Hello and welcome to my blog, Wanderings. I chose the word Wanderings because I have a wandering mind and have trouble focusing on one thing for any length of time. This means I have a lot of projects on the go . . . and a lot of unfinished ones lurking in the background! So, I figured I may as well embrace those wandering tendencies, rather than fight them. But a blog? Well, why not?
Read on. . .
Writing used to be the highlight of my life. Growing up, I always wrote stories and in Grade 7 started writing poetry. In high school, my friend and I started a school newspaper, and even though it didn’t last long because of our slightly rebellious editorial comments (this was the 1970s!), it was a lot of fun and got the creative juices flowing. Imagine my excitement when the editor of the local newspaper offered me a job as a reporter. Imagine also my disappointment when I turned in my first story only to have it thrown back on my desk with red slashes and the words “cut cut cut” printed all over. The problem? Well, it was supposed to have been a 250 word news story about the last funeral to be held at a country church. My creative nature turned it into a 2500 word exposé! That definitely wasn’t going to fit in the allotted space. But, it was damn fine writing, if I do say so myself. Newspaper reporting/writing quickly curtailed my joy of creative writing, although I made a living for the next 20 years working for various weekly newspapers in Western Canada and loved every minute of it.
Being a reporter and a freelance one at that, isn’t easy on family life and I eventually found myself drawn by the mysterious pull of stability and 9 to 5. I found a stable job and my husband and I began the job of raising three children, a few dogs, cats, mortgage, etc. Life was good.
Fast forward to 2020. Reality check: when the pandemic forced us to isolate and drastically change our lifestyle, like everyone else I found myself taking a good hard look at life and societal habits. But when Covid-19 hit my family with the force of a train roaring down the track, I started to re-evaluate my life. Face it, there really isn’t much else to do when you are bedridden for three weeks and disabled by severe brain fog and the pure traumatization of having Covid-19. My family was blessed to recover at home, but it sure made us realize how unpredictable life really is. There are no guarantees we will be here tomorrow. I realized that 9 to 5 no longer held the appeal it once did. As the old adage goes, “life is too short”. So, with the support of my wonderful family and friends, here I am . . . I resigned from my job of more than 20 years and am working at finding my way. And loving it, most of the time.
Even though I gave up the 9 to 5 life style, I won’t say I have retired. What a dark word. According to Wikipedia, (so it must be right!) “Retirement is the withdrawal from one’s position or occupation or from one’s active working life. A person may also semi-retire by reducing work hours or workload. Many people choose to retire when they are old or incapable of doing their job.”
Old? Incapable? This definition is out of date. Yes, it is the definition that I grew up with, but now that I am at that stage of life, I have a totally different take on it. I don’t consider myself old and I am still capable of doing the work that I have been doing for the last few decades. I just choose not to. I have chosen to redirect my energy. I am facing the future with positivity and optimism.
A global pandemic may not be the best time to make such life changes. But then again, it may be the absolute best time. There are so many opportunities out there, once you master Zoom. There are free workshops offered by a multitude of artists, teachers, scholars and healers. There are many things to go to and learn, and all from the comfort of your living room. The borders around our own homes and families may have tightened, but our global technology borders have expanded. Doors are opening for us like never before. And as long as we have our health, those doors are there for us to open and explore what is on the other side.
I have lost myself in meditation sessions, found hope in angel readings, sweat through fitness videos and marvelled at the sites of the world. I have learnt how to bake Ukrainian Easter bread, crochet a granny square and picked up some tips to improve my balance. I have sung my heart out, been transported in time during concerts and visited with people around the world . . . in their living rooms. Gone are the mandatory meetings, webinars and trainings that once made up my work day. In their place are things I choose to do, things that waken the soul and inspire the spirit.
This blog is about my journey. I am not an expert. I can’t give advice. But I can share my experiences and the experiences of others I meet along the way. I may also throw in a few treats as I go . . . an interview with someone who inspires me, a link to an article I found interesting, a recipe, a craft . . . the sky is the limit!
I hope you will join me. There are a lot of “60+ er’s” out there, many trying to find their own way as they switch gears. This is our time. It is time to really enjoy life, to find our inner child, yes, you know the one, the one who was lost somewhere along the way. The thread was broken, or perhaps tangled into a knot, seemingly impossible to untie. I recently attended an online event entitled Equanimity on the Equinox: Living a Balanced Life, hosted by Leadership Coach/Facilitator Dan Hines, during which he read the following poem by William Stafford:
“There’s a thread you follow. It goes among
things that change. But it doesn’t change.
People wonder about what you are pursuing.
You have to explain about the thread.
But it is hard for others to see.
While you hold it you can’t get lost.
Tragedies happen; people get hurt
or die; and you suffer and get old.
Nothing you do can stop time’s unfolding.
You don’t ever let
go of the thread.
—William Stafford, American poet, 1914-1993
Take the time to untangle the thread. Until next time. . .