You’re Never Too Old



It feels like forever since I last posted here. It’s amazing how busy life gets when you are retired. I must admit, I really worried about being bored when I no longer had a job to go to.  I felt my life would somehow have less meaning. It has become abundantly obvious to me that all of those concerns are in my control. I know that sounds like a very simplistic observation, but sometimes we can’t see things that are staring us in the face.

I recently finished reading Debbie Travis’s book, Design Your Next Chapter. Deb TraI know I mentioned her in a previous blog. Her message is simple. No matter what your age, if you can dream it, you can do it, and no one can tell you otherwise. I’m sure many of you are already saying, “Oh, sure! Debbie Travis lives a very different life than I do. She is younger, well-known, well-off, etc., etc.” All of that is probably true. I know it is for myself as well, but somehow her message struck a chord in me.

I have always liked to keep myself busy, but I have not always followed my dreams because I was afraid of failing. So, in 2019, at the age of 71, I have decided to confront my self doubts and step outside of my comfort zone. If I fall flat on my face, I will be fine. What is the worst that can happen?

So, to start off the year I decided to enter the Toronto Star Short Story Contest. 20190323_100545

I have thought of doing this for years, but the fact that they receive over 2500 entries kept me from trying. My entry was mailed off in February well before the deadline. It is out of my hands now.

For years, I have worked on and off writing a romance manuscript. The idea of completing an entire book seemed impossible to me. I mean, I type with two fingers. Well, I finished! I was so proud of myself. Then, I took it one step further and I have submitted it to a publisher. Now we wait!

My third project this year is a little venture with my daughter. I have toyed with this idea for a while, and when she casually mentioned it, I saw my chance to give it a try. We are starting an online business together. Neither of us has any experience in web design, or shipping out products, or any other skills involved, but we are learning tons and doing a lot of laughing along the way. Yesterday, we went to the bank to set up our business account. The young guys in the bank were in stitches. They said that we “made their Friday”. Our launch goal is April 1, 2019. Yes, it is April Fool’s day!

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Oh, I forgot to mention, I am sewing many of our products. Wish us luck!

So, my time has been filled recently, and I am so excited to see where all this goes. I hope this inspires or gives you the push to try something new. Live your life to the fullest in your own unique way.

Thanks for reading,

Penny xo

 

A New Chapter At This Age?

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I am looking forward to reading the new book by Debbie Travis called…..

Deb Tra

Most people who know me are unaware that I am a dreamer. I can admit it now at this point in my life. I may be wrong, but I think most people see me as someone who does not take unnecessary chances and someone who likes to know exactly what is happening in her life at all times. Secretly, I like that they see me that way. It reassures me.

When I finished high school, I had grandiose dreams of becoming a fashion designer and owning my own business. I worked in retail for a couple of years and saved every cent. One day while taking the bus to work, I noticed a “For Rent” sign in a store window. I got off the bus and walked to the real estate office nearby that was advertised on the sign. I was 19 and had never had a business conversation in my life. Two hours later, I was the new tenant of that dusty, old property.

My family was shocked when I told them what I had done, but they pitched in and helped me clean-up and paint. I worked day and night to get the business up and running. My plan was to design and make ALL the clothes. I opened “The Misfit” in a few short months.

I was so proud of my accomplishment, but the small, blue-collar city where I lived was not ready for my sense of style. Two years later, I sold the contents of my business to another young entrepreneur. It was time to start a new chapter.

Now what? I saw an ad in our local paper. Air Canada was hiring flight attendants. I had never even been on a plane before, so what could go wrong? I applied, went for the interview, and a month later, I was heading to Montreal, Quebec, Canada to train.

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That’s me on the right!

That job that sounded so glamorous, and exciting was hard work, and I loved every minute of it, but life sometimes throws you a curve ball. I fell in love and got married. The job I loved did not work well with married life, and I had to make a choice. My marriage won out in the end, and I found myself once again starting a new chapter.

After several brief turns at a variety of retail positions, I decided to go back to school. Teacher’s College to be exact. It was definitely a last minute decision, but it seemed to be a good fit for married life and raising children. Unlike most teachers, I had never had a burning desire to work with kids. I had never even liked to babysit. Well, to my surprise, I discovered that I quite enjoyed working with primary grade students. Their enthusiasm for learning made the job very rewarding and I managed to remain at this job for 32 years.

After retiring from this long chapter of my life, most people assumed I would sit back and relax with my new found freedom. But I wasn’t ready! So, I volunteered at the local hospital and art gallery, did a short, seasonal stint at Chapters/Indigo, and took a position working with adults who were getting high school credits or their GED. These jobs filled my time and made me happy, but there was this burning desire in the back of my mind that had been there for as long as I could remember. I had always wanted to be a writer.

There was really nothing to stop me. All I had to do was write! Well, that sounds simple, but every writer also wants to be published. I took a few writing courses to improve my skills and network with other writers. Then I discovered “Chicken Soup For The Soul”. I submitted my first story to them. As I slid the envelope into the mail slot, I felt very vulnerable. It was like sending a part of me off to be judged. A few weeks later, the editor called and said he wanted to publish my story. I can’t even describe the feeling, but I have been submitting stories ever since.

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My latest story is in this year’s Mother’s Day collection.

No, they do not all get chosen. Rejection is just part of the business, and I have learned to deal with it.

So, have I finally written all the new chapters in my life? Absolutely not! I actually have some new plans in the works, but I will save those for another post.

How about you? What new chapter would you like to start working on in your life? Don’t let your age hold you back. Think of all the life experience you have had to this point. Use it and write a new chapter for yourself.

 

 

Thanks for reading,

Penny xo