Thursday, April 4, 2013

Chapter Two - AKA the Incredible Lightness of Being Wendy

Hi Everyone,

The sun is rising quite splendidly here this morning and I am feeling particular grateful for life and for you all.

It has been almost a year since I began this blog.  In the beginning, I was really looking for some help in refining my fashion style as I entered my 50s.  And then I just started chatting about my life and whatever else popped into my head on any particular day.  So the blog has evolved, just like me.  You have been here for happy vacations, scary outfits, the death of my dad, my 50th birthday and just about averything else.  You are always so kind and rooting for the old girl to keep going!


So today is a BIG NEWS day.  Yesterday, I formally wrote to my boss to advise of my intention to retire from my current position.  One of the gifts of my three month sabbatical has been getting a good rest.  The other, greater, gift has been perspective.  For 24 years I have enjoyed my career and responsibilities.  They were challenging and exhilerating and I know that I made a difference.  But I realized that I wanted to leave when I was on the top of my game, not when the door was hitting my bottom on the way out!

More importantly, there are other dreams that refuse to go away and if ever I am going to pay attention to them, it is time to getting go!  All we have is now, so we better like it and if we don't well, maybe it is time to switch it all up.

So one career chapter ends, another begins.  This second act will be less of a 9-to-5 thing and more of a what-interests-me and what-needs-to-done thing.  I am already writing my book, already exploring other possible business opportunities.  This second chapter must be a mixture of creativity and passion.  I also want time to be able to give back through volunteering, which I have not had time to do (except monetarily) while I was working 70 to 80 hours a week.

My entire life,  I have just wanted to make a difference.  I have always wanted people to feel better having spent time with me, not deflated in any way; that is how I have treated my staff as well as every business-related experience I have had and it has paid off in spades.  But now I need more time for my other dreams.


While my boss was disappointed to get my letter and it will be a surprise to others when they get the announcement later this morning, I feel light.  When I drove away after my meeting (which was positive and wonderful and affirming), I had to pull the car over and had a good cry.  The tears were a mixture of memories, relief and some sadness.  I was glad there were tears; they confirm to me that my old job had meaning and purpose that was not so easy to leave.  Funny enough, I didn't realize until I stopped crying that I had pulled the car over right in front of an old apartment where Barry and I lived in the early 1990s and the first place our daughter ever lived.  Given that the baby who lived in that apartment is now 21 and will likely be flying from the nest her ownself soon, that seemed pretty appropos a place to stop as any.  You can get a lot of whispers of affirmation in life if you only choose to listen to them.

So while technically, I still have all of the paperwork to do, I am, as of today, a free agent.  You know what this means:

1) more free time for Nigel and George and I at Lake Como
2) my debut as a real-life model for Mickey can only be a matter of time
3) more randome blog posts


You'll need a break before you start that new career, Wendy....


It is an exciting thing to be jumping off the diving board at 50.  I am going to be "leaning WAY in" as I create this new life and career. Quirky little thing that I am, I think I will be adopting the model of my Philsopher-King Yosemite Sam:

"I paid my four-bits to see a high-diving act.  I'm a-gonna see a high-diving act!"




 I am putting all my eggs in the Wendy basket and making myself the high diving act!

Here we go!



Have a Happy Thursday and stay safe out there!

67 comments:

  1. I love your Yosemite Same quote! lol Well congratulations, and I am sure you are making a good decision, you have put a lot of thought into it. I'll be wishing you the best with your new plans :) What are you going to do with your office clothes now, though?! George says you won't need them at the lake.

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    1. I KNEW you were seeing George on the side since my vacation!!!! Oh never mind - he is more man than just Nigel and I can handle anyway!

      Well, I imagine I will need some dress clothing in the future, but you are right, I will be looking for more casual chic. As long as I have two really nice suits for each season, I will be set! I appreciate the kind thoughts!!!!

