Finding Your Voice

28 Jan

I remember kindergarten and the teacher presenting a table of musical instruments for a pint sized marching band. For some unknown reason, I chose the baton to lead the band. I remember my teacher reporting later to my mother in a certain voice that I “liked to be in charge”. It is my first memory of having my voice squashed.


We are living in inspired times with women finding their bold, beautiful voices. Whether marching in pink hats, accepting awards, or naming their abuser. I understand the old need for self preservation and its long term consequences to our soul, and the heady power of speaking out.


The orchid in my yard has no trouble finding her voice.

My government job, at times helped me find my voice. I presented at national conferences and brainstormed around tables. I was respected in my field. Then the times changed, the funding dried up and my position disappeared. That’s the way it goes sometimes in a regime change. Also my gray hair made it impossible to find a comparable job. It was time to retire.

Photo on 2012-12-25 at 20.02 #2

Lisa and my last Christmas in Texas (2012). I was still working and planning our escape.

The question I ask myself and pose to you is, “how do you continue to use your voice as you age?” I find it easy to be quiet and let others make decisions, which affords little personal growth and is plain lazy.


Retirement looks good on us.

Looking in the mirror, I realize at least two ways I continue expressing myself, one is this blog and the other my budding art practice. Some weeks I know what I want to say and have my topic well fleshed out by Sunday. Other weeks, like today, it appears as I put fingers to keyboard.


Last night when I couldn’t sleep.

My art is becoming more and more fearless, at least for me. I leave next Sunday for a week of watercolor painting in Merida. We’ll see what shows up. I’m excited. So whether you need to be quiet and listen more, or sing your opinions from the rooftop, please share your thoughts in the comments section. It really is inspiring to hear from you.



12 Responses to “Finding Your Voice”

  1. Mary Durocher Hudson January 28, 2018 at 10:28 am #

    I do so enjoy your thoughts…thank you for sharing.
    I am an 84.5 year old widow,the ‘matriarch’ of our family. As my mortality becomes ever more ‘real’ to me, I have begun sharing family history with the ‘young ones’ : 16-57! The realization hit like a ton of bricks…if I do not share all this NOW, it will be lost forever. And they seem to appreciate the stories. Yesterday, I told the three gathered here, “If I don’t have some sort of freakish accident, I’ll be around for a lot more years!”
    Just the day before, I TOTALLY rearranged my living room. Still go out and shovel snow. AND, in the summer, cut (rider mower) and trim my own huge yard…up here on the blessed shores of Lake Superior.
    My strength comes from a deep prayer life and the knowledge that I am cherished.
    Who could ask for more?
    Blessings! Mary


    • afish25 January 28, 2018 at 12:38 pm #

      Dear Mary, thank you so much for your gentle and powerful words. How did you find your way to my blog? Please come by anytime.


      • Mary Durocher Hudson January 28, 2018 at 2:24 pm #

        My niece, WI native, who winters near San Patrico, Jalisco, MX, started sending your blog, maybe two years ago. But I liked your Buddhist twist, so signed on myself. Plus your ‘pithy’ sayings at the end of each blog are often worth saving and passing on to other ‘needy’ souls.
        I decided if all our first graders, in Washburn WI, could learn to use an iPad…so could I. I’ve had this for six years now…my lifeline to the world….when I decide to sit :))
        Blessings! Mary


  2. Karen January 28, 2018 at 11:27 am #

    Retirement Does look good on the two of you. I also had my voice squashed at an early age. Some instances of finding it are like those Zen moments that, for me, are rare. One in particular that sticks in my head goes along with someone actually saying to me “Find Your Voice” and I did. I surprised myself and turned a total mess into a well-functioning machine. Yea me!

    Liked by 1 person

    • afish25 January 28, 2018 at 12:40 pm #

      You are one awesome lady. It’s an amazing time we live in.


  3. Caroline Hill January 28, 2018 at 8:43 pm #

    I look forward to see your watercolors that will magically appear somehow under the sweet guidance of Carolina…… Hope you have a most excellent week in Merida and give my regards to the painters!!!!!!


    • afish25 January 29, 2018 at 5:57 am #

      We’ve had a lot of rain. I hope there’s a plan b. Wish you were coming.


  4. Jack Scott January 29, 2018 at 7:20 am #

    “We all have two lives. The second one starts when we realise we only have one.” as actor Tom Hiddleston once said, though I suspect he was paraphrasing someone else.


  5. Kim Relph January 29, 2018 at 9:16 am #

    I love the new painting! I am still trying to find my way 4 months after retiring from my state job. It just got so crazy there. I am very happy to be away from all that and am teaching more yoga classes. I love that, but it doesn’t pay much. Got to find something else soon. I hope it won’t be too hard and am setting the bar low as I don’t need a lot of stress anymore! Your blog is always inspiring – keep up the great work!

    Liked by 1 person

    • afish25 January 29, 2018 at 7:01 pm #

      Thanks Kim. Good luck in the job department. I’m not doing as much yoga as I would like.


  6. ArtsyChic Creations June 3, 2018 at 11:00 am #

    Kindergarten is such a young and delicate age, as you begin to step into the world and find your place in the world around you. As you talked about continuing to find your voice as you age, I couldn’t help thinking of my grandma. My grandmas just turned 80 in January and I hope to be like her one day. She’s still an independent soul, lives on her own with family nearby and continues to drive. For the most part, she has aged gracefully in good health, holding onto her voice and independence.


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