How I’m becoming #BOLD in 2021 – March reflections

Becoming Bold in 2021

My Word of the Year (#WOTY) for 2021 is BOLD. In case you missed it, you can read my original post here:

60 years old and feeling BOLD!

Bold in the choices I make, bold in my blogging, bold in how I speak to myself, bold in decisions I make, bolder in relationships….

Great quote for my #WOTY BOLD!

So far I’ve summed up my reflections in January and February. I’m going to try different ways of sharing my WOTY with you throughout the year, that way you help keep me accountable 🙂

At the start of each month I plan to reflect on the previous month and how I’ve dealt with being BOLD. I see it as a learning experience and it helps me have a focus for the month/year. I loved doing this last year when my word was Jump.

Here’s my bold photo for March

I’m wearing my new Be Bold, Be Brave, Be You t-shirt and had fun playing with some photo editing to get this ‘pop’ look.

Bold Debbie 2021
Bold Debbie 2021

What did March show me in terms of being bold?

Brave – I was brave in March by facing my fears of going to the dentist for the first time in a while! Due to my dentist’s location during Covid, I was reluctant to venture there and just kept putting it off. Now, I have to tell you that my dentist is the loveliest man and when I finally made an appointment to see him, he didn’t rouse on me, he calmly asked how things were going, commented on my lovely yellow shoes and checked my teeth, knowing how anxious I can be sitting in the dentist chair. They understand my, I’ll admit it, sometimes irrational fear, and treat me accordingly. Luckily there was nothing wrong with my teeth and I was up and out of the chair within 10 minutes – smiling once again!

I bought myself a new t-shirt saying just that – Be Brave, Be Bold, Be You – and I smile whenever I wear it.

be bold, be brave, be you tshirt
be bold, be brave, be you tshirt

Old memories – with all the scandals coming to light in Australia (in Parliament House and many other work places) at the moment; the talk about inappropriate behaviour; and the recent March4Justice protests; I was reminded of some awful situations from my time working in a men’s correctional centre. The feelings of rage returned as I’ve watched the news and heard the stories. I was one of only a handful of women working in a very male dominated workplace and often felt the need to assert myself, but when I did, I was labelled as being ‘hysterical’, ‘hormonal’, ‘angry’, or just plain ‘out of my depth’ and ‘aggressive’. In fact I was often the one being ‘professional’!

When I first started in the Education section all those years ago, someone told me I’d be eaten alive – I was never too sure who they meant – by the inmates or the officers. As usual this type of comment spurred me on to prove them wrong – and I was there for 22 years – only finishing up when the State Government decided to outsource Education provision to ‘cheaper’ providers (don’t get me started on that one) and making me redundant at the age of 56.

I could tell some stories about inappropriate behaviour, suggestiveness, innuendo, downright rude and wrong comments and to this day the feelings of rage build up when I think back on some of these situations. I was lucky to have the support of my staff and others but generally it was a case of just put up with it and try not to let them know how much their words and actions affected me. It was a form of bullying and wore me down at times but I had to get on with things and cope as best I could. Let me just say, my issues involved staff and inmates, so it was a challenging place to work at times. I’m sure things are changing now, it’s a cultural shift that has to happen.

I’m so glad that I am out of the workforce and don’t have to put up with this type of behaviour any longer, but I know I was brave and bold when I had to be, even if I was quaking in my boots while putting on a brave face.

Learning new things – despite turning 60 late last year, I am still learning new things. I’m a work in progress! A new thing I’ve done this month is convert some of my posts into a podcast – yes I’ve added a new way of sharing my words. Listening to a podcast is like listening to an audiobook and is great for those who like to listen to something while walking, driving, ironing, or cleaning.

Not every post is suitable as a podcast but I’m having fun learning a new skill and putting myself out there – another example of being bold! I don’t like the sound of my own voice but I’m pushing through that! I am thankful for Sue at Women Living Well After 50, who has a very successful interview podcast series and has recently introduced Micro Monday podcasts to her list of offerings. She has been very helpful and encouraging, not to mention inspiring! You can find my podcast here: Life Inside Deb’s World – although don’t get too excited, I’ve only recorded 2 episodes so far! But it’s a start and all great journeys begin with one step 🙂

This all started when I saw a post on WordPress about turning your blog posts into a podcast using Anchor, and I followed through with it. I honestly couldn’t believe how easy it was. It only works with WordPress.com sites so may not be available for those who are self hosted. You can read more here if you’re interested.

Ditzy – You may be surprised to hear that I can be ditzy! I am sometimes serious and focussed but I can also be silly, forgetful and plain old ditzy. I like to consider this a strength but it’s not always the case 🙂 Being bold calls for me to be honest, so I’m acknowledging this trait, right here, right now!! We are all bold in our own way!

Blogging
Blogging

Life isn’t meant to be lived perfectly…but merely to be lived. Boldly, wildly, beautifully, unintentionally, imperfectly, magically lived.

