Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Landing on my feet~

My retirement began "officially" slightly more than a dozen days ago. So I still think on "school time." I wake about the time first period begins. I know the teachers are hustling their classes to the cafeteria at 12:05 for a noisy lunch, then recess. I think of them again at 2:15 when the kids board the buses to go home.

Don't get me wrong. I'm glad I'm not there, although I am still there in my head . . . a little. I visited the school website yesterday and looked at the daily bulletins. Same old, same old: meetings, fundraisers, and the lunch menu. I clicked around the site a little more. Nice place to visit, but I wouldn't want to work there.

Last night I had a dream. I was in school watching all the hustle and bustle as teachers prepared their classrooms and gathered supplies. I chatted with them as they scurried around. I was glad to see everyone, but aware that my roll had changed. They were involved and I wasn't. They had work to do. I didn't.

One teacher was high up on a ladder picking books from a shelf. I climbed up to talk. I can never make it past the third rung in real life, but I climbed to the rafters. So this is where they keep the books now, I thought. Then I looked down and froze. I was dream high, impossibly high, and scared stiff.

I needed to get down, and fast. So I closed my eyes and stepped off into thin air . . . and floated, soft as a feather to the floor.

So . . . I guess I've stepped into retirement and landed on my feet. I wonder when it will feel real, and not just a dream.
Nothing happens unless first we dream.~Carl Sandburg


RiverPoet said...

What a wonderful dream, Ruth! It's just a symbol of how far you've come. You're embarking on a great new phase of life now!

Peace - D

Lisa said...

Oh, that sounds like a nice dream! I would love to float down into that beautiful soft grass in that photo. So lovely! That school bus photo is awesome as well.

Janice Thomson said...

Your post brought back memories of my own retirement - of still being a part of work, yet knowing I really wasn't. It was a bit surreal for a few weeks. Now it seems like 'way back then'. I must admit I never had such a beautiful dream as yours though :)
Welcome to retirement my friend.

Tere said...

I loved the dream. I know nothing about dream interpretation but I believe what we dream is directly related to something in our real life. You pointed that out so beautifully and tied it up with a bow. You always make me think Ruth.

leslie said...

I've been wondering how you've been faring these first few weeks of school. I already have every day from 3:30 to 4:30 booked with students to tutor. I must admit I enjoy it as it gives me a way to stay "connected," but still free to do my own thing the rest of the time. I, too, still dream of being in the classroom but always am relieved it's only a dream! :D

Greg C said...

That brought back memories of how I felt when I retired from the Navy. Sometimes I would wake up with the sun shinning and think. OMG I am late for work and then settle down and realize that I wasn't. I still sometimes have vivid dreams about it though.

Barbara said...

It does take a while for the reality to sink in and to re-establish a routine. You will never be sorry!

Alice Folkart said...

Ruth, do you know the Tarot deck? The card that I always think of as 'me' is the Fool, a gaily dressed (think Medieval minstrel or jester)young man is stepping off a cliff into mid-air, brilliant banners floating in a gentle breeze, below him a pleasant world of fields and forests, rivers and seas, villages and the spires of a castle in the distance. Your dream, your climbing higher than you've ever climbed, finding out where the 'books' (ideas, knowledge, coherence) are, and then, willingly and without fear just stepping off and out from that and finding that it's OK, soft landing, pleasant flight, is wonderful.

You're separating from the old life a thread or two at a time. I think we all do that. It doesn't end at the retirement party and signing up for Medicare, in fact, I suspect that it doesn't really end. We just incorporate our experiences to the point where they become part of us, like taking in food which then becomes muscle and bone, that we don't even notice, but upon which we depend.

But, then, who am I to say. Haven't had a single dream that I remember about the place where I worked for 22 years, and it's just as well.

I know that once you get your sea legs, for it is a new voyage on a limitless sea, you'll make the most of the wind.


Ruth D~ said...

Hi all~ I love dreaming. For one thing, it mens I've actually been asleep-- the deep restorative REM sleep-- and I like to see the symbolism . . . which for me rids close to the surface.

Alice~ I should pay you for your reading. You've gone deeper than I did.

Belladonna said...

Tonight as I wandered through the open air farmer's market in the town of the college I recently left I ran into one of the faculty I knew over the past few years while I worked there. We chatted for a bit about how things are going there...preservice, fall new student orientation, all that. I miss a few dear friends, but I'm glad I'm not there anymore.

Of course, I'm not retired, some days I feel I've jumped out of the frying pan into the fire with my new responsibilities. But I could well relate to your mental check in with the rhythm of school. I find myself doing that at times as well.

Susan said...

A lot here to mull over, Ruthie! came to see your blog from flickr, where we met! Love the photo of the path through the field that you used in this post!