Reflections on Milestone Birthdays

Yesterday, I had what people call a milestone birthday – I turned 60. That’s a lot of miles travelled on this long and winding journey and on reflection, I realized that each of my “milestone” years has actually been quite significant. Just for fun (or if you think not, you can stop reading now), I thought I would share these memories with you.

1964 – I was 10. I started Grade 6 at South School. Significant for two reasons. I had left the comfort of South Hill School (they really weren’t too imaginative with school names in Red Deer at that time) where I had spent the first four years of my school life. At South Hill, frankly I was the ‘in’ kid – in those days, academic accomplishment really ruled. This was about to come to a crashing halt.

Not only was I now at a school with many new children thrown into the mix, I was with an entirely different grade. I had skipped grade 5 – my girls are now groaning as my mention of this has become a family joke! However, this had a very significant impact on my life. I was lucky enough to have friends in this class – most notably, my life-long pal, Darlene – so I wasn’t alone, but my status had definitely changed. While my confidence was boosted for academic reasons, I think that for many years, this event had a negative impact on my degree of social confidence.

On the up-side, if I hadn’t ‘accelerated’, the term they used at that time, my life might have taken a totally different path as it’s really all about what, or more importantly, who, we meet along our journey.

On the down-side, I missed learning about explorers in Grade 5! And they groan again……

1974 – Here I am, 20 years old, in Edmonton, completed my Med Lab training at NAIT and the Edmonton General Hospital, working at my first job at the Canadian Red Cross. I go for a weekend to the small town of Barrhead to visit my bestie, June. And I meet a guy by the name of Harvey Padget. This was quite the milestone. Here we are now – next month, we will celebrate our 37th wedding anniversary!


1984 – wow, already 30. Harvey & I have had a pretty great 10 years – travelled, established a home and our careers. I have even left the comfort of the Red Cross and am working as the Blood Bank supervisor at the Royal Alexandra Hospital. Perhaps time for another significant milestone – on January 8, 1985, we become the proud parents of Kelsey Jean Padget. And three years later, October 30, 1987, her sister, Kristin Alana arrived. The greatest blessings of our lives – and my goodness, the journey changed.

Anyone who has had children knows how dramatically life changes. I was an independent, confident career person who suddenly was at the mercy of an 8 pound baby, with colic. She didn’t follow the established procedure manual! But that crook in the road passed quickly, although it seemed forever at the time, and the next time, I had the baby who slept through the night in the hospital.

Along with parenting skills, over the next few years, I paralleled my lab career with that of the perpetual volunteer (playschool treasurer, classroom helper, parent council chairperson, helper to soccer coaching Dad, skating club treasurer/ president/ webmaster/ event planner, skating association board member, etc. etc.) – and loved every step along the way! So many new experiences, so many new friends!

1994 – Lordy, Lordy, look who’s 40! I was back working for Red Cross (or had it become CBS yet – who knows?) – casual job in the lab. And my dream job came up. How lucky was I to become the program coordinator for the ALQEP TM program! This job has given me the opportunity to use my passion for immunohematology, to liaise with blood bankers across Canada, and the flexibility to not only continue with my many out of work activities, but also to take on other career challenges. Becoming an AABB assessor has been a highlight – combining my love of travel with the opportunity to visit labs all over North America, as well as Hawaii and Italy.

2004 – 50 – half a decade – so hard to believe. That year, another turn in the road led me to become an Assessment Coordinator with the CPSA Lab Accreditation Program. This has led me to new career challenges as an Accreditation Consultant with the CPSA. I am truly enjoying the miles along this road!

2014 – and that brings us to today – 60 years old. My goodness, time certainly changes one’s perception on when old age begins. I know there will be some significant events in this milestone year and I’m looking forward to saying some farewells and following some new turns in the road.

I feel so blessed with my family, friends and career! Thank you to everyone who has been with me at some point thus far in the journey and I look forward to so many more good times.

Stay tuned…..


Bev (aka ‘the old boot’)