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December Reflections

And so…….just like that, in the blink of an eye…….it is almost one year since I left the Centre for Elder Research.

I struggled with the decision to leave Sheridan College, vacillating between pros and cons for about two years and, in the end, I was still ambivalent about my decision to leave. For 25 years, I loved everything about my career at Sheridan, remaining enthusiastic, each day, to go to work. In the end, I think what tipped the balance for me was the recognition that leaving was never going to get any easier! Despite my uncertainty, there was a small part of me that yearned to take on a new challenge. Within a week of my end date, I had registered Kaleidoscope Consulting, the mission of which is to change the way we view aging. That has proven to be a good decision.

Some people have questioned my decision to pursue similar work interests with my consulting company, suggesting that perhaps I should be trying something completely different, new hobbies being an example often cited. I have explained that I am doing exactly what I most want to do. What could be more rewarding than the opportunity to encourage others to look at aging perhaps a little differently than they might have? A simple twist of the kaleidoscope results in a whole new image.

What do I miss most about Sheridan? I miss the work itself but I also miss colleagues who became valued friends. It takes more effort to connect with people now. I can’t just walk to another office to bounce ideas around with someone or to ask for advice on a research study. Having worked as part of a team for so many years, going solo has definitely taken some adjustment. It isn’t that I can’t get together with colleagues but those connections no longer happen in a aturalistic way.

I can think of only two things I don’t miss – the commute and my 5:30 A.M. alarm! I must admit that it is nice, on those cold, dark mornings, to know I don’t have to get up to sit in my car on the highway ‘parking lot’!

I am excited about what lies ahead in 2019. I thoroughly enjoy giving presentations and developing/facilitating workshops and will continue to do so. However, now that I have settled into a new routine, I will more actively pursue some of my passions – the creative and performing arts, including social prescription of the arts; age-friendly employment; creative aging; older entrepreneurs; lifelong learning and social inclusion. If any readers are interested in launching projects in these areas, give me a shout!

For now, I’d like to express my deepest gratitude to those of you who have stayed in touch and have supported my transition through this first pivotal year. To all readers, I wish you a memorable holiday season full of joy, peace and love and a healthy and happy 2019.

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