So it’s almost Sunday night. I’m tired today and the window on having an afternoon nap closed at least 3 hours ago, so this is going to be short! And a cheat lol, because I wrote this for my birthday on Friday and posted it to my facebook. Anyway, here it is.
Ten years ago as I was nearing my 39th birthday, I remember a conversation with Reverend Jordan Cantwell. The details are fuzzy but the gist of it was Jordan saying her 40s were her best decade yet - that that’s when you’re just getting started. At that point she was just an intern minister, before going on to become Moderator (head) of the entire United Church of Canada…just getting started was an understatement!
When you are still in your 30s that sounds hard to believe. But she was right. After focusing solely on my kids, my 40s were a time to find myself again. The hard part is that sometimes you don’t recognize yourself anymore, which makes the finding much more difficult.
Ironically though, finding your own way isn’t a ‘me’ journey, but a ‘we’ journey.
Had a former colleague of mine, Teresa Lalonde, not been taking Educational Technology and Design at the time, I might never have gone back to get my Masters. Or met Jay Wilson. Or Rick Schweir. Or a multitude of amazing educators.
Had Brett Kirk never come to our school as an administrator, I might never have pursued courses in admin leadership or started my blog. Brett’s reply to every hair-brained idea I had was “Go for it.” He may be the best example of a servant leader out there, and is still the most valuable mentor I have.
Had I not started to write this weekly Sunday night ramble, and sustained it for over two years now, I wouldn’t have remembered how much I loved and missed putting words out into the world. Hitting publish on the first one was by far the hardest; I remember it was the “I am from” poem that Tracey Young and Jon Yellowlees modelled for our aspiring administrators group. Rocksandwillows.ca came from that first line: I am from Rock Point…
Had I not gotten used to taking risks (and trying to keep up with my then-teenaged children) I might never have learned to snowboard or wakeboard. “One more run” always meant several more, until I literally couldn’t pull/get myself up. I drank a lot of Lake Diefenbaker and had the most colorful bruises from those two endeavors, but <finally> got it.
Had I not met Kim at Craven Sport Services, I might have let injury keep me sidelined. Last fall, it was at the point where I had to lift my leg into the vehicle and I was really feeling like that might be it for sports. A friend had recommended Kim, and without her helping me with physio, I might never have continued my running or finished a 10km run yesterday. Was it way slower than four years ago? Yep. But like I used to say to my own kids when they would compete: it’s not about first. It’s about finishing.
Had I not practiced what I preach, including my favorite saying, “There is no courage without vulnerability” I might never have started playing piano for strangers on the internet, complete with bloopers, for 46 days in a row now. It’s quite a thing. People have checked in from BC, Alberta, Ontario, Quebec, and even overseas. It’s been 22.5 hours of Anne Murray, wartime hits, the Tennessee Waltz and old time dance music…and actually a lot of fun.
Had I not lost my closest cousin in August, just short of her own 49th birthday, I might have gotten lost in the existential midlife crisis exasperated by an empty nest, or lost sight of how much I still want to do and what I want to accomplish. I think of Lisa almost every day.
We don’t know what each day, or year, will bring. But I am still always trying to learn and grow. This fall I have a new opportunity as a Sector Facilitator for HS ELA in our division working half-time with other teachers, half-time in the school. I’m so excited to work with the amazing educators we have in Prairie Spirit. Like, soooooooo excited!!!!
There’s still a half-marathon on my list, although I’m not sure all the physio in the world will ever get me there anymore. But with my daughter Eliisa doing mountain climbing now, maybe there are other unknown adventures in this last year of my 40s too.
Two shoutouts: Mom, thanks for being my number one supporter, reading every blog and listening to every note. I know you’ll see this one too.
To my birthday twin, kindred spirit, fellow teacher, and friend Lisa Horsman (who also regularly reads the blog and for some unknown reason tunes in to listen to all those piano songs from 1937) this last decade was ours.
But so is the next one.
Nope, finding your own way isn’t a ‘me’ journey, but a ‘we’ journey. Thanks to everyone, literally or virtually lol, for being there with me. Here’s to another journey around the sun! Next stop 50.
Perpetual amateur. Lifelong learner. Vice-Principal. Teacher. Musician. Mom. Annnnd if you're reading this, then I'm still a blogger.