Redefining Self…Innovations and Making

 In Guest Blogs

Five years ago, I moved to Cromwell, Connecticut and met Paula, whom I later learned was just entering her role as Superintendent of the Cromwell School System although she had worked within the schools for many years. She is one of those amazing people who says, “YES,” and then finds a way to make it work. We have worked together on a number of projects that have reached and benefited many. I watch with eagerness as she plots and plans to keep her life “large.”

And now the page is hers.

 


 

Redefining Self…Innovations and Making

Paula M. Talty, Ed.D.

Approximately 90 days ago I launched myself from a career in public education into retirement.   I say launched because I truly felt at times that I needed some type of explosive device to get me to simply move on from what I had been doing for over 35 plus years.   It took a lot of soul-searching, wrangling with questions like “Will my life be too small if I stop working?” and “What the devil will I do with myself?”

 

 

Obviously, 90 days in and I am full to the top with “stuff” to do.  Lately, I have rediscovered creativity in abundance.  I see things now that perhaps went unnoticed by my busy tired eyes. Just this morning I watched a pair of squirrels as they chased each other up and down a tree outside my kitchen in a complicated figure eight pattern.  It was not only funny but inspiring.  So inspiring was it that I ran and pulled out my sketch pad and quickly drafted a pattern for fingerless mitts to knit with squirrels making a figure eight.   This is pretty much how I roll now, notebook constantly in hand, writing – drawing – designing – thinking.  The small details, which I previously missed, delight me and fill me up with wonder.

 

Redefining Self…Innovations and Making, Paula Talty, Ann Grasso Pattern Art

 

Redefining Self…Innovations and Making, Paula Talty, Ann Grasso Pattern Art

 

Redefining Self…Innovations and Making, Paula Talty, Ann Grasso Pattern Art

 

I continue to work in education, at the university level, and this work allows me to continue to be innovative in my field; but it isn’t the sole focus of my time.   The passion of being innovative personally is the true essence of my time.   Having a space to work within the mental warehouse of ideas that have been just out of our peripheral vision as individuals is exhilarating.  I have already drafted models for group gatherings, the beginnings of a business plan, designed some jewelry, and knit a dozen different garments based upon my own design.

 

Redefining Self…Innovations and Making, Paula Talty, Ann Grasso Pattern Art

 

Redefining Self…Innovations and Making, Paula Talty, Ann Grasso Pattern Art

 

Retirement has allowed me to rediscover not only my creativity but myself in the smallest of details.   I am eager about the coming months, I foresee plenty of wonderful adventures, large and small.

Have you positioned yourself to take advantage of whatever direction your next steps take you?

Showing 2 comments
  • Ann-Marie Gillett
    Reply

    Congratulations, Paula, on what is obviously a very successful “launch” into a world of possibilities and rekindled creativity. As someone who also has recently retired from being an art educator, I’ve entered a stage of life where I am steeped in gratitude to now have time to do so many of the things I would postpone or think about but never do, because my first priority was encouraging the creative spark of my students. I hope that you can accept this gift of time to be who you can now be. One of the joys of getting older is finally being able to put a lot of things in perspective and revel in the small gifts we now can see with open eyes.

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      Ann Grasso
      Reply

      Well said, Ann-Marie.

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