A warm thank you to Jill Weatherholt for including me in her Summer Spotlight Series. I’m Donna Connolly from RetirementReflections.
When my husband and I first toyed with the idea of retirement, I tried to read as much as I could on the emotional aspect of this transition. At that time, I found heaps of information on the financial side of retiring and much less on the emotional side. Thus my decision to document my reflections (and confessions) as I journeyed into retirement and to reach out to others who were doing the same.
As I began to write and to read other people’s blogs, I discovered what, for me, lies at the true heart of blogging. Building relationships, sharing ideas, reaching out, connecting, and inspiring each other have by far been the most rewarding part of the on-line writing experience. Blogging has allowed me to process both joyous and sorrowful events that have taken place for me during the past year and a half. Other than school documents, policies (and report cards), I had not done much writing since university. Now, spending time each day blogging has been like reconnecting with an old friend who I never realized how much I missed.
You can check out more about me in my answers to Jill’s clever and inspirational questions. I’ve found these questions to be a perfect platform to get to the core of who truly lies at the heart of my writing.
What are some of the events in your life that made you who you are?
Prior to retiring, I worked as a Middle School Principal and Deputy Director at an international school in China, The Western Academy of Beijing. I was privileged to be able to spend much time with children from diverse backgrounds and cultures. As Brazilian novelist, Paulo Coelho has stated, “A child can teach an adult three things: to be happy for no reason, to always be busy with something, and to know how to demand with all his might that which he desires.” I have found these lessons from children to be invaluable.
If you could make one rule that everyone had to follow, what rule would you make?
Our Middle School in Beijing had only four ‘rules’, i.e. Respect Yourself, Respect Others, Respect the Environment and Practice Kindness. With these four guidelines firmly in place, our staff and administration discovered that we did not need any other rules for our students, or for ourselves. If choosing just one ‘must’ for the world, I would select “Practice Kindness.” As actor Morgan Freeman has stated, “How do we change the world?’ One random act of kindness at a time.”
Where do you most want to travel, but have never been?
On our fridge, my husband and I have a list of destinations to which we wish to travel and a yearly calendar placed beside the list. At the top of our compilation are Machu Picchu and the Trans-Siberian Railway (okay, so maybe the latter is not exactly a ‘place’). We do not yet have any dates set for these two journeys. Nevertheless, our goal is to get both trips on the calendar within the next three years.
I hope that my answers to Jill’s questions have helped you to get a sense of who I am and what I write about. I’d love to hear from you in the comment section of this post. I’d especially like to know what rule you would make for our world. I look forward to connecting with you!