Sunday, October 9, 2016

"Slow down and enjoy life. It's not only the scenery you miss by going too fast -you also miss the sense of where you are going and why." Eddie Cantor

I had an emergency appendectomy last weekend, at the age of 63.  I always figured that if my appendix lasted this long without issues, that it was good to last for the rest of my life. Not so!  All over abdominal pain and a high fever, followed by localized pain on my right side several hours later forced me to drive myself to the local hospital emergency room on Saturday morning, which turned out to be the right thing to do. I was in surgery a few hours after my arrival, and then back home in bed about 36 hours later. Let the healing process begin, right?

I think an appendectomy is much more difficult to deal with at 63 than it would have been at 16.  After the surgery, I found out that my normal breakneck pace of doing work, going out with friends, playing golf, writing articles, marketing my books, working all of social media platforms, and filling every hour with some activity was just not going to work.  I couldn't do it - no energy, and too much pain. Who knew I could spend so much time in bed, just thinking? Turns out that I have plenty to think about! 

I had time to mentally plan upcoming presentations,  to think of new marketing ploys for my books, to invent fresh ideas for tweets and Facebook fan page postings, and to gage my work these past few years.  I had time to ponder a strategic plan and to set short and long-term goals.  Also,  I took time to think about how much I continue to miss my life partner, my husband Scott, who died on May 8, 2012. I thought about my wonderful 37 year teaching and coaching career, and I counted the many blessings of life. 

I also took some time to watch my favorite movies and some old TV shows on TV Land, and I wrote greeting cards to friends, and I enjoyed all of those things! I even read a few books. I watched 8 hours of the Golf Channel's coverage of Arnold Palmer's funeral, and read every article published about the man.  So often since I published my first book in September of 2014, I take a little time to play golf, but most of the time, I work. Working fills my time and makes my single life less lonely.  I work on marketing and social media and writing and creating presentations and as a producer for The Total Education Network.  I already worked 37 years as a classroom teacher, and I am supposed to be at least semi-retired. Most of the time, I do enjoy working, but a small infected appendix forced me to stop and reflect about the many hours of my self-imposed workload, and to take a little time for myself.

I am still healing, and I suspect I won't be playing any more golf this season, but I think I learned a lesson about slowing down. I know I am not the only one who goes too fast and does too much, so I am sharing this lesson with you. For starters, just take the time to do ONE thing this week that you would not normally take the time to do.  It feels great!  have a wonderful week!  

Eddie Cantor is the person credited with my title quote.  Born in 1892, orphaned at 2, and raised by his grandmother, he became a Vaudeville and radio star.  A few other famous quotes from Eddie Cantor: 

"It takes 20 years to make an overnight success."
"A wedding is a funeral where you smell your own flowers." Here is Eddie singing his most famous song, "Making Whooppee" 

As always, I welcome your comments and suggestions. Rittman Publishing, LLC ®

Visit Dede's webpage for complete details on her award-winning book, STUDENT TEACHING: THE INSIDE SCOOP FROM A MASTER TEACHER. Many colleges have made the book required readingSigned copies are available Dede is also a national speaker on The Three C's for Classroom success: Confidence, communication, and Creativity; Avoiding Teacher burnout; and many other inspirational topics. 

I LOVE writing. And I love writing children's books- my newest passion. Although it will be a ton of work, I am looking forward to selling my books.  Since I was a secondary teacher, I know that I have much to learn about elementary students, and I will have to follow my own advice and be my genuine self.  However, I also know that I am passionate about helping kids who have to wear glasses, and that GRADY GETS GLASSES sends a positive message. I am willing to work hard and do all the things that also made me a successful teacher for 37 years. I remain inspired! 

Elementary teachers in Western Pennsylvania and beyond - I am willing to come into your classroom in person or as a virtual field trip through a group called Field Trip Zoom.  Check them out! 

Teacher friends- let me know if you want me to read GRADY GETS GLASSES at your school. I am willing to come in to discuss the creative writing process, why writing is important, and personal fulfillment through writing, along with reading my book.  I would appreciate the exposure, and I would make signed copies available for purchase in your classrooms following the reading.  Please email me at  The website now has plush Grady bunnies for sale!

Please like Dede's new page Grady Gets Glasses for updates about her children's book. 

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1 comment:

  1. Delightful reflection of how to recognize that our starts and stops are ordered by God, and both work and rest have purpose. A dear friend spent 2 days in the ER with chest pains; we are now having similar conversations about life, family, responsibilities. Francis Schaffer wrote "How Should We Then Live"