Monday 20th September 2021

Women Of Courage Series. #67 Terri Webster Schrandt. 98/2021.

Women Of Courage Series. #67 Terri Webster Schrandt. 98/2021.

Two years ago….around this time of year, I tentatively courageously launched Women of Courage series on my blog and here was what I said then:

I got this idea from attending the Newcastle Writers Festival in April 2019 and hearing the wonderful Jane Caro speak about her book Accidental Feminists. IF you ever get a chance to listen to or read Jane’s works they are very good.

What I considered after that day and in the days to come is how we women have a tendency to underplay our achievements and whatever else we are doing in our lives. I know this is changing.

This third series of blog posts on Denyse Whelan Blogs to be found here will continue to be published each Thursday.

Here is the introduction to the series.

Courage is strength in the face of pain or grief. It’s doing something that frightens you. We face situations that demand courage every day. These situations provide us with choices, and the way we respond to those choices determines our future. Dayne Shuda

Today I welcome Terri Webster Schrandt who is 61,  to share her story as a Woman of Courage. Terri and I ‘met’ virtually in January 2021 when I was encouraged by a mutual blogging friend Debbie Harris (whose story is here) to be part of a Sunday Photography challenge called Sunday Stills. That was so much fun to begin the year with I have kept going. When I asked Terri to share a story, she was right onto it and I appreciate that so much. Over to Terri, with gratitude.

 

 What have you faced in your life where you have had to be courageous?

I’ve never really been afraid of anything, being raised in nature and the outdoors.

My temperament requires that I exist without uncertainty and a lot of structure, so you can imagine how 2020 has treated me (and the rest of us)!

Before I begin, I want to acknowledge that everyone of us has shown immense courage and faith simply by existing in a world-wide pandemic, the likes none of us has ever seen.

But if I could define “courage,” I could describe that over the years I have taken several life-changing leaps of faith over the years:

  1. After meeting my first husband, I moved away from my hometown of San Diego at the age of 20 to be with him in Sacramento. I had no friends or family, and it was like starting over. I wasn’t even engaged, but I was accepted by his family and began a new life and married a few months later. Exciting and unnerving at the same time.
  2. I initiated a divorce in my mid-30s and raised 2 daughters as a single mom, with no monetary help and no family nearby. During this time, I worked in a demanding full-time job in public service and taking part-time work when I could.
  3. A few years later I went for a master’s degree at age 46 with the intention to teach at the university level.
  4. After meeting my current husband at age 49, he wanted to teach me how to windsurf. A scary sport especially in the Sacrament River delta where tides and high winds can be quite punishing to an aging body.
  5. Just a few years later I booked my first international flight to Mexico to windsurf in the Sea of Cortez. You definitely need courage to brave the open sea on a windsurf board. A subsequent visit to swim with whale sharks was icing on the courageous cake.
  6. At 55, having given 32 years of service to my long-term job, I retired with a decent pension while continuing to teach at the university and take on more classes. Have you ever retired? It takes a bit getting used to, even though I considered myself “semi-retired” at the time.
  7. But more notably, my biggest act of courage was to buy property in another state, build a new home there and completely retire. Imagine leaving a successful teaching job after 10 years? Imagine packing up belongings in a house you’ve lived in for 32 years? And doing it all during a pandemic where uncertainty was the operative word of the year.

 

How did this change you in any way? Please outline further if this has been the case.

From these life experiences I gained resilience, but I also acknowledged my faith in God during all of these times. Because of this faith and my ability to be a great planner, things always seemed to work out.

 

Is there something you learned from this that you could recommend to help others who need courage?

At the risk of sounding naïve or to diminish true acts of courage like facing a serious illness, I always look on the bright side and believe that things will work out the way they should.

Sometimes we want something and don’t get it right away or at all. As Christians, we’re encouraged to pray and ask God for what we want and/or need. Sometimes God answers with a “not yet.” A hard answer in an instant-gratification society.

 

Do you think you are able to be more courageous now if the life situation calls for it? Why is that?

Now that I have put in a few years and took these leaps of faith, I feel that I can be courageous when the time calls for me to do so.

I have the temperament that enables me to remain calm under pressure and would be able to respond at an accident scene if need be.

Now that I live in a rural area, we are more vulnerable to visits by wild animals, potentially difficult winters, and longer times spent driving, all which could lead to dangerous situations that require quick thinking and fortitude.

That idea does make me think twice about a lot of decisions I make.

 

Is there any message you would give to others facing a situation where courage could be needed?

Simply put, do what you do best.

Know what you can handle.

Sometimes ordinary people are placed into extraordinary situations and we respond best according to our life experiences.

Can I handle a visit by a moose? Sure! I’ll even have my camera ready, but I will be careful!

If there is a blizzard in mid-January, will I hop in my 4-wheel drive vehicle and run to the store? Probably not.

Wisdom is a key player when it comes to being and feeling courageous.

At the same time, living life to the fullest is how God intended us to live while here on Planet Earth.

 

 

Thank you so much for your story shared here with us today Terri.

Do follow Terri, as I do on these sites, below. Lots to see and read there.

Denyse.

 

Social Media:

Blog/Website https://secondwindleisure.com/

Twitter https://twitter.com/leisureprof

Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/SecondWindLeisurePerspectives/

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/terri.websterschrandt/

Joining with Natalie here for Weekend Coffee Share.

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