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Thursday, 12 February 2009

A New Career After 65? In Your Dreams

By Carol Gardner of In Your Dreams

Here I am up on the rickety platform. Braced by listing stilts high above the turbulent water, the structure verges on collapse. Boards come loose, and the supporting joists bow badly. Torrents of water keep the river below roiling.

Paralyzed with fear, I crouch, afraid to move, barely breathing. I am not alone. With me on the flimsy platform, sit some of my co-workers. Only I seem concerned over our plight. Then (oh, I don't believe I'm doing this), I get up and walk around, amazed at how easy it is.

An adventure on the Amazon? Some other death-defying venture? Nope. Tucked beneath my cloud (the name I call my comforter), I dream. While still in the dream, I struggle to waken and, groggily, find my pen and notebook. With eyes closed I write all that I recall - sometimes writing on top of previous writing - hard to read in the morning.

Since around 1990, a little at a time, I pay attention to dreams. Most, just like the one above, are metaphors for current problems - often with solutions. Sometimes they're prophetic, or as dream scholars say, "precognitive." Wanting to reach unscholarly, just plain dreamers (like me), to share our universal language, I begin writing about them - the dreams themselves and my interpretation of them.

As I create a life more conducive to reflection, I nurture and enrich this important part of my being. And in welcoming these nightly consultations, my dreams grow in occurrence and substance.

Do you wonder what the scary, adventure dream is about? Well, at the time I had this dream, and others like it, I was contemplating leaving my "real" job. Consumed with fear over the loss of my job and paycheck, I finally decided to make the break, and write about something I knew - my own dreams!

Take a look. The metaphors are all there: the supporting structure (job) that's falling apart, the potential of falling (failing), and maybe even drowning (the consequences from loss of a regular salary). Notice, I'm the only one concerned over this, not my co-workers. Then, finally, the courage to stand up, move around and find out how easy it really is.

With a boost from the work I accomplish in my sleep, I have the courage to pursue an unusual craft, while leaving a conventional job.

Oh, and before nodding off, I'd like to leave you with a wish that you sleep tight and make a little room for dreams.

[EDITORIAL NOTE: All elders, 50 and older, are welcome to submit stories for this blog. Instructions are here.]

Posted by Ronni Bennett at 02:30 AM | Permalink | Email this post

Comments

With eyes closed I write all that I recall - sometimes writing on top of previous writing - hard to read in the morning.

I find that if I'm thinking of something I'm writing about, or planning to write about, that when I go to sleep I dream about it and the words I need find their way to the pages of the notebook I keep on my nightstand, neatly stacked one upon the other.

The next day my work is cut out for me trying to decipher that which I've written during the night.

Yes, I did start a new job at age 64. It was in an institution from which I retired eight years later, and then stayed on to do some part time consulting work...until I was 74. It was terrific and gave me my health benefits for my retirement years, an IT network, and many colleagues. One colleague became a friend and my co-author on A Time of Our Own: In Celebration of Women Over Sixty, published by Fulcrum Publishing in 2008.I recommend that we work as long as opportunities present themselves.

Yes, I did start a new job at age 64. It was in an institution from which I retired eight years later, and then stayed on to do some part time consulting work...until I was 74. It was terrific and gave me my health benefits for my retirement years, an IT network, and many colleagues. One colleague became a friend and my co-author on A Time of Our Own: In Celebration of Women Over Sixty, published by Fulcrum Publishing in 2008.I recommend that we work as long as opportunities present themselves.

How was that for a misplaced modifier? It's the words that are stacked not the pages.

That was a great interpretation of your dream, Carol. I used to keep a dream journal and the message becomes clear if you see a pattern.

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