Serendipity, Jane Lynch, and me

It’s a long time since I’ve had to look for a job. Before I joined The Canadian Jewish News in the early 1990s, I was a stay-at-home mom hoping to find time to write the occasional freelance article.

To be honest, serendipity had a lot to do with my career path. “Full-time staff reporter” wasn’t a job I applied for, or even one I thought I’d be able to fit into my life. I had written a total of four freelance articles for The CJN over a period of several years when I heard then-editor Patricia Rucker speak at my synagogue. I approached her after her talk, and she invited me to send her a copy of my CV. One thing led to another. I was asked to cover an event, then a second one. I became a regular freelancer for the paper, then a once-a-week proofreader as well. A reporter job became available, and it provided me not only with work I loved, but the flexibility to carpool my kids and be available for them when they needed me, as long as I covered some weeknight and Sunday events.

That’s why I was intrigued by a quote in a recent Toronto Star article by Richard Ouzounian. He wrote about Jane Lynch, aka Sue Sylvester on the TV hit Glee:

“Ask Lynch where she wants her career to go next, however, and the answer is surprising.

‘I don’t make lists. I don’t have aspirations. It’s served me well. I do all the footwork and then I allow the universe to roll in at my feet. I make good decisions when they’re offered to me, but I don’t go looking for them.’ ”

Lynch’s philosophy resonated with me. I’m brushing up my resume and looking for work, but I’m also hoping to create a bit of serendipity – networking, and reminding myself to stay open to possibilities.

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7 thoughts on “Serendipity, Jane Lynch, and me

  1. I’m learning that life is all one big adventure. We’re on some strange path. Some people live straight paths, but most live lives with lots of curves. It’s all about how we navigate around the curves.

  2. Well said! I don’t think anyone’s life is really straight forward, and there are always leaps of up and down. In the end, it is all in the perception and how we approach things. Looking for work can be a stressful process, but it can also be a self exploration journey and discovery. Good luck on your journey!

  3. Jane Lynch’s approach is very mindful. It exemplifies the mindfulness attitude of ‘non-striving.’ Non-striving doesn’t mean not making the effort or not having goals. It means putting forth your best effort, noticing how things are in the moment, being adaptable to the needs of the moment and importantly, not be attached to particular outcomes. This frees us up to recognize and jump on different opportunities as they arise. Enjoy your exploration and non-striving Frances.

  4. Frances, I well remember that evening. I too ended up at The CJN through serendipity. I was home with a one-year-old when I saw an article about an issue that arose at the high school where I had taught regarding compulsory Christian prayer. I disagreed so strongly with the version of events given by one of the vice-principals that I called The CJN and spoke with Ralph Hyman. “If you feel so strongly about it, write it up,” he told me. I did….and you know the rest!
    I’m so glad I “passed it on” to you. I’m really enjoying the blog. Keep it coming.

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