There are people you gain wisdom from who have lived full lives, but there are the rare few that emit happiness from every pore in their body.
Dee is a lady who lives with limitless passion and on her own terms. Case in point: when she got married to her now ex-husband, she wore a purple mini dress with long bell sleeves. She was surprised, as I always thought I would wear black if I got married.
Dee has carved out path after path in this life at the age of 73. She then erases her tracks and starts over. As she told the compelling story of her life thus far, she often slapped her own knee in delight. Can you believe that? she asked.
Read on, and we dare you to say that you could.
1. Changing the world may look different than you think.
Dee worked as a medical illustrator after graduating from University. She then decided she needed to see the world. Rather than doubting her gut, she packed up her life and took a year to transverse Africa. She ended up settling in South Africa with absolutely no proof of her credentials, due to her friends contacting Hepatitis and needing to turn back.
Still, due to my youth, I thought I would change the world. Or at least South Africa, she said. Looking back, she only knows for sure that she changed the lives of three young South African ladies who were not aware of the horrors of Apartheid.
Dee says, that being honest, she still feels that she can make a difference. Every time she gets annoyed, she takes action.
2. When you find it hard to get up in the morning, reconsider your path.
Dee was invited to work as a lecturer in South Africa. Afterwards, she became a nanny in France and learned French fluently after only a year (That wasnt very fast, she humbly remarked).
The bulk of her career, however, was as an award-winning documentary filmmaker. After more than 25 years in the business, bounding out of bed, Dee suddenly found it hard to go to work. She pulled out of the business and found an entirely different path in the fitness industry.
There does not need to be, at any point, the statement Its too late in our vocabularies.
3. Lightning can strike twice.
Dee is happy single. She is happy meeting people. She has had four major loves of her life and found that they were perfect for her for the time that they were together. Soul mates dont have to be forever. At any stage of her life, Dee has never settled for anything less than the thunderbolt.
4. Dont go back.
A voracious traveller, Dee spends much of her time on the road. In fact, she has always worked for herself in order to make this happen. She has been to Syria, Lebanon, Ghana, Iran and Israel, among (many) other countries.
As an independent woman, she goes on public transportation and refuses to have a watered down travel experience. She learns as much as she can, especially with regards to the political environment of the country. Then she rarely goes back.
There is so much to see! Dee exclaims about the entire world. Always looking forward and checking off countries, this is a woman with new stories every year of her life.
5. Write it downand then make it happen.
When Dee was at a standstill after her documentary filmmaking experience, her friend advised her to write down everything she wanted to do that she had never done.
As one of her points, Dee wrote Fitness instructor. Then she got her certifications and impressively, on her first marathon attempt, qualified for New York. She was 61 at the time. Dee calls herself lucky, but we think its clear that its her mixture of spunk and hard work that move opportunities in her direction.
Dee is extremely passionate about working for St. Margaret hospital in Toronto. She calls her passion for volunteering a totally essential addition to a busy and crazy life. If you know anyone who is going through cancer treatment, she and the Healing the Body Volunteers help to take care of the details of life so that they can just focus on healing. For more information, head here.
Dee recited the quote that you regret the things you didnt do more than the things you did do. We dont think she has one iota of a problem with that.