On October 3, I reconnected with a few women from my Early Childhood Education (ECE) program at Ryerson Polytechnical Institute, now Ryerson University.
We had a terrific day, and the years fell away. We’ve vowed to not wait another 40 years before getting together again, and I really hope that’s the case, since most of us would be centenarians by then!
One of my new/old friends said that she found it so interesting where our career paths have taken us from that starting point of the ECE classes. Some stayed in education, working in child care centres, elementary schools, and resource centres. Some got out of the field all together, working in technology or journalism, but still using some of those skills we learned all those years ago.
While we chatted a lot about where those paths have taken us, and how many of us have children, and grandchildren, we also spent some time looking ahead—to continued enjoyment of retirement, or new work. I’m looking forward to some new challenges.
I have been reviewing a lot of potential markets for my writing as I plan on doing a lot more freelancing in the coming year and less teaching. I have also been reviewing story contests and other writing opportunities including the famous NaNoWrMo (National Novel Writing Month) coming up in November.
Encouragement and support have come from the folks in my Creative Writing group. as well as from friends and colleagues in the Professional Writers Association of Canada (PWAC). A former PWAC colleague, Paul Lima, has been an inspiration with his books, particularly (Re) Discover the Joy of Creative Writing, and The Business of Freelance Writing.
If I am going to get this writing done, I will have to spend more time with that work, and less time on the Internet, which means disconnecting from Facebook and other social media sites—or at least not being as connected.
I can hear the “D’uh” from here. That seems like a no-brainer, right? Just concentrate on the work. The problem is that I seem to need social media to fuel the work—to get the creative juices flowing. I also get story ideas, leads, work connections, and great ideas for my creative writing classes from Facebook, so it’s not a waste of time checking that out daily. I just have to spend a little less time checking all of the other stuff—the political articles (numerous because of the upcoming federal election), the recipes, and of course, the pet and baby videos, which are too cute to ignore!
Of course, there has to be time for my Creative Writing class, my Nordic Walking group, my Classic Strength Training class at the 55 Plus Activity Centre and spending time with my friends from those groups. Those personal connections are as important, if not more important than the online connections.
So, while I am disconnecting, rest assured, I will remain reconnected to friends old and new as the reinvention will be a work in progress—just like the writing.
Let me know whether you feel the need to reconnect, reinvent, or disconnect, and how you do that.