Mandy Hale

So that’s my BOLD story for March!

What’s next?

I’m planning to continue to review my WOTY each month – what I’ve managed to achieve, how I’m feeling, what I can change or maybe find new things to add to my list. Feel free to make any suggestions on how I can embrace being bold (and beautiful) 🙂

Before you go

I hope you’ve enjoyed my latest edition of Becoming Bold, please let me know your thoughts by leaving a comment below.

I’m also a guest over at Leanne’s Cresting the Hill blog, talking about Cultivating a Bold Streak. It was great to look at my word of the year in conjunction with her word of the year, Cultivate, and combine them for a different perspective. I always like being a guest and appreciate the invitation to share my thoughts in this way. Pop over to Leanne’s post and say hello!

Are you feeling bold too? Tell me how you’re going.

Deb xx

Linking up to Denyse’s #Lifethisweek


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Bold Debbie 2021

A tragic accident at age 17, resulting in a Bravery Award from the Queen, didn’t deter Debbie from travelling the world.  A young retiree,  after being made redundant from her 22 year career managing education programs in a men’s correctional centre, she now loves reading, blogging, riding her ebike and a good cup of tea! Also known as Granny Debs to her 4 grandchildren.

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31 Replies to “How I’m becoming #BOLD in 2021 – March reflections”

  1. Sigh. Sorry I missed this when you posted originally but I am finding I have to limit my blog reading and commenting more as I was not ever going off line…that is the trouble with wanting to be a good commenter and reader as I do.

    The dentist. Of course I know about that but before cancer hit I began telling the dentists I was nervous and they were all OK with me. I think avoiding (see Jo above!!) is not the way for me…I have to do 6 months check..even now!!

    I too was triggered by the Canberra rally and the environment where I worked came back as pretty strong memories of MEN as parents and staff who were incredibly rude, and overpowering as well as performing illegal acts. My AP had come back to school (he had been moved on) accessed my computer after I had gone home and told the cleaner he was given permission….grrr.

    I am sorry for what happened to you too. I thought i was back in my office last week when a member of a group spoke so rudely to me I was taken by surprise. It was the catalyst for my Bright post today.

    Thank you so much for being a kind-hearted and generous sharer of your blog post each week for Life This Week. It makes such a difference to each Monday for me, opening up the blog and …there you are! Thanks for linking up and next week, the optional prompt is joyful. See you then, all being well as they say! Denyse.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Denyse, I know how hard it can be to keep in top of your own blog without trying to keep up with others!
      So many thoughts about your dentist memories, I did think of you as I waited in anticipation.
      We all have different experiences from our time in the workplace and the rally seemed to open my eyes to what I suffered back in the day. You too obviously, so awful!
      I love joining your weekly #lifethisweek and enjoy the variety and your generosity in having us visit.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. What a great word for the year! Yay you for doing a podcast, I take my bloggy hat off to you and as for you being ditzy, I find that hard to believe 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Love your word this year, Deb. I could relate to the part where you wrote about being the only woman in a male-dominated workplace. I was in the same situation long ago too. I think bold women are often labeled as angry, a threat to fragile male egos. Being brave doesn’t mean not being afraid. It means doing what you think is right even though you are afraid. That’s what you did in the workplace. Good for you! And…I love the T-shirt! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Laurie, having Bold as my WOTY has been so much fun so far and makes me live with intention. I think you’re right about bold women being seen as angry and a threat, that was the case in my situation but I had trouble seeing it back then.

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  4. I enjoy your creative, bold heading photos, Deb. First time I have seen Brooke Hampton’s quote – wonderful and fitting. Your dentist note reminds me how it has been 1 1/2 years since my appointment. At this stage waiting for the vaccine. Great shirt – as if you had made it, Deb. 🙂Sad beyond words about the inappropriate behaviour. Inspirational about the podcast! Inspirational in many ways!xx

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Erica, you are a great delight to have commenting on my posts and such a caring person. Your thoughts are so sweet and encouraging, so many thanks to you for being you!

      Liked by 1 person

  5. I need to go to the dentist, I also need to go to the doctor – I haven’t been to either in about 5 years – actually make that 6. Ooops. When you mentioned your experiences, I’d often laughed and said that I hadn’t noticed anything in my corporate career, but the truth is I had but had always laughed it off even though inside it made me deeply uncomfortable. I’m glad women are now feeling more able to stand up for themselves.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Thank you for sharing, Deb. As a scientist who spent most of my working life in a male-dominated environment, your post really resonates with me.
    I was awarded ‘the honorary b*ll*cks’, but giving as good as you get should not be a requirement for a fully equal and respectful workplace!
    We are all fortunate to be living longer and need to use that time wisely. I love that you are challenging yourself and learning new things. I find it so important to resist that fade to grey. As I get older, I don’t feel that my life is winding down, it is accelerating forwards at a great rate and is absolutely brimming with possibilities.
    Go Deb. ‘Be bold and the forces of greatness will come to your aid.’

