Newry.ie

Dan Gebski interviews Edwina Flynn

Edwina is a very strong female and a good example of a hero. She is a mother, good friend and a very good helpful person to all.  Let me tell you a bit about Edwina.

DG: Hi Edwina thank you for taking part in my project.

EF: Firstly, I am very humbled and thank you so much for seeing me as a Hero. I am looking forward to this interview.

DG: Edwina Could you please say something more about your childhood and your family please?

Dan Gebski with Edwina Flynn
Dan Gebski with Edwina Flynn

EF: I am the eldest of 4 children, two boys and two girls. As the eldest I have had a lot of responsibility, but I have to say my childhood was happy but completely different to my own kids now. I grew up on a farm. My daddy was a builder and farmer and my mummy was a housewife. When I was growing up there was no technology such as computers or mobile phones, we spent more time outdoors playing than we did inside. As a student I did a number of business studies courses in Newry Tech (now the SRC) and I had intended on becoming an accountant, however after spending a year travelling in 1999 -2000 ( 8 months of this was in Australia) I made up my mind this wasn’t for me. Australia was amazing and it gave me the opportunity to learn a lot about life. When I came back home, I decided to do a business degree and went back to the previous job I was in prior to taking a year out as Office Manager for a local wood flooring company in Warrenpoint. I also worked part-time in the Carrickdale Hotel – both jobs I enjoyed emmensly. Being a peoples person I was able to connect with lots of people ….oh and talk (those who know me know I do love to talk).

DG: Not everyone knows but I do, that you gave birth to two beautiful kids and I think they fulfilled your life 100%. But it was not always as easy as that the parenting on your own and being a full-time parent by yourself. Could you tell me how you did it all? In fact, I know you were working three jobs running the house and looking after your kids as well. What have you done to handle this all? 

EF: Do you know Daniel I was very lucky because I had a fantastic childminder, I also had my mum, my sister and family, a great circle of friends and a very understanding employer. My youngest child was only 18 months old when I became a single parent and I had to do whatever it took to keep a roof over the children and put food on the table. I remember when my two children were in bed, I went out to work at night in a local bar in Newry  most weekends. Having the support of people around me helped me to manage my life very well in those difficult times. My children were the main reason I got up every morning and went to work. I was doing this all for them because I love them.

DG: What are you working at?  What is your career goal?

EF: I am currently working for one of the largest property services in Newry. I am with the company 15 years  and started off as office manager in 2004 and 3 years ago I became a Director. In terms of my career goal, I would like to go as far as I can, but to be honest with you I am proud of my position in the company today and hugely grateful for the opportunities that I have been given and what I have achieved. It wasn’t an easy road with plenty of challenges along the way, being a single mum of two kids, however if you have a hunger for learning and passion you can do and become anything you want! I was very lucky to have a leader who empowered me and allowed me opportunity’s to attend various training courses. I do see myself still in the same company as they have been very good to me over the years and I enjoy working for them. I am still growing within the company. I became a woman in business mentor and I enjoy helping people to develop themselves.

DG: Would you consider yourself a' Wonder Woman'? Who is or was a Hero for you in your life?

EF:  Well Dan you know as I said at the start I am touched that you consider me as a hero, but to be honest for me, my heroes are my two children because they had to grow up fast, become self sufficient and the people they became is an absolute incredible achievement for me. I couldn’t have done it  without my childminder Geraldine who is like their second mother and was very instrumental in their lives. She helped me a lot and still does – she was and is more like family to us. I can’t really say I am a 'wonder woman' but yea I am multi-tasker and work hard. I do love challenges and I do thrive on them also.

For me I have huge admiration for “Lady Michelle Moane” who I met in London in 2015 at the Sunday Times Estate Agency Awards. I read her book and it was a big turning point for me and changed my life. 

DG: I have noticed significant weight loss and more happiness in yourself? Could you tell me how did you do that? What happy pill did you take?

EF: Yes, I have lost weight over the last two years – no fad diet but a complete lifestyle change. I am a member of a local gym in Newry, owned by two inspirational ladies and friends of mine. It took me 6 months to get into the swing of things but after this period I was able to start running. In fact, I am there over 3 years now and it is very therapeutic for the mind and the body. I must add that the diet is very important too. You know Dan it will sound a little bit strange but once I have started putting myself on the top of my to do list my life has changed for the better. Also, I always have this saying in my life “you can’t pour from an empty cup”.

DG: What are your 3 things on your bucket list you have not done yet?

EF: I would love to go to Graceland in America as I am huge fan of Elvis Presley. Also, I am big fan of Gaelic Football (you would see me in Pairc Esler in the tea-shop, and/or Croke Park),  so I would love to take the children to an All Ireland Final. The third item on my bucket list would be to take my children to Australia to the same place I went to in 1999. The reason for this,  I would like to show them what my life was then and teach them that nothing comes easy but through passion and working hard you can do anything you want.

DG: What would your advice be to people who might temporary struggle in their lives?

EF: There are a couple of things to say on that. Lately I have started to practice gratitude. So, I would advise them to get up every morning, or do it at night before you go to sleep - Think about at least three things you are grateful for it . It will change their perspective and help them in their lives. Also look who you are surrounded by in your life and start to build your activity, including physical and a mental one. Don’t be afraid to talk to somebody as a friend or family member.  Get in touch with any groups who are dealing with the similar issue you are experiencing.

DG: What is your biggest life achievement that you are proud of?

EF: My two children are my biggest achievement because I reared them myself. It wasn’t always easy, but they are brillant children and I am extremely proud of them. I am not afraid to say I was worried that they just had me, but that has proved to have no relavance and in fact I was and I am enough for them. They both understand what difficult times mean, and they don’t take life foregranted. 

DG: What do you think about my project From zero to hero?

EF: I think it is a fantastic project and I have seen you have done a mixture of different interviews. You have a great diverse range as well. When did you get the inspiration for that Dan?

DG: That is the question for my future interview Edwina…...

Thank you, Edwina, and for me you are “HERO WONDER WOMAN” and I hope all goes well for you. Good health Dan!

EF: Thank you Dan and I really wish you all the best in the future.

 

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