I have been retired from teaching for four years now. When I first retired, I confess to feeling that I had had enough of youthful angst to last me for a lifetime. But gradually, I became aware that, despite being grateful for many blessings, maybe, just maybe, there was a little something missing in my life. Perhaps I still had some skills and experience that could be useful somewhere. And I think I have found that somewhere at Cheryl's Lodge.
Make no mistake: working with other people's children can sometimes be challenging. The children are often noisy, antsy, silly, or not perfectly behaved. But they are also often funny and smart and incredibly sweet and happy for adult attention. And when I can actually help an appreciative sixth grader understand her homework, well, that is just about the best feeling in the world.
There is an awful lot that needs to be done in this country. Finding a place where your available time, talents and skills match up well with the needs of an organization or cause can be tricky. But I urge you to try. To keep trying.
Last year, when I read a piece by David Brooks, his phrase about living your eulogy versus living your résumé stuck with me. It's not that I crave a glowing, lengthy obit. What I do need, for myself, is to know that while I still have the luck of good health, enough time, and the resources, I am trying to do something, and to do it with love.
Ba na naaaaaaaa!*
*Ask any six year old. They will know.