Being over 55 means many things. Recently I’ve discovered it means I finally have run out of excuses to avoid taking care of unfinished business. And so, I have dug deep into the pile of unfinished dreams. Voila! Over ten years ago Collen and I thought it would be fun to take a quilting course with mom. We all started on the same pattern, and had a memorable weekend. Mom finished her quilt shortly after. That October I went to a conference in Ottawa. While the, I hand delivers it to Cathy who was living in Toronto at the time. My project went into the closet.
Over the past few years I looked at my unfinished pieces, but put them back. Always tight work de,ands were far more important. Every time I looked at my unfinished pieces pushed back nth th closet, I found a reason not to finish. Marking needed to be done. Assignments needed to be created. Projects needed to be developed. I was needed as assistant coach of my son’s volleyball team. Then I needed to chaperone the outdoor Ed trips, the band trips, the sports trips, and more. I needed to be on school council , on the curling club, and whatever other committee needed someone. I even was elected to be on our school board. Meanwhile, I worked full time. And I worked, worked, and worked. UltimatEly whatever I was working and searching for led to stress leave. Even worse, after a lifetime of commitment to education and learning, my path led to being recognized primarily as a budget deficit in an increasingly business oriented world that saw educators ove 50 as liabilities rather than assets.
Meanwhile, I had a closet full of unfollowed dreams. Of trips never taken, of hikes never walked, of race never ran. Of projects never finished. And, of empty excuses not to do what I really and, but probably feared doing, thinking I just wasn’t good enough.
It is to late for me to be a star, to wind a trophy, to be the best teacher of the year. But I can take baby sets to catch some of dreams. To make them more realistic and reachable. And so, my time for excuses is over. I have to grab hold of the small victories and celebrate them. Consequently I have decided to finish some of those unfinished projects, and reach for those dreams while I still can,no matter how small.
One of those small steps… Finish that quilt I started a lifetime ago. This weekend I finally did just that. No more excuses. No more time to put it off. Just do it! The quilt may not look great when I look closely; the seams are certainly not perfect. Nevertheless, It is a small victory, but one that I never would have wn had I not taken that wonderful step of “retiring” two years ago. It als symbolizes what a better state of mind o am now in. Ironically, I am more confident than ever in my abilities and happier than ever. I have started to check off those bucket list items. I am content.
So here’s to the growing list of small victories.