Sunday, August 25, 2019

Maybe You Can Teach an Old