Saturday, December 26, 2020

Out of Retirement

In the past two weeks of my “retired” life, I’ve taught kids at my school and teachers in Orff workshops and performed jazz concerts. I’ve gone to airports and either missed or almost missed flights, put on school performances and taught some of my Jazz Course. Every day without missing one. Or rather, every night. 


For all of this takes place nightly in my dreams. What’s going on? I’m perfectly content with my actual “retired” life, happy to be teaching enough Zoom workshops to keep my foot in the game, not overly yearning for the live class of either kids or teachers (though yes, I will love the moment when both can resume). But a night these past few weeks has not gone by without at least one—and often two or three—dreams where I’m back in the classroom or the workshop. Freudians, Jungians, shamans, any insight?


Meanwhile, my day life is filled with card games, jigsaw puzzles, reading out loud, storytelling and singing, hiking, swimming, hot-tubbing, cooking and more—vacation-life with the grandkids, kids, wife and son-in-law. Lots of laughter, predictable tears, shrieks and shouts, whispers and tender hugs, the high-energy and intensity of life with a 5 and 9 year old, delicious in this one-to-four-week doses and then a bit of longing for the quiet and order of the empty nest. Some of my fellow grandparents, five to ten years older than me, complain of being completely exhausted at the end of the day. I seem to do a bit better, both because I’ve spent so much of my life teaching the little ones and because I’m a bit younger. Helpful to remember that historically, grandparents where as young as 30 and more typically were in their 40’s.


At any rate, if I feel tired from it all at the end of the day, I have a large class of kids or teachers to look forward to in my dreams. So much easier!

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