I’ve fallen into the same tunnel vision as everyone in our generation has; every day I set myself up to blank my surroundings, and submerge myself in my own world. This one day when that didn’t happen, I actually see and hear the world we’re living in, and it was thoroughly refreshing. I’m not saying that I’ve been overcome with this new way of thinking and that I’m never going to listen to music again on my way to work, but I now see how taking yourself out of your comfort-zone once in a while, and observing the world we’re living in can also have the calming effect that normal daily routines such as blanking out the world can. Instead of leaving for work with the dreaded feeling that most of us do on a Monday morning, force yourself, just for one day, to see the beauty in everything around you, including the place you work. I’m fortunate enough to work in one of the most stunning buildings in Dublin, alongside a fantastic crew. There isn’t one day I don’t laugh until my belly hurts in work. Take in as much scenery as possible, for this is the most natural calming remedy for stress and anxiety. As Sylvia Plath exquisitely puts it “I felt my lungs inflate with the onrush of scenery—air, mountains, trees, people. I thought, “This is what it is to be happy.” (Plath, The Bell Jar)