“Retired or semi-retired, we need to feed our souls.”
After 21 years of serving her country in the military, Claire Harder has taken the last few years to focus on herself. She’s rekindled her love for the arts while staying close to her daughter, the one person who’s encouraged Claire to do the things that make her happy.
Claire’s passion for the arts has been with her since she was a child. Though she moved cities about every three years, Claire remembers spending hours drawing and painting. More recently, her creativity was on display through a small bakeshop.
“I used to bake cakes. I had cake baking pans and piping bags and I loved doing it.”
Life got in the way and Claire was forced to give up her baking, but it hasn’t deterred her from her goal of finding what she describes as “food for my brain.” We had a chance to sit with Claire and talk about her past and what she enjoys most about being semi-retired.
Where did you grow up as a child?
Started off in Alberta and we moved around every three years, all over the country.
How did you keep friends when you moved around so often?
Being in the military, you keep running into the same people every three years. You make connections when you’re young and it’s life-long. I’ve had friends for over forty years and we’ll pick up just where we left off. That’s what I’m hoping for when I’m going to these classes at Boomerang.
Tell me a little bit about your past
I served my country for 21 years. I’m medically released. When my daughter moved to Toronto, I’m like “I need to be where family is,” so I moved here. That was four years ago. That was quite the adventure. I moved seven times [in Toronto] trying to find a place to roost. I finally found a place so I’m slowly building up my craft collection.
Do you go online a lot?
I do a lot of googling online. I like to self educate. That’s what I’m really good at. I need the background story. You can’t just tell me, “oh you should do this.” Well, why should I do it? What’s the history behind it? Give me the details. And if they can’t give it to me I’m on the internet finding out.
What are you working on now?
I’m working on me. I’m semi-retired. I think this venue of Boomerang is fabulous because the price point is right and I want to go out and meet new people on the same frequency that I am and connect that way and make new friends and learn something new at the same time. It’s a lot different than meetup.com. So far I haven’t been able to connect with anybody on that venue. But with Boomerang with our classes, this is more my road, my path. I’m connecting more with people. This is smaller, more intimate, vibrating on the same frequency where they want to learn a new skill.
Do you have any large projects you’re thinking about doing?
I have one book in progress. It’s a really dark novel I’m working on. I have to put it on hold right now but it will get written. I’m trying to copy a friend of mine. She made these quilts for her little nieces or granddaughters. One day I want to see if I can do it.
How do you feel semi-retirement is going?
It’s a new adventure. I want to do things that I want to do. Because I’m interested, not because I’m being told. It’s been a challenge to find these things so finding Boomerang was great. It definitely meets that need.
How many Boomerang workshops have you been to?
I’ve been to three Boomerang Workshops: The needle tatting one, the paper flower making one, totally missed out on the origami making one, the writing workshop and I signed up for the needle tatting workshop again because I totally blanked. I loved it so much but blanked on how the thread is supposed to go so yeah I signed up again.
Were you always into the arts?
I’ve always had an interest in the arts but life got in the way. Now I’m starting over and I just want to see what’s out there.
Claire’s been amazing at staying positive and trying new things. She lets her instincts guide her and is steadily finding activities that bring her joy. We look forward to seeing Claire at more Boomerang workshops and we promised her we’d do some classes closer to her home!
Boomerang is a new creative workshops platform that makes it easy for retired & semi-retired individuals to learn new skills, explore their passions & connect with the community. Become a Boomerang Members for free to explore and sign-up for upcoming workshops.