About Iris

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My biography

Born near London, England, I was educated in England and Canada. After a year as a bank clerk, at age 18 I entered the Vancouver General Hospital School of Nursing, and obtained a Registered Nurse diploma. A year later, I enrolled at the University of British Columbia to further my education and received a Public Health Nursing diploma with second class honours. I married soon after, and while working as a nursing instructor, as a doctor’s assistant, and as a Home Care Nurse, I raised three children. My marriage breakdown after 15 years meant a return to full-time work, and after another spell as a Home Care nurse, I spent several years as a nursing supervisor at the Cancer Control Agency of BC. A yearning for independence sent me off as a franchisee in health consultation, but the franchisor bankrupted herself and I found myself both in a new relationship and joining the Correctional Service of Canada as a forensic nurse.

The next 13 years, I set new priorities and goals, and as my family grew and I re-married, I returned to University part-time to complete a Bachelor of Arts degree in Adult Education, along with an Instructor Diploma. I took a sideways step in Corrections and became a counsellor, assistant therapist, and Living Skills educator delivering various programs to inmates. My yearning to learn more quickly became more insistent and I enrolled at Simon Fraser University to study for a Master of Education degree – a full-time course while I worked full-time! I was over 50 years old and loving my new career path. I had re-invented myself and I liked what I saw!

I designed a Licensed Practical Nurse program for a private school, and taught in the Adult Education department at University of the Fraser Valley for several years as a sessional instructor. As I looked to retirement, I decided on one last “fling”, obtained a Real Estate license and while still teaching, became a Realtor for 6 years. Since officially retiring in 2010, I moved to Panama (for three years), wrote and published two books on that particular adventure, wrote a novel for young adults (turned down so far!), and have become an accredited facilitator to present Conscious Aging Workshops.

Now living once more on Canada’s West Coast, I am well-positioned to deliver the workshops. My array of experience and knowledge and my rapport with people gained along my complicated journey has led me to this effort, and I will approach it and the participants with delight and a desire to help their empowerment as elders in their communities. My spouse is healthy (even though he is over 80 years!), my family is nearby, we live in a smaller (more manageable home) with two adorable cats, and I have a calling to teach still that will be realized over the next several years.

Life couldn’t be better!

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