Baby Boomer Woman: Anne-Marie Hood

by Anne Holmes on April 20, 2010

Join the NABBW Canadian member Anne-Marie Hood as she shares her busy writing life, her family, travel adventures, and her retirement plans and dreams for the future…Welcome Anne!

  • Using one paragraph, tell us a bit about yourself?

I’m employed full-time as an Administrative Assistant with the Province of New Brunswick. On December 16th, I’ll have 35 years of service. But it’s what I do outside the office that really excites me.  I’m also a writer and book reviewer with over 30 reviews published to date.  Unfortunately, most of the reviews are for the local newspaper so the books reviewed need to have a connection in some way to Fredericton or surrounding area.  I have recently branched out and did a profile and book review for Atlantic Books Today which feature books written by Atlantic Canadian authors. The pay is better, too, which is an added bonus.

  • Tell us about your family; married, divorced, children, grands, boomerangs or parents living with you, etc.

I have two daughters, one is married and has two boys, ages 8 and 5 and the other lives at home and attends the University of New Brunswick. I remarried three years ago. When people ask me if  I’m happily married; I reply with honesty, “It depends on which day you ask me.”

  • What is your favorite childhood memory that is reminiscent of growing up in the 50s, 60s or 70s?

I remember walking to the store with my father to buy me a treat. Small tubs of ice-cream were $.10 and the larger ones $.18. The tubs came with a flat wooden spoon and I would eat the ice-cream on our way back home.

  • What qualities do you have that speak of our generation of women?

I’m a strong, resourceful woman with a great deal of integrity. I’ve done well for myself despite not having a high school diploma. Over the years, I took courses to enhance my career development. I’m proud to say that my being a responsible, dedicated worker has served me well both in my personal and professional life.

  • What inspires you?

I love books, especially those written by individuals who write from the heart and share how they overcome obstacles in their life. I believe part of my success today can be attributed to the many self-help books that I read. While reading, sometimes I would cry and tears would fall on the page, but I also feel that I too, learned from my mistakes. It’s true, when you know better, you do better!  Being around other writers also inspires me. They simply fuel my soul.

  • What brings you the most pleasure in midlife?

Having the knowledge that I’m quite capable of looking after my own needs. Yes, I remember what it was like to be young, but I so enjoy this age!

  • Do you have any interesting hobbies?

Not so much interesting as enjoyable. I love flower gardening and take great pleasure in finding plants that I don’t have. I also love to cook. I have numerous recipe books and scads of loose recipes that I cut out of magazines.

  • Do you have a favorite book or movie? If so, tell us why it’s your favorite.

My all time favorite movie is Grease followed by Dirty Dancing.  I love the music and of course, the romance.

I don’t have favourite book as I’ve immensely enjoyed so many.

  • Do you travel and if so, who are your favorite travel partners and where do you like to go?

Yes, I like to travel but my husband doesn’t. Thank goodness my friends, Louise, Lynda and Mary enjoy taking day trips and for a great shopping spree, we can go to Bangor, Maine for the weekend which is about three hours from here. I’ve been to the west coast of Canada and thoroughly enjoyed Vancouver Island.  I’ve also been on missions trips with 17 people from my church. In 2008, we went to New Orleans and this past February we went to Port Arthur, Texas. Last fall, my friend Mary and I went on a bus tour to New York. We had an incredible time. I definitely want to go back, it’s a fascinating city.  I hope to go somewhere in 2010 but currently don’t have any particular destination in mind.

  • Do you practice preventive medicine? Please elaborate.

Yes, I take a vitamin C, B12 complex and calcium carbonate tablet every morning. I try to follow a low-fat diet and I’ve a 20 minute walk in the morning gives me more energy in the afternoon.   I find taking a leisure bubble bath also helps me unwind.

  • What do you stress about?

Too busy at work at times and with issues in my marriage.

  • Is it important for you to retain your youthful looks, and if so, to what degree are you willing to go?

Yes, I like to retain my youthful look so I keep my naturally curly hair coloured and cut short which is more becoming on me. I can’t see myself ever having cosmetic surgery so I’ll have to continue with my current regime that constitutes wearing a bit of makeup, flattering clothes and nice jewelry.

  • Have you re-invented yourself, and if so, how?

Yes, at the age of 40, I took the Absolutely Terrified Swimming Course and completed all three levels. At 45, I took piano lessons and bought myself a digital piano. Now I play just to amuse myself which suits me just fine.  In my late forties, I knew I was destined to be a writer but needed help with the craft of writing, so I enrolled in a distance-education creative writing course. My diploma is proudly displayed on the wall near my computer. I joined the Professional Writers Association of Canada, and last year I became a member of the National Association of Baby Boomer Women. Today, in my mid fifties, I’m also a public speaker, so it’s only getting better. Can’t wait to see what 60 is going to bring!

  • Do you plan to retire?

Definitely. Working is interfering with the things that I really love to do. I hope to retire in May 2011.

  • Are you doing anything to GO Green?

Yes, I recycle paper and plastics. Soda pop cans and juice cartons go back to the Redemption Centre. Unfortunately, the only glass bottles they take are beer bottles.  I’m also Secretary of a Steering Committee that’s in the process of opening a Bibles for Missions Thrift Store in Fredericton. We’ll be accepting all sorts of items that might otherwise end up in the landfill site.

  • Do you engage in any faith based practices?

Yes, I attend church every Sunday and I’ve participated in several bible studies.

  • Can you pinpoint major turning points in your life that led to your life’s work/play at midlife?

Our church participated in the 40 Days of Purpose based on Rick Warren’s book, The Purpose Driven Life. For my 50th birthday, I did my professional of faith. It was the best gift that I could give to myself.

  • Do you still have unfulfilled dreams, and are you doing anything to accomplish them?

I would say no, and after reading Prill Boyle’s book, Defying Gravity you’re never too old to fulfill a dream. I loved it. You never know what dream tomorrow may bring,  with determination, anything is possible.

  • How do you make a difference in the lives of others, your community, your world?

I volunteered for our local affiliate of Habitat for Humanity for five years. I partner with Bridges of Canada, a prison ministry that assists offenders, ex-offenders and their families. There’s Neighborhood Link who obtains items for families in need, especially women and children who left the Transition Home to move into an apartment. The missions trips I’ve been on were wonderful and the blessings received beyond measure. I send lots of cards to let others know that I’m thinking of them.

  • Who has had the biggest influence on your life and why?

Since I’ve become a Christian, the Lord and His word play an important role in my life. I truly appreciate the gifts that He has bestowed upon me. Al-a-non was instrumental in my life twenty years ago. Today, I’m not with a drinker but the messages in the Courage to Change book help me to live one day at a time and the Serenity Prayer says it all.

  • If you were to have a personal mission statement, what would it be? Feel free to be as serious or fun as you choose.

My personal mission statement is that I will use the gifts that the Lord has given me to the best of my ability, and ensure that love and laughter are priorities in my life until the end of my days.

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