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  2. All hail the Philosopher King Yosemite Sam! That's hilarious. Wendy how do you come up with this stuff, you really crack me up. You know we are all wishing you success and happiness, your charm is infectious and you brighten everyone's day. What a great way to be. xo!

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    1. Thanks Dani! I wish I knew how i came up with this stuff - it can be embarassing at times!!!

      Thanks for the kindness and support - you guys have really kept me going as I worked through this all!

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  3. I salute you and your Philosopher King, and prepare to hold up the 10 score card for your next ventures, certain that they will be dazzling! Say hi to George for me!

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    1. n.b. - you can say hi to him yourself. We'll probably host the first club reunion there, don't you think?

      Thanks for the kind words and the perfect 10!

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  4. WMM,
    That is great news. Change can be so wonderful. I wish you all the best of luck on your new ventures. I am convinced that you are going to be a success at whatever you do. (I know you will keep us posted!)

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    1. Thanks Knityarns! I am going to need it but I will be fine!

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  5. You are a top banana Wendy.
    I am loving life according to Yosemite Sam!

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    1. I really do think he is a Philosopher King - all of those Merry Melodies were!!!!

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  6. Hi Wendy! I haven't commented in a while bc I can't do it from my phone, but I have been reading your posts. This is such wonderful news! Congratulations! This type of change takes such courage and I an in awe of you. You open up here with such honesty; it's so refreshing and inspiring. It's is so wonderful to see a happy working mom. As a working mom myself, I can say that there are not many good role models out there.
    I am so happy for you and honored that you are letting us in on this wonderful journey. I wish you the best of luck and tons of success! Lots of hugs and this calls of a celebration!

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    1. Thank you A - that means a lot! I am so excited about the next phase - it will be a surprise for us all!!!!

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  7. Flyin high, Wendy!
    oh, the wonderful feeling of new, oh, the wonderful feeling of the step taken, the choice made, the courage in action!
    for you to decide, a new chapter or a new book?
    and the sky is clear and blue and bright here, too, we'll be charging it to Flintstone Manor later today and as I gaze at the ocean, I'll be sending good wishes northwards to my friend on that other island off the Atlantic coast.

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    1. Aw thanks Fred! It is a lovely day to the go to ocean! I am just feeling such relief and happiness today to have made and shared the decision with everyone!

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  8. Dear Wendy, congratulations on your decision and wishing you all the luck in the world going forward! It's such a joy to read here every day and I think it will become even more interesting as you move into this next phase of your life.

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    1. Thanks Patricia! It will either be more interesting or a series of HELP!!!! posts! I am hopeful it is the former not the latter. I must say, a lot of the bravery has come from you all! You have been my daily therapy, and I realized, my daily pages (a la The Artists Way) and it has made me realize that a change was gonna come!

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  9. Congratulations - good decision and you must feel a huge weight off your shoulders. Change is good, and inevitable. You have so many talents and I can't wait to see what you do with this next chapter of your life. But I do understand that saying goodbye is hard too. xo

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    1. Thanks Kathy! Today I feel like a million bucks - so good to get it over with and letting the emotion out was just what the doctor ordered though he is vacationing in FLorida so he doesn't have a clue!)

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  10. Head up, eyes clear, and feet moving forward. You will probably have some small pangs of regret and a few what the hell am I doing moments over the next year...it's natural. I have no doubt that this "second act" will be stupendous.
    "Breathing in, I calm my body. Breathing out, I smile. Dwelling in the present moment I know this is a wonderful moment." - Thich Nhat Hanh

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    1. Thank BB - I have been breathing a lot!! thank god for good walks and meditation!!!!!

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  11. Wow,that is a great decicion!
    I admire you for beeing true to yourself.I cant wait to see what you do with your time!

    Youre blogposts are a breath of fresh air and i look forward to reading even more of them:)

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    1. Thanks so much!! I appreciate the kind words!!!

