Wordsworkinc's Weblog

Life, love and language

About Me

Self

Hi there, my name is Dawn Kumm.  I am one of those annoying people who keep picking out grammatical and spelling mistakes online and itch to correct them.  English is my passion and was one of my majors in my first degree. I also hold a Master’s degree in Education.   I run my own business, and do freelance research, writing and editing.  Find me on LinkedIn for my full resume and look for me on Facebook and my website

 

June 8, 2018 Posted by | About Me, Uncategorized | | Leave a comment

The Joys of Idleness

There is a real skill to being able to sit still and do nothing and I think that I have lost it somewhere along the way. Since contentment has long been my seemingly unattainable goal I decided to see if I could find it again.
So this morning, when I poured my second cup of coffee, instead of sitting down at my computer I took our aging bearded dragon and our little Pom and sat outside on my bench, ready to be idle.

Sherry on the bench
Calgary’s summer may be short but it is lovely. Everything is green and deciduous trees, newly leafed, together with the evergreens, surround my little private garden. At first it was very quiet, then the sounds of the birds came back, sparrows, chickadees, robins and crows (these are about the only calls I can recognize but there were many more.) Our resident red-tailed hawk flew overhead and Draco, the dragon, tilted his head and watched him suspiciously. A small sparrow landed on the nearby bird feeding tray and confidently helped himself to the seed.
My phone lay untouched beside me (that umbilical cord will take some time to sever) as I sipped my coffee and basked in the cool beauty of the garden.
For the first 5 minutes I truly lived in the moment, and then, gradually, reality started to seep in. Sherry jumped onto the bench beside me and I stroked her soft fur (I really need to brush her again), Draco flicked his tongue at an ant and took a few tentative steps through the lawn (I must cut the grass today), the pansies, geraniums and petunias seem to have survived the attentions of the gophers and the deer and are adding splashes of colour to the green (and probably need a watering before it gets too hot).

In the end my coffee and my ability to sit still both ran out at the same time and we all came back inside so I could carry on with my day.
Ten minutes mightn’t be much but made me think. I’ve never been very keen on meditation and the idea of clearing my mind of any thoughts is laughable, but mindfulness I might just manage. I’ll try again tomorrow.

June 8, 2018 Posted by | About Me, Living in Canada | , , , , | 2 Comments

A life well lived?

 

Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life … Don’t let the noise of others’ opinions drown out your inner voice. And, most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition.

Steve Jobs

 

This quote really resonated with me when I reread it today.  Time is limited. At 70 years I certainly don’t feel old, but I’m well aware that, unless I plan to live to 140 I can no longer pretend to be middle-aged.  So today I have been doing some retrospection, after all, when I do eventually “shuffle off this mortal coil”, I would like it to be with the knowledge of a life well lived.

So here is my checklist of the decades gone by.  I recommend this activity, especially if you have quite a few decades behind you too, it kind of puts your life in perspective:

Teens – leaving school, and the town where I grew up, starting a job (At the bank. My first choice would have been training college but my parents were not able to afford it); meeting my future husband;

Twenties – marrying; setting up my first home; having two beautiful little girls, hopefully becoming a responsible adult;

Thirties – back to studying, English and Education in my first degree, eventually completing 3 degrees and a post graduate pre-primary diploma – fulfilling my dream of becoming a teacher and learning to use my brain again;

Forties – changing careers, starting to work with young children, learning to overcome disappointments, and to be independent;

Fifties – children grown up, started travelling and looking for adventure, hiking, including climbing Kilimanjaro, and visiting India, UK, Canada and Australia,  another change in career – lecturing on child development among other things in the Education Department at University –  then content writing and editing while we travelled between South Africa and Canada  for a few years.

Sixties – Emigrating from South Africa to Canada to join my daughters, visiting USA and Egypt, hiking the Annapurna circuit in Nepal, opening my own business – a daycare – discovering I was capable of more than I thought.

So now, in my seventies I feel I can claim I have lived my own life, directed in the most by my own desires – and the future continues to beckon –  circumstances and inclination seem to be pushing me into another direction. The prospect is frightening, the possibilities endless, as I continue to follow my heart.

January 31, 2018 Posted by | About Me | , | 1 Comment