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Your post really resonates with me – I am a scientist and spent most of my working life in male-dominated environments. I was awarded ‘the honorary b*ll*cks’ but giving as good as you get should not really be a requirement in a professional, respectful and equal workplace!
    I love your ‘go for it’ attitude. We are so fortunate to be blessed with longer lives and we need to live them. I find it so important to feel that I am moving forward, learning and developing. It prevents that fade to grey!
    Go Deb. ‘Be Bold and the forces of greatness will come to your aid!’

    Liked by 1 person

  8. I listened to one of the episodes of your podcast at the weekend – it was great to put a voice to the face and the words! Well done!
    I was nodding along to your paragraph about the dentist – I am exactly the same. I get myself into a right old state from the moment I wake up to the moment I walk into the surgery, even just for my 6 monthly check up! My dentist is lovely, very friendly and professional, there really is no excuse for my anxiety. If there was a world record for getting out of the dentist chair after he says ‘everything’s fine, nothing to be done this time’ I would definitely be a gold medal winner!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Hi Deb – thanks again for being a guest on my blog this week – I love when we interconnect with each other. Your tee shirt is fantastic and so is your latest move towards creating podcasts from your blog posts – very millennial of you! 🙂 xx

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Enjoying these monthly WOTY updates. Thank you for sharing the information about Anchor. I am going to check it out. My daughters keep telling me to do Instagram Reels and videos but I can’t imagine that anyone would be interested in watching me move about my day. Maybe just turning my written blog into an audible option will be a start.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Leslie, I hope you find the information about podcasts helpful. I’m not into the reels and videos much either but do want to stretch myself so I’ll stick with my blog, photos and now my podcast! Hope you had a lovely birthday!

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  11. Well done for going to the dentist, I also hate it but make myself go. We go every six months!
    I remember starting work at 16 in 1974 in London and came across very unpleasant behaviour from men and women, bullying and sexual harrassment. In time I learned to stand up for myself and gave as good as I got. I remember in one job I felt so uncomfortable with my boss I went to lunch and didn’t go back. I have to say I’m glad I don’t work anymore.
    You’re doing well with your boldness 😎

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Alison, we must make the effort to go to the dentist despite our anxiety! I’m sorry to say your story about inappropriate behaviour seems to be all too common. I must admit I’m enjoying being bold!!

      Liked by 1 person

  12. So very proud of you Deb and also proud that you are my cheerleader and friend. You have taken BOLD to a new level and are such an inspiration. It is wonderful seeing you grow, becoming BOLDER and fitting into your skin more comfortably. I’ve heard your story of your job in the correctional facility and you showed great strength and courage to work in that environment. I think what is happening in Canberra is bringing up some painful memories for many women, I know it has for me. I love your t-shirt which sums you up perfectly. I’m looking forward to next month’s adventures in being BOLD. Enjoy! x

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much Sue, I really appreciate your comments and am glad you understand the ‘journey’ I’m currently on. You’re right I’ve seen a few comments from people, including yourself, who have been relived painful memories as a result. I just get so angry about it all! I recently read a book called Women of a Certain Rage and it covered these types of things really well. Yes the tshirt was a good buy and perfect for my WOTY. See you soon and thanks for all your support. xx

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  13. Hi Debbie, I started a comment twice, and lost it. The first one was almost done (sigh) there is always t he possibility of a cosmic reason why it is for the better, but I am skeptical. So without further ado, or another loss, I listened to your podcast and you did a great job. Not sure what I expected your voice to sound like, you have a strong voice and pleasant. I imagine in your work life at the prison, it needed to be strong What I noticed more and should have expected but was caught pleasantly off guard was your accent. If/when you hear my voice you could say to me, “I don’t have an accent, you do!” My grandmother was from Portugal and spoke with an accent and wonderful broken English but because of her, I love all accents and languages, even though I only speak English. You did a good job. I talk for a living, not large crowds but still, and I feel a little intimidated at the thought of doing a Podcast. But since you have set the mark, I will try to follow sometime in t he future. Thank you for being bold and honest and modeling good things in life and for putting yourself out there. I’d better sign off before I lost comment number 3. Best and blessings, Michele.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I love having you along as a cheerleader Michele, your comments always make me smile and today’s was no different! I did wonder if my accent would be noticed and I’m glad you found it easy to understand 🙂 I am hoping to continue my boldness and hope you’ll be back for future updates!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Thanks Debbie, it was great hearing your voice, and I could understand everything. You have probably encountered Enda. Every now and then he will use a word that I am not familiar with and I will ask and he is always gracious in explaining. One thing that makes me truly sad is the mostly white cultural pressure that has been put on people from around the world to fit in, loose their accents and their culture. My dad was a first generation American and I am pretty sure that he and his sibs all dealt with that. He was born in 1910. I think it was worse in the previous century. Anyway, thanks:) Michele

        Liked by 1 person

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