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On 10,000 hours, fishing, and my grade one teacher

10,000 hours

This summer I much considered and bought into  Malcolm Gladwell’s theory of 10,000 hours of practice required to get good at most anything.

It suddenly seems so completely obvious.

It you want to improve at something, than just do it.

In my life,

I have often taken the  approach of dancing and skirting around the things that I really want to do,

but never actually jumping in.

Partly, this is a misguided form of martyrdom.

I wait until everybody else is settled and completely taken care of and only then do I  finally sit down ready to enjoy or pursue my bit,

but by then I am tired and have sometimes even lost my drive,

never mind that as a mother in a busy family that time often just never comes.

It is also a way of avoiding my dreams because it’s simply far less risky to just keep doing what I’m doing.

However,

there are certain things that I have always wanted to do, projects I have been considering, and areas that I have wanted to explore….

This past Spring, I decided that enough was enough. If I wanted to write, for example, then I would write.

It’s high time to take responsibility for my own dreams~

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Now that a new year is upon us (to me September always feels like the beginning of a new year), I am changing it up a bit and expanding my focus to another creative writing venture…..

I have a very exciting project in the works that my lovely Alex has been helping me with over the last several months. We are now on a more specific timeline and to keep up my momentum,

I will now be blogging every second Friday,

and will look forward to continuing to connect with all you lovely readers.

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Fishing

This week Dan took Olivia and George fishing.

Surprisingly, everything about this adventure ended up being marvelous and sweet.

It all started with my dad and stepmother coming out to visit us for the day in Waterton on the weekend. Dad, to his core, is an outdoors-man and it filled my heart to watch him sitting at the picnic table with his grand kids, showing them how to tie proper fishing knots and looking at all of the new fishing gear.

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The next morning, George jumped out of bed and ran into our bedroom,

all ready to go.

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I had been debating whether or not to go with them. Olivia, of course, wanted me to come but George gently broke the news to me that he had really pictured himself and Olivia being in the boat on their own with dad.

That was all I needed to hear ~ my gut was telling me that this was an experience that didn’t need to involve me.

So off they went, up the road to Cameron Lake where they rented a boat and spent four hours rowing to the farthest reaches of the lake,

enjoying the early morning mountain splendor.

Much of the time, Dan reported to me later, was spent untangling fishing line and coaching,

and they were out there for a good four hours.

George apparently started to lose heart and interest when near the end of that time, they still hadn’t caught anything. Olivia, of course, started to lecture him about keeping up a positive attitude and focusing on the fun they had still had despite not being successful.

Still dejected, George threw in one more line right before reaching the dock and in a gift of amazing timing,

felt two big tugs on his line and proceeded to catch his first fish!

Later on, while showing me his prized and beautiful catch, he would describe that moment on the boat as ‘one of the best feelings of his life.’

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I can’t tell you exactly why this ended up being such a magical day, or even what it was about fishing in particular that ended up striking such an unexpected cord of nostalgia and joy in all of us,

but it did.

Later on that evening we had an appetizer of grilled lake trout with lemon and butter, and my kids who usually turn their noses up at fish enthusiastically ate their portions.

My grade one teacher

I  heard news this past week of the passing of my first and second grade teacher, Mme. Paquin.

The news actually spurred a thread of messages by classmates expressing sympathies and sharing memories,

one of the lovelier uses of social media. 

It seems timely to offer up my own tribute to this wonderful woman as many of us embark on a new school year, perhaps feeling hesitant about how it will all play out.

My memories of my first few years of school are fuzzy at best, but I do remember feeling nurtured and understood

during a time when I was desperately shy, anxious, and sensitive.

I will also never forget that Mme. Paquin drove an hour to see me during my first marriage, when I was embarking on a career of teaching little ones myself. She and my mother had stayed in touch and she wanted to come and see for herself how I was doing.

We sat at my kitchen table and had tea,

and I remember her dispensing firmly held teaching advice, this time teacher to teacher,

but I felt nurtured still….

cared for by this fascinating woman who never had her own children and had spent twenty-five years in a convent before marrying and entering into the teaching profession. During that visit, I remember Mme. Paquin telling me not to take things too seriously and to always remember that children needed to be allowed to play and be children.

Rest in peace, grand lady.

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4 thoughts on “On 10,000 hours, fishing, and my grade one teacher

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