Beth Rowles Scott did not intend to write a book, nor did she want to publish an autobiography. From her Crescent Beach home, she took up a pen and simply began to write the episodes of her life onto paper as a pastime. She describes the stories that evolved as beads that rolled disconnected in a bowl. After a few completed stories, Beth felt that the beads needed to be strung together.
She found writing coach, Jerrold Mundis, for some guidance and professional opinion. “I wanted to do a really good job of writing, of honing my skills as a writer.” Beth now has her beads thoughtfully strung together in her book Pinch Me: a long walk from the Prairies.
Modestly, Beth expresses her expectations of the book: “I don't feel that I have had an extraordinary life... I thought [the book] would make other people think, 'If she can do it, I can do it.' I hope that it would be a bit inspirational for people who aren't very happy, or don't feel very fulfilled, or feel old. Eighty-one is old. I don't feel old but I am, and it is still a good life.”
Few octogenarians are so ambitious to start a new career. For Beth, it comes naturally. She spent much of her life working passionately as a teacher, a principal and a supervisor for the school district of Surrey. Once retired, Beth went back to school to attain a doctorate of education degree from UBC.
Restless in her retirement, and having completed the highest level of schooling in her field, at the age of 65, she and her equally ambitious husband George initiated the successful non-governmental organization ACCES, the African Canadian Continuing Education Society, a program that provides scholarships for university students in Kenya.
With her new career, and plans for a ninth trip to Kenya with ACCES, Beth is happy to say that she and George do not have too many average days. In her book, she writes, “To be happy, I have been told, you need these three things: someone to love, something to do, and something to look forward to.”
This formula has been a guiding principle in Beth's life. She expresses the importance of it being a look-forward formula and thus motivating to fulfill tomorrow’s goals rather than dwell on yesterday’s sorrows. “At our age, George and I still set goals for ourselves.”
With her third career as a writer in the beginning stages, Beth has finished the first draft of a new novel. Writing has brought her into a completely new world, both professionally and creatively. And it’s a world she likes living in.
APRIL 2010 SENIOR LIVING MAGAZINE VANCOUVER AND LOWER MAINLAND
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