Monthly Archives: March 2009

The Concert in Central Park: Wondering where spontaneity has gone

A few weeks ago I was in Ottawa with my daughter Nili and her family.  The weather was dreadfully cold and by the end of the week we were all sporting colds ourselves.  In the midst of that flu-ish haze Nili suggested that we pile the kids into the car, drive to Toronto and pick up her  brother Motti, and then all head down to Marco Island marcofor some sunshine.   Oh – how I wish I could have just said “yes”, thrown a bathing suit into a bag, and jumped into the car.  After all; I’m retired aren’t I?  I should be able to do things spontaneously shouldn’t I?  So … why am I sitting here writing this posting instead of basking on the beach?   Continue reading

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Sick days: How does that work now?

fluWell, I’m sick.  It’s nothing serious … just a horrid cold.  Several weeks ago – just before Freida was born – I thought I was coming down with a cold.  Not long ago David and I discovered Zicam and it has helped us (we think … don’t burst our illusion please) avert many a sniffle.  I managed to hold the cold at bay for a while (okay … so maybe the cold I have now is a different one altogether; just humour me here – after all, I’m sick!) but last Friday it finally arrived.  It came with great fury; nose dripping, sneezing, aches and pains, snorting … all of those things that make us so beautiful when we’re under the weather.   Continue reading

Staying in one place while the world changes

The past few days have been both enlightening and eventful, with everything from a blissful dance to a car accident.  We’re all fine (a little shaken up) but beyond that this feels like one of those times that life has lessons to teach and will make sure they’re presented … one way or another.   

dance Saturday morning, as is my current  custom, I went Sacred Circle  Dancing.  It was one of those days that  holds out the promise of spring around  the corner; big sunshine and mild air … which means above freezing when it’s     March in Toronto … almost no wind.  I      woke up feeling rested and quite  wonderful so I danced with true  enthusiasm; wherever I could add a    little spring to the step, I did.  One of the  dances we did involved some steps to  the right, steps to the left, steps into the  center and then – for a count of 8 beats –  you were to move yourself to another  place around the circle.  At some point I realized that if, during this 8 beats, I just stood in place – swaying my hips to the music – then the circle would change around me.  How incredibly empowering this was.  Rather than join into the chaos of the “find a new place in the circle” element of the dance I just held onto where I was and let the circle find a new place around me.  Brilliant … as the British say.  As the dance came to an end I realized that I’d just learned another key lesson. Continue reading

Metablogging and other deep thoughts

blogging It was sometime last spring that I first had the idea  that I’d write a blog about the experience of  retirement.  Since that day so many many years ago  (no, I’m not going to count the years) that I first took  an Educational Psychology course (which later really morphed into Cognitive Psychology – the branch of psychology that studies mental processes including how people think, perceive, remember, and learn) I’ve been fond of exploring inner spaces to understand the world.  I had a sense that the transition from professional working woman to retired woman would be an interesting journey … and it has been so far for sure.  So I set about blogging 4 months before I retired and now here I am, some 4 months plus after retiring and I’m taking a moment to think through what the blog’s all about … for me … so that I can decide whether or not to continue writing. Continue reading

Stewart, Cramer, and Me (Us?)

img_0023  I’ve just returned from a blissful – and very busy – week in    Ottawa with my daughter and her family.  Freida just keeps  getting bigger and bigger and things are unfolding as they  do with a new baby in the household.  The inevitable  exhaustion has led to colds so the cooking that I did this  time just focused on an enormous pot of chicken broth (aka Jewish penicillin.  By the way, if you’re skeptical about this, check out what the Mayo clinic has to say about it: “scientists have put chicken soup to the test, discovering that it does have effects that might help relieve cold and flu symptoms in two ways. First, it acts as an anti-inflammatory by inhibiting the movement of neutrophils — immune system cells that participate in the body’s inflammatory response. Second, it temporarily speeds up the movement of mucus through the nose, helping relieve congestion and limiting the amount of time viruses are in contact with the nose lining“).  I also managed to reupholster a set of antique dining room chairs (which we discovered had been made by the Stratford Furniture Co Ltd in the early 1900s some time).    What I didn’t do all week – partly because I didn’t read any newspapers and partly because the kids don’t have TV in their home – was keep track of what was happening in the “light” news.  This means that I missed the entire build-up to the great Daily Show debate between Jon Stewart and Jim Cramer.  So, once I’d unpacked and settled in, David and I cuddled up and watched the build-up that took place during the week and finally the face-off (you see, I am Canadian).  In case you didn’t see it, here’s Part 1 (just click here for Part 2 and Part 3).

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No more boxes in “the room”

moving-boxesToday I unpacked the last boxes from my office at home, and this got me thinking about a couple of things; #1 – why has it taken so long? and #2 – why am I calling that room my “home office”?  Let me tackle those one at a time.  I will say, right off the bat, that this all seemed pretty significant to me and the feeling that I had as the last few things were put on shelves (or thrown away … having realized upon re-examination that what seemed worthy of keeping was just going to be more “junk” at home) was one of true liberation.   My friend Esther was coming for the weekend (and did, we had a great time) and so I needed to get those last boxes – which were cluttering up the room (more about the room in a minute) taken care of.  Emptied.  Sorted out.  Put away.  There, it’s done!  I’m really not going back.  I’m free!

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An other kind of day altogether

This has been quite a remarkable day.  I’ve enjoyed every minute of it and mostly I’ve been able to be pretty mindful about everything I’ve done today.  Let me share this “other kind of day” with you.

I woke up rested around 6:30 this morning.  There were glints of sunshine coming through the blinds which was a img_1339welcome change for sure.  Over the years I’ve hung a number of things in front of my window to the world (from bed at least); mostly they are angels or fairies that have been given to me as most cherished gifts.  There’s also a stained glass hanging of marc-chagall-the-bride-153512a Chagall that David and I received as a wedding gift (it’s especially beautiful at sunset), alongside a Dream Catcher I made one magical weekend at Herring Island (thank you Barb for that and so many wonderful moments of delight).  Once I’d had my latte and toast, watched an episode of Oz, watched the news and read the paper, and finalized my plan for cooking for David’s birthday party (13 people for a Friday night dinner celebration), I bundled up and headed out to the subway.  

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