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  12. This is great news, I am so happy for you! I LOVE what you said about having a "good cry." I think that it's so important to release emotion rather than holding it in. I am sending you tons of good vibes as you pursue "the other dreams that refuse to go away." I love it.

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    1. Thanks Rynetta! I know exactly who to come to for a good editor and reader!!!!! When is your book out?

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    2. You're super sweet!!!!! I am praying to God, Peter, Paul, Mary and Martha, too that I will finish this labor of love by July! Seriously, let me know how I can help. It would be a joy!

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  13. Congratulations on what I'm sure was a gut wrenching decision. Somedays I wish I had a career that allowed the more creative side of my brain to shine. I'm sure with your wit and charm you will settle in to a new career that suits the evolved Wendy. Oh and I want a first edition autographed copy of your book. Who knows it may be a NYT best seller!

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    1. Well I just have to finish it first! Thanks SC - I am taking this as good fortune that I can pursue this side of myself!

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  14. Hooray and congratulations Wendy on starting in a new and exciting direction (or directions)! I can't wait to hear more!

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    1. Thanks M - God Love you folks, you will get to hear more whether you want to or not, heehee!

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  15. Best of luck! What kind of book are you writing?

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    1. Thanks Madame Hex! I actually have a nonfiction one in the hopper and am digging out a children's book that I wrote 20 years ago and got great feedback (though a rejection) from one publisher and never got around to pursuing again! I have too much in my head right now! And I want to figure out how to make my blog prettier!

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  16. Congratulations on making your decision! I have many thoughts on 'going out on top' as that is what I did not long ago. The world changes, you change and the fit may be off; this is OK. It's amazing what is out there to do. Every good wish as you continue your evolution.

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    1. Thanks Lane! WHo knows - I may be on stage at the Ogunquit before this is all done!!! Me and Sally Struthers!!!

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  17. TODAY YOU ARE YOU. Wendy, bravo, huzzah, woot woot, hip hip, yay, rock on, you go grrrrl! As others have said, wonders and the occasional pang or retrospect may come. Those are always a part of life, whatever you are doing. I am sure Oprah and all the gurus have lots to say about living your best life wholeheartedly and pursuing your passions. But I am going to rely on my Dr. Philosopher King - big enough, good enough original words for today have failed me.

    "You have BRAINS in your head.
    You have feet in your SHOES.
    You can STEER yourself in
    Any direction YOU choose...

    You're off to GREAT PLACES.
    Today is YOUR day.
    Your mountain is WAITING
    So...get on your way!"

    (N.B. First verse is also perfect reason why you have a one-of-a-kind bit of style in real life blog. "There is no one alive that is youer than you.")

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    1. Dr. Seuss is indeed THE Philosopher King!!! Funny thing - I was thinking of him and all the books you used to get when you are kid in the mail the other day - remember - Are you My Mother, etc?

      I want a print of the party scene in Go Dog Go! WHen I was a kid that was where I wanted to be!

      GF - you have really kept me going! These are very wise words!!!

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    2. WMM, I totally remember that book and all the hats. You'll have to get to the US for the musical or stage theatre version of Go, Dog. Go! (I have not seen, but a friend in Seattle has taken her kids.)

      Ipads and Leapfrog are great and all, but IMO a lot of kids are missing out on the quiet and imagination that comes from reading "real" books (under the covers with a flashlight.) A page turn is not a swipe - iykwim.

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    3. I hear you! Funny - my daughter won't read on kindle (I love it for bed) and son is reading The Silmarillion - they watch TV on computers, but not books, but wonder if that's what we did every night!

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    4. Oh my goodness I wanted to be at the Go Dog Go party too! lol How funny, wouldn't a print of that be great?

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    5. "Hello again, and now do you like my hat?" Could be your club party hat! lol

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  18. Good for you Wendy! I thought this was going to happen and what a great second act it will be. Thanks for taking us on your journey. Have you ever thought of a snow removal business on the side?

