I was feeling close to retirement last year. I got bogged down with some of the less-than-sexy-details of working within a non-profit organization. Occasionally, it has its challenges. I also got overly involved in thinking about my age. My wise adult children refused to consider it. “You’re not retiring!” one daughter angrily insisted. “What, are you sick? No! (answering her own question) What are you talking about?”
I’d been shaken strongly enough to realize the importance of keeping on. Softening, I said, “We’ll see.” I soon decided my daughters were right. Hallelujah.
It’s interesting to note how we internalize expectations surrounding ageing. Some things I had not anticipated, so never thought about (bursitis?dry eye?); while others regarding the “right” age to retire, were culturally imprinted, thought about frequently and not derived from a real need.
People occasionally tell me how much they admire the fact that I’m still working. The truth is, it’s not like I’m descending into a coal mine every day or laying bricks. Mostly, I sit calmly working at my computer. No physical challenges there, except to get away from it periodically. Psychologically, I still experience the same rush I always have when being in the presence of great dance. It’s a high. Why turn my back on that? I also am the grateful recipient of gratitude from the dancers for providing them with an opportunity to do what they love and have trained for all their lives. Having the opportunity to make a difference in someone’s life is a powerful stimulant.
I’m making stimulating new relationships each year because of my involvement. I’m forced to socialize more than I might do otherwise. I know I’m better off because of it.
I could go on. Let it suffice to say that I love the work I do. I’m always thrilled when another DANCEworks season begins as it did this week. The dancers arrive. Their excitement and enthusiasm are contagious. The Lobero Theater stage is lit and occupied daily by dancers and choreographers. My people. My life.
I’m privileged to be able to participate and watch them at work experiencing the sweat, toil and joy of creation and thankful that I’m still working.