When Patricia Pavey took that first volunteer shift with CFCR, Saskatoon’s community radio station, she thought it would be for just six months. That was 27 years ago!
At the time, Patricia was working at the Saskatoon Public Library and was preparing to move into a new position, a job which required her to use her voice more than she had in the past. Patricia had grown up hard of hearing, and she wasn’t totally comfortable with her voice. She figured being an on-air host would give her the experience she needed and fuel her love of music. The volunteer position with CFCR was for six months. It was perfect timing.
After that six-month position ended, another came up and Patricia began doing a world music show. Seven years ago, she took on classical music, and now does two shows. Classical Monday, which airs Mondays from 1 pm to 2 pm, and Swing Shift, featuring jazz and world music, Wednesdays from 2 to 4 pm.
Twenty-seven years is a long time to volunteer in one place. Although Patricia volunteered in other places, especially after her retirement in 2004 and the death of her husband in 2009, she remained loyal to CFCR. “It’s part of my life, part of my family.” She is also active with the Saskatoon Unitarians, loves to walk and develop her photography skills, and enjoys making cards.
“Radio, or music, helps me. I always turn to music. It’s always been a go to place for me, despite being hard of hearing. I remember my grandpa playing music for me on a phonograph when I was five years old.”
She also recalls listening to CBC’s Gilmour’s Albums and enjoying not only the music, but the stories. “In the back of my mind I guess I thought that was something I’d like to do someday. Then I went to university as a mature student and one choice of assignments was to do a radio show on the topic “Journey Through Life.” That was an easy choice and Patricia put her heart and soul into it!
“As soon as I start playing music, I feel inspired. It’s good for me because I learn something. It’s good to keep my brain active.” Each two-hour show features 10 pieces of music per hour and takes three to four hours of planning. She enjoys choosing and researching the music, the composers, the instruments, and sometimes has guests come on air with her. There are also phone calls from listeners — some call just to chat, some call to share their own favorites and others call with questions. The biggest change over the past 27 years, Patricia feels, is the ability to do research online on the spur of the moment, then quickly get back to the person live on air.
How much longer does she plan to volunteer? As long as possible. “It’s a bit isolating but there are always staff or volunteers in the building to talk to throughout the show. I like the fact that CFCR is mostly volunteer run. I’m free to explore, play and pretty much do my own thing, although I have to be careful what I play in terms of lyrics. I have a huge music collection at home, but the radio station has a good library that I haven’t worked through.”
It’s never too late to pursue your dreams. “I’ve always been interested in music and radio, and the opportunity came up when I was 50 years old,” says Patricia.
What better time to make those dreams come true than retirement? Many retirees are fulfilling their dream to be their own boss by starting their own business. Now that may be too much of a challenge for some, but there’s nothing stopping you from doing other things. Take a class, check out YouTube for how to start that new project you’ve always wanted. The nice thing about doing this once you have retired is that you don’t have the time constraints. You can take a break when you want, you can throw it all out the door if you want, and you can deviate from the pattern. There’s no one breathing over your shoulder to do it “the right way”. After all, the right way is now your way! Of course, those dreams may need to be modified somewhat depending on your financial situation, health, and reality. That’s okay! Its your dream, your choice.
So how do you know what dream to follow? What if you have never experienced the joy that Patricia has with her music career? I bet you have dreams you never even thought of. Be brave! Start making those “I wish” moments reality!
When I was younger, I didn’t have a lot of time to try new things. There was always something else that needed to be done. But now in the “golden years”, time has opened and up and I find myself looking for new opportunities to enrich my life. It’s exciting to know that there are health benefits associated with the thrill of learning something new. For one, learning will improve cognition. As we age, cognitive decline becomes a concern and more than just forgetting why you walked into the room. Doing something new can strengthen your brain. . . remember my blog on exercising your brain? You will increase your creativity and brainpower and fire up those neurons that send messages to the rest of the body. It’s good to keep them healthy! Another benefit is the creation of social connections. We know that isolation is a serious health risk for older adults, and face it, sometimes it is hard to get out of bed in the morning. But when you try something new, such as taking a class or playing a sport, you make social connections that provide you with an environment you want to be in. And thirdly, trying something new can improve mental health and wellbeing. It will boost your self confidence, provide a purpose and meaningful experience and overall increase happiness.
I’ve tried many new things since I retired or redirected my time. Some of them I left by the wayside, and others I still enjoy. Returning to work for just a few hours a week was one opportunity I took advantage of. The learning curve has been fairly steep but I’m proud of what I have accomplished and look forward to learning more on the job. (My neurons are firing overtime!)
So sit back, have a cup of tea, or glass of wine, and think about all those things you at some point, wished you could try. Which ones still sound like fun? Which ones might make your heart sing? And your neurons fire? Try something. Who knows where you will end up.
Interesting Reads & Things
What 3 New Things Are You Going To Try In Retirement? – The Retirement Manifesto
30 Great Things To Do When You’re Retired and Bored – Retirement Tips and Tricks
Trying New Things | Psychology Today
9 Best things to do in your retirement – YouTube
Retirement: The Best Years of Your Life? | James Cobb | TEDxUoChester – YouTube
One thought on “Trying Something New”
Hi. Right, pursuing our interests, and developing new interests, are good ideas. Life’s better that way.