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    1. HA! No, but I do think they need a grain of sand counter in Florida!!! Thanks for the lovely sentiment!

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  19. Congratulations! I can't wait to see what the future holds for you.

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  20. Congratulations! You are a standard bearer for all of us on the verge of a new and hopefully more creative life that has its own path. Can't wait to hear about the new adventures of Wendy!

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    1. Thanks Jill - I am looking forward to living them! Now I just have to get going! You folks have all been so supportive - it is nice to feel that energy coming at me!

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  21. Congratulations on your retirement Wendy. I'm sure they will miss you. How exciting to be taking steps down a new path in life. I look forward to following your adventures.

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    1. Thanks! I appreciate the nice sentiment! Yes, I have been getting many kind emails todat and they were all appreciated!

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  22. You've only been blogging for a year! Wow - you've got such a voice and a great blog already - I love it. Kudos for you for making such a headstart on your book - that' something other people talk about but never do. And making time for Lake Como and your blog husband there

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    1. Ha! Well I am not trying the Grand Canyon! That is on the bucket list! Thanks for the kind words! It is hard to fit George in, but things must be done for the little people...

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  23. Congratulations Wendy! I like what you said about confirming that you felt a sense of purpose in your old job, and about being ready to move on. I'm looking forward to seeing what paths you end up going down!

    I also have taken to heart what you said about wanting people to feel better having spent time with you - that is a beautiful attitude and a great way to summarize your intentions.

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    1. Thanks Abby! It is sometimes easier said than done, but I am working on manifesting that!!!!!

      I am interested, too! It is quite exciting!

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  24. Congrats on retirement Wendy, you are rocking it big-time! When one door closes, another opens! Now you will have time for all the fun stuff you want to do (and have already started). Yay with the book! I love writing too, it comes and goes in spurts but it is something I'll always do.

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    1. LR - that is so cool! I think there is so much room for good stuff and writing! And this blog has given me a discipline that helps with the writing! You all warm me up! Every pun intended! My God, I just did a GetFresh! I bet she is proud right now!

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    2. LOUD & PROUD Knew my bad headline habit would rub off on ya eventually if I kept commenting enough. You get a gold star/ extra credit today Ms. Wendy.

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  25. You are probably the youngest retiree ever! Congratulations on your decision. I know you've done the right thing because, despite of the tears, you can breathe. Best wishes on your upcoming endeavors, and you bet I am going to stick around, George by my side, to see what you come up with next. You are such an inspiration, Wendy!

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    1. Oh thanks AB - I hope to be an ex-retiree soon and an inveterate adventurer! I am having a blast and feeling completely renewed. It's as if the last 3 months have made me feel like 49 1/2 all over again! :-) SOon I will be Tabs age!

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  26. Congratulations on your retirement, WMM! This is such exciting news! How fun and liberating to be starting a completely new chapter in your life. I am looking forward to following you on all of your new adventures! :)

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  27. Thanks FFM! It will be exciting! I am looking forward to what work crops up next!

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  28. Yay Wendy! I've only recently discovered your blog (and blogs in general), but am so excited for you as you enter this new stage in your life!

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    1. Thank you Ruth - that means so much!!!

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  29. I applaude your courage Wendy, that's not an eash thing to do. You are an inspiration, follow your dreams and all. I wish you all the best for your new life as a writer, you have wit in spades and you have such a warm personality that I am sure the entire world is going to notice. And yay for more posts!

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    1. Thanks Ema - I just got up and am sitting here in my bathrobe feeling as free as a bird!

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  30. Hi WMM, this is so exciting that you are taking this step! Congratulations on this new stage of your life! Your post has really resonated with me. I spent the past 10 years doing a job that I really don't like and the 10 years before that studying a subject I liked but wasn't that passionate about. I am turning 40 later this year and I really want to make a change with my life, not just for myself but also for my family. I think it's important that my kids see me happy rather than being miserable and stressed all the time. You are an inspiration to us all and I wish you all the best!

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