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Posted in Aging and other hard realities, Identity, Logistics and time management, Making decisions, Moving Forward
Tagged awareness, change, choices, Florida, freedom, organizing, roles, stress, transition
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.
Posted in Identity, Moving Forward, New awareness, What I'm doing
Tagged change, children, freedom, Identity, inspiration, keynote, labor day, labour day, new beginnings, parenting, roles, school year, stress, teaching, time
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
Well, I can hardly believe that it’s been a year since I started ruminating on what the transition from feminist professional career woman to retiree would be like. I keep trying to think of a word that describes this experience but I’m stymied. I did a little searching on definitions of retired (again) and here’s what I came up with: “Withdrawn from one’s occupation, business, or office; having finished one’s active working life.”
Well, here I am 8 months “in”and I have definitely not withdrawn. Not from my occupation (which I found at my favorite source for understanding words online (www.visualthesaurus.com ) defined as “the principal activity in your life that you do to earn money”) because I’m as devoted to, and involved in, working towards making the world a more caring place as I’ve ever been.
Have I withdrawn from my business? Back to the thesaurus: “a commercial enterprise and the people who constitute it; the principal activity in your life that you do to earn money (again), and … a rightful concern or responsibility.” Ah – well, I have certainly not left my sense of rightful concern or responsibility behind; in fact I now have so much more opportunity to focus on that. I have also clearly not finished my active working life.
I’m not yet finished with anything and – in fact – today my life feels filled with beginnings. Continue reading
Posted in Lessons learned, Moving Forward, New awareness, What I'm doing
Tagged awareness, change, choices, expectations, freedom, goodbye, Identity, inspiration, keynote, organizing, roles, transition
This has been a most interesting morning.
Sipping my first latte of the day I was thinking that I’d like to do some writing. Took out my laptop, plugged it in, and entered the world that lives inside this small silver container. I’d fallen asleep with the idea of writing about a group of women who opened so many doors and expanded opportunity for so many other women educators in Ontario, but when I started to write I just wasn’t sure how to begin. So I decided to just wait a while and sip my coffee and read the morning paper. I’d PVRd a PBS show on “The UltraMind Solution” and it was playing in the background. Can you picture it? I’m sitting in bed (with my head resting on my fabulous new 1,000 thread-count pillowcase incidentally … feels amazing) with my laptop in front of me, the newspaper to my right, the TV to my left. Happy.
I’ve been reading this quite wonderful book. It’s called “Not Becoming my Mother … and other things she taught me along the way.” The author, Ruth Reichl, proudly begins by telling us that she’s written and spoken a lot about her mother; telling “Mim” (her mother’s name was Miriam) Tales á la stand up comedy routine. Then she comes upon a box filled with notes her mother’s written and letters she’d kept and suddenly she realized that she’d never really known who her mother was and that everything she did – and it does sound like she was a bit wacko – was to tell her daughter not to settle for less than she could be.
Why am I telling you this? I’ve been reading the book slowly: I read a few pages and then I take as much time as I need to process the way “Mim” is revealed bit by bit and then think about relationships in my own family. One of the effects of all of this is that I’ve been reminded how very fortunate I am to have a mother and sisters who have travelled life with me and have become such good friends. That’s a lucky thing for sure.
I’m going to digress into the past for a few paragraphs. Feel free to just skip ahead a bit (I’ve made it easy by identifying THE CONTEXT, INTO THE PAST and BACK TO THE PRESENT sub-titles) when you hit “read more”. Continue reading