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Friday, July 31st (countdown to 60 – 4,000 minutes to go … but who’s counting).
I completed my MBSR course last week, just in time for my birthday. I’m so grateful to Dr. Lucinda Sykes for her guidance through this course. She gave me a great birthday gift in one of the things that she said to us in our last class: “This moment is everything; this moment is your life. Everything else is either memory or expectation. This moment.” Wow! This moment is good. No worries. Much.
End of my 59th year
Yes, I know, yesterday I told you I was going to wait until the end of my birthday to reflect on the whole experience which might be just the thing I need to do to learn what life wants me to learn on this next day of transition. It’s just after 8 p.m. the evening of August 2nd; being Jewish my birthday will begin at sunset tonight … about an hour from now. I’ve had a bubble bath and washed my hair; we’ve just come back from a day and a half at the Blue Skies Music Festival which was filled with the joy of being able to be there for a while with my daughter and her family and sharing that with David and … bonus … reconnecting with a couple who were dear friends in my Peterborough years and talking as if we’d last spoken a few days ago but somehow had years and years of details – our lives and our childrens’ – to catch up on. For me it is still a joy to bask in the feeling that I get sitting on a hillside, listening to bluegrass music (or perhaps Washboard Hank … who leads scores of children through all of the campsites early on Sunday morning, in costumes and with instruments) the goal being to make sure by the time they’re back there’s nobody still sleeping anywhere. So, enough about before … about now. Continue reading
Well, it’s one week until my 60th birthday. In a year full of transitions somehow this move from my 50s into my 60s seems like a big thing to me. The 10-year birthdays have always been significant to me. From the time I turned 20 this has been the case. I remember sitting at the kitchen table at my mother’s house and thinking that this was it … I would never be a teenager again. Not that being a teenager had been a piece of cake, but it seemed better than what lay ahead. I thought. I actually don’t remember so much about turning 30 but turning 40 involved a fabulous party thrown by my daughter Nili with some help from her brothers. At 50 I went on safari in Africa and climbed Mt. Kilimanjaro (even wrote about it on Journeywoman). All of those were transitions that involved some reflection and recognition but this seems different somehow. Why? Continue reading
A few days ago I was driving across St. Clair and I saw this sign in a dentist’s office window: “Give your bridal party the gift of white teeth.” Holy crap! How do you call up your friend and ask her/him to be a part of your wedding and then add that you’d like their teeth cleaned? What happened to giving them a butter dish engraved with your name and the date of the marriage? I pulled away laughing and wondering why the world is so intent on finding ways to make everything need fixing. Fix your teeth (get braces, have your smile adjusted, whiten up). Fix your nose (so no signs of ethnicity are left to give you away). Fix your breasts (make them bigger, make them smaller). Will we never learn that everything doesn’t have to be “new and improved”? It could just be … couldn’t it?
Driving a little farther I continued to dwell on the notion of fixing things. Ah – fixing. That’s something I know a lot about. It’s also something I need to reframe in my life I think. Let me explain. Continue reading
I had an e-mail just the other day from one of the women who has always been a mentor to me in education. She was one of a number of women I was fortunate enough to work with who inspired people to do more, to do better; a group of women who, through their incredibly hard work and remarkable talents were able to open doors for all women in education. There were six of them that I’d particularly like to mention because the things they taught me have “stuck” and I need to pause and think about them every so often as I make my way into this new part of life.
Why am I writing about this? Having an impact, making a difference; these continue to be very important to me. When I retired and ERGO (ESL/ELD Resource Group of Ontario) honoured me at a luncheon and had people talking about how my being there had made a difference …. well, that was incredible for me to hear. I worry that now that I’m retired I’ll soon become irrelevant somehow. So I want to pause here and think about women who’ve made a difference to me. They’re all amazing and they’ve taught me a lot; I share that with you.
It’s been a long time since we’ve really done a road trip. As part of our rethinking of things given the vast changes we’re all experiencing we thought it was time to revive this old favorite. Yes, I love a good road trip.
I started road trips with my children many years ago because, as a single Mom with three kids, it was really the only kind of affordable vacation we could take. We drove many times to Florida and even did an all-out, cross-country, month-long road trip to LA and back … with a high school student from Paris who was spending the summer with us. I’ve done road trips to the Gaspe and to the Arctic Circle. All of these were wonderful holidays. So – in the name of fiscal conservation – we’re going to try one again. Continue reading
What a great Cinqo de Mayo I’ve just had. My friend Barb had stayed over last night (you might have read the comment she made from my own computer – sorry if that was confusing) so we’d stayed up a bit late talking and dreaming and smiling. I’d planned to start the day early by heading to the Y for an aquafit class at 7 a.m. (haven’t been for a while), but I decided not to go in favour of having coffee and a morning visit with Barb. First take care of the spirit right?
Barb and I headed to our cars together around 8:45; she off to an appointment and me off to pick up my Mom. Continue reading