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  • Writer's pictureSuzanne Venuta

New Chapters Are Not Always Easy...

Updated: Mar 3, 2021

As I mentioned in my last post, it’s never too late to start a new chapter. I will now add, that starting a new chapter is not always easy- even if its something you want to do. It could be a new job, staring to write a new chapter for your book, taking up a hobby, changing one’s life style etc. There will likely be a few bumps along the way. But if we persevere, in time we will find our new rhythm.

I have spent the last month, because of my new ability to focus, trying to find my new rhythm. There have been some challenging days- psychological stuff-, but I am glad to say that I am finding a new rhythm. I find it interesting that because I can focus better, something that would have taken me 3 hours to do, now takes one. Its kind of wild, but I do enjoy it, because I know the energy and effort it would take in the past. And my challenge now, is to not overdo it and fill in all the time. I am happy to say that I really am enjoying my chill time pretty much each evening when I find a quiet spot, and read an hour or two before bed- here is another change- I can read for an hour or two with out being distracted, or jumping up to do something else, it is lovely.

While I am enjoying all of this, and working on finding my new rhythm, a friend of mine reached out to see if I and my hiking buddies could help her with their cause and new chapter.

I met Mary O’Driscoll while I was on my “Suzy’s Epic Irish Odyssey” my ten-week journey around Ireland in 2018. (If you haven’t read about it you can find it on my main webpage under Other Adventures”) I met some amazing folks on that journey, some I am still in contact with. One of them is Mary.

I met Mary when I stayed for a week on Cape Clear Island. I was strongly encouraged by my family doctor, and an acquaintance I knew through correspondence with Outward Bound Canada in Ontario - to visit this special place. I’m so glad I took their advice. I was treated like family while I was there. Cape Clear is amazing, as are the people, and I have a soft spot in my heart for them both.

There is something very restorative and healing about those ancient places, and this was one of them.

For those of you who know me, you know that my life philosophy is that we, as individuals can make the world a better place, one conversation, one connection at time. Yes, one person can make a difference in someone’s life, and many folks don’t realize this. We as a society often think its only the powerful, wealthy, famous etc that can make a difference, but let me sit down and have a coffee with you and I can show you different. And, when these individuals get together, change can happen and mountains can be moved.

In fact, I am about to show how right now.

Cape Clear Island, even though small, the folks there have always been resourceful, have created great initiative to help them through challenging times, all the while welcoming all who come to their shore.

Cape Clear island is the “1st island in Ireland to be accepted as a destination for approved refugees under the United Nations and Department Children scheme.” So, what this means is that they have gotten permission to sponsor a refuge family from war torn Syria or Lebanon to come live on the island. In fact, three residents there are already learning Arabic.” We need to remember that this is an island with less than 100 permanent residents.

Cape Clear has a fundraising scheme- a virtual walk- a 5000 km challenge, the distance from Syria to Cape Clear. Folks log in their millage of their walks/runs every Saturday on their page- to get a total of 5000km- 10,000 if they get enough walkers. At the end when the millage is achieved, if folks want to make a donation that's great.

They hope to raise the 10,000 Euro needed- to help with transporting and settling costs. The scheme goes from Feb 4th- to May 4th. They have already raised just over 2000 Euros- which is great for the 26 folks they have involved.

My friend on the island, Mary O'Driscoll reached out to me and asked me if I and my hiking buddies could help with the mileage, and this got me to thinking. I contacted my hiking group, and they are all for this, and we talked, and are also going to set up a fundraising page as well. If we raise a couple hundred euro that would be great, because I know every little bit helps. I can write a little blurb about our hikes every week and will also write about it on my web page.

I let Mary know that we are in and she suggested I call my team "The Canadian Capers" a "Caper" is someone who lived on Cape Clear Island- I felt kind of honoured to be thought of as an honorary Caper

I hope to get this all up and running by the end of this weekend or early next week. And each weekend we will log on our collective miles for the week, and those miles when we get hiking.

I guess this is another example of how folks can make an individual difference, one connection, on conversation at a time. I know I have just added more work for myself, but I know the difference those connections can make, especially if we work as a collective.

As I mentioned when I started this blog, that New Chapters can have bumps, challenges and a few learning curves along the way. But I cant even begin to image what it is like to have to leave your country because of war, spend years in a refugee camp, and then if lucky enough, be able to find someone who will sponsor you and your family to start a new life, in a land where the customs, language weather etc. are so different.

I also know that we can change a person’s life for the better, one conversation, one connection at a time. I am proof of that. I am proof that bad things can happen to people and with support, and connections the human spirit and soul can not only overcome, but thrive. When this happens, we as a society are richer for it.

Please stay tuned and come along with us on this new journey, as we never know what’s around the corner. I will add our fundraising page on the bottom, and other links so that you can learn more about Cape Clear and their efforts. If you can help support the fundraising in any way that would be amazing. Every little bit helps. If you didn’t get out for coffee because you are snowed in, maybe think about contributing that $5 towards the cause. You may not think that is much, but like each individual connection- the accumulative affect is amazing.

As always please share and stay tuned.

With thanks and gratitude



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