Thursday, 15 February 2018

New Horizons

Okay... so... I'm a little excited this week, folks. Brenda Ray Coffee has asked me to contribute a monthly post to her blog 1010 Park Place. And today my first post Women Who Have "It" is live. You can see it here

The post is a follow-up to my discussion last week about "it girls." About how "it women" are, as Dottorressa said last week, "bien dans sa peau." And about two "it women" friends of mine who have both embarked on new adventures in their lives, both expanding their horizons in their sixties.

words. plus the phrase "do one things a day that scares you."
Lululemon bag inspiration

New horizons have always scared the pants off me. Forging into the unknown can be frightening. I always think the worst when it comes to trying something new. I think: "I'll fall flat on my face. I'll mess up. I'm not worthy and everyone will know it." 

My first day of teaching ever, I talked so fast that I taught a forty-five minute lesson in fifteen. Ackkk. What the heck was I to do with twenty-five thirteen year olds for thirty extra minutes? I had no teacher tricks up my sleeve. Luckily my teacher-mentor rescued me, and we laughed about it afterward. 

As a fairly young teacher, I was petrified when my principal, Barb, asked me to "teach" a sample grade nine English activity at a parents' evening. I'd be presenting to two groups of fifty or sixty parents who were deciding if they wanted their child to attend our school the following year. Ackkk. No pressure then. As it happened, once I began, and a kind mother in the front laughed at my first joke, I was fine. I even enjoyed it. 

Similarly, as a new department head, I was scared to death at my first meeting with my department, all twenty of  them, several of whom were much more experienced teachers than I was at the time. My friend Catherine said I looked like a deer in the headlights. I so wanted to do a good job; I just wasn't sure I was up to the challenge. 

I was nervous about pressing publish with my first post on this blog back in 2014. But when I received my first few page views, and even a friendly reader comment, well, that gave me courage. 

And when Brenda's kind offer came my way, I almost didn't say yes. But I'm glad I did. And we'll see what happens. 

sign that says "everything worth doing starts with being scared."
From Lululemon NYC Twitter post
The hardest part about writing for Brenda's site has been giving control over to someone else. I can't retrieve the post and edit a bit more once it's published. When I saw my post for the first time on her site, I was reminded of all the assignments that kids submitted to me over the years. And how many times they'd say that the minute the paper slipped into my file folder they wanted to snatch it back. Because at that moment they realized everything they had done wrong. Yep. I know just how they felt. Working to a specific word length is also new for me. If you read my blog regularly, you'll know I find that hard to do. I love to talk. Still, maybe it will be good practice for me to just shut up and get to the point for a change. 

Writing for 1010 Park Place won't interfere with my plans for High Heels in the Wilderness. I'm hoping they will compliment each other. And although I'm a little nervous about this new venture, I'm game to give it a try. Because we're all scared about starting something new. But when we let that fear stop us from doing what we want, well, then we're in trouble. 

Having said all that, I won't be taking up snowboarding any time soon. That scares the pants off me. Not just because it's something new. Mostly it's fear of broken limbs and concussion. In this instance, the thought that I'll fall flat on my face is not an irrational fear, but a very rational expectation. Ha. 

So how about you, folks? Any new ventures for you this year? Scary or otherwise.

P.S. And don't forget to hop over to Brenda's blog and have a look at my post. And let me know what you think. 

Linking up with Thursday Favourite Things at Katherine's Corner


  1. Congratulations on your new adventure. It's a relevant and thought provoking post- Mary Lou

  2. Hi Sue
    Great post over at 1010 Park Place. Congrats on your new venture!
    I've recently became a new grandmother...that is my new venture!
    I'm always looking for new things to do...but it's just taking that first step out of my comfort zone that stalls me. :)
    Best of luck...I know you'll succeed!

    1. Thanks, Robin. And congrats on yours! That's an exciting new venture, for sure.

  3. Just the confidence booster I needed this morning. And I am all about the hats. Go for it.

    1. Thanks, Sue. You ARE all about the hats... you do hats way better than me.

  4. The more Sue the better
    Wendy in York

    1. Couldn’t have said it better! More opportunities to read your writing is something to celebrate and appreciate!

  5. Congratulations,Sue! I'm so glad that you said yes to new experiences and new horizons. You write so beautiful ,witty and funny and it's great that they there have also an opportunity to hear you. I like your first article/column/post and am enchanted(I wanted to use excited ,but I always remember Frances and her italian crew,when I use this word :-)!) with possibilities that exist for anyone of us in different fields
    It well resonates with Madame Lá-bas recent post about the Theory of Growth or Fixed Mindsets. We have to learn,feel or experience something new,new language,new words,new dishes,new approaches,new songs,new knits,new feel alive,to be interested,to explore,to enjoy life
    A couple of years ago I took some classes (I think I've mentioned it somewhere): our and european economic law and capital markets, during two semesters,with real,young students. I was interested to study ,although it is not usual here ,to take classes after fifty,for no reason at all,no diploma,just for fun . And took exams (just to test myself).I was very nervous,both before classes and exams,my (younger than my son)fellow students were very curious,as well as teachers. It is not a real exemplar of Growth Mindset,because I love to learn and it was always my forte,but my new surrounding was a challenge
    So,I understand your positive "stage fright"- it is a stimulation for best performances
    What is one of my goals for now? I'm learning with my physical therapist,and alone, to completely change the pattern of my walk and my posture,to minimize pain in my backbone and ankle joints

    1. Thanks, Dottoressa. I must check out Madame La-Bas...that post sounds like it's relevant for me at the moment.
      Good luck with the physio project. I hope it helps. A good physiotherapist and a compliant patient who is willing to do their homework can work wonders together, in my experience. But I'm sure you already know all that:)

  6. I’m mighty impressed and so very pleased for you. You are such a fine writer. Yourself and Francis are the stars of my blog reading.

  7. Sue, I'm excited you took me up on my suggestion to write for 1010ParkPlace! You're a wonderful writer, and your words come from the heart, so just keep talking and writing so more women can read what you write! xoxox, Brenda

    1. Thanks for offering me the opportunity, Brenda.

  8. Strangely, I haven’t ever thought about you as nervous or less than confident about what you write ... your posts “tick all the boxes “ for me. Well written, varied, interesting, honest, informative... I could go on!! and as Brenda commented, they really do come from the heart.
    As I said when I met you in Ottawa, I felt I knew you so well already, no surprises! The “you” I met in real life was the you I hear from every week in this blog ... what you see... or in this case read, is definitely what you get!
    Take care, have s great weekend. I’m off to read your post in 1010 Park Place.

  9. Thanks, Rosie. Hope you're having fun in Switzerland:)

  10. Well done! Your honest voice deserves a wider inspire those of us "of a certain age" and to let others ages know that we still have a lot of life to live.
    Charlene H.


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