Category Archives: New awareness

A new sense of each day without PCNs (Palinesque crib notes)

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Keep Exploring, We Are More … What the 2010 Olympics opening ceremony meant to me

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Emptying the shlepping bag

Sometimes it amazes me how much time it takes me to learn timely lessons.  Yup, I’ve been thinking a lot about time again.  So far I’ve gone through a period of getting up at 6:30, writing and sipping a latte while munching on toast and cheese (lovingly provided by my sweetie) until I’d get up and head down to the Y.  Home in time to relax a bit before teaching a bar/bat mitzvah student around 4 (Monday, Wednesday, Thursday) or to head down to Ryerson to teach (Tuesdays) or – a little later, not until 5:45 after teaching a lesson – down to choir (Wednesdays).  Friday nights we always have the pleasure of having shabbat dinner with my mother and Ellen and often other family or guests as well.  Turns out that on weekdays – between my evening schedule and the work David often brings home with him in preparation how-do-i-love-theefor the following day – we see each other for about 5 minutes in the morning when he brings me coffee/toast/newspaper, have a quick dinner together Mondays nights and Thursday nights which is then followed by his working downstairs and me doing something upstairs, and about 20 minutes at night between when he joins me upstairs and is blissfully snoozing.  So how did this happen?  As Elizabeth Barrett Browning said: “let me count the ways“. Continue reading

Happy without a plan

out of controlMay something good happen to you today that you didn’t plan. That’s what I saw written on a sign in front of a building as my daughter, grand-daughter and I walked along Bank Street in Ottawa a few days ago.  It was one of those ‘ah ha’ moments for me.  Something about that sign kept drawing me back and so we drove by it again today as we were heading for the airport for my flight back to Ottawa.  It wasn’t the wish for something good to happen today; that kind of sentiment is generic and pretty much always there.  It was the ‘that the you didn’t plan’ part that really caught my eye … and my heart. Continue reading

Out in the middle of the day … and more

hoorayHere I am at my new website.  This is really an exciting moment for me.  A year and a half ago I first started really thinking about, and writing about, what it would be like to move from a career-life to the life of a retired woman.  I grew up firmly rooted in the feminist movement and believed that I could have it all; career, family, travel, joy.  Sometimes I really did believe that I had the best of everything:  a career that was engaging, challenging and rewarding; three wonderful children; good recipes for home-made bread and raspberry preserves, because after all super-Mom had to both career woman and earth mother; husbands (got to smile when I write that) that shared my life; and lots of adventures.  My identity was all of those things. And then I realized that before long the picture would be oh so different; no more career, kids grown up and living their own lives, husband (just the one now) busy with his own life and children, and generally less interest in baking or canning although I do spend more time preparing gourmet feasts.  Leaving my professional life behind, I was about to become a “housewife” and that didn’t sit so easily with me.  And now … here I am … busy and happy (mostly) and launching a website which includes my blog and information about the women and retirement workshops I’m ready to do.  The first one’s already scheduled for the Crones Counsel Gathering in Atlanta, Georgia later this month.  If you know of anyone who organizes these kinds of events or workshops, please do forward my website info to them.  Can’t wait to gather with more women who are travelling this most interesting road.

Meanwhile, before I get to what was going to be what I was going to write about (now there’s a convoluted sentence … if you read it very slowly it should actually make sense), I want to tell you about an amazing thing that happened this afternoon. Continue reading

Disguises and latent Impostor Syndrome

UpdateSeptember 10th was a 9th wedding anniversary for David and me.  We’ve had a lot of transitions to make in those nine years; a lot of joy, a lot of excitement, miles – in both length and depth – of journeying together, challenging challenges – my transition from career woman to retiree included – and a lot of love.  Interestingly we each gave the other an anniversary card with a similar message … that every day we fall in love all over again and that we’d marry each other again.  Knowing he’s on this journey with me is a real gift; my kudos – and gratitude – to him … and anyone else who can support someone in this journey into understanding what this new part of life – retirement – is all about.  I wonder what it’s like to live with someone who’s doing one of those life-cycle, ground-shifting sort of dances?  Not easy I’m sure.  Thank you David.

NOW, to the original Thursday morning posting:

I was watching Criminal Minds with David the other night (a favorite show we share) and I heard these words:

ON THE FLIGHT OUT (if you watch Criminal Minds you’ll knowgulfstream jet what I mean, otherwise just see these as two quotes in the show):  “The French philosopher Voltaire wrote ‘there are some who only employ words for the purpose of disguising their thoughts’.”

ON THE HOMEWARD-BOUND FLIGHT:  “The author, Francois  Foucault wrote  ‘We are so accustomed to disguise ourselves to others that in the end we become disguised to ourselves’.”

These words were kind of jangling and set my mind racing.  They’ve been sort of haunting me now for several days.  I worry that through my words here I am disguising myself … maybe even from myself.  It’s another spin on words that I’d heard from the women I interviewed years ago when I did my doctorate.  They’d all talked about their take on the Impostor Syndrome which leads many of us to continually question ourselves about whether or not we really have earned what we’ve achieved and whether or not we’ve been misleading others into believing we’re smarter and/or more competent than we really are.

Then I read Bettina’s comment on my Labour Day post, suggesting that she thought I was “finding that comfort center” in (my) retirement if there is such a thing” and I knew I had to pause and think and write.  So I’ve just spent time – for the first time in a very long time – rippling through the pages of my dissertation (Solomon, Sylvia R. (1989).  Women of Eminence:  The Underrepresentation of Women at High Levels of Achievement.  University of Toronto) and what a nourishing journey through old words it was.  Let me share it with you here. Continue reading

It’s Labour Day and I’m not going back to school tomorrow!

HappyLaborDay2 Labour Day.  This has always been a momentous day for me because it marks the end of the summer and the beginning of the school year.  It was always the day before something new began, the day before I became something that I hadn’t been before.   Let me go back a few years to the first Labour Day ever, to the first ones I remember, and to what it has come to symbolize in my life even now that I’ve retired.

Since I am, in the end, a teacher, I’ll start with a bit of history about Labour Day.

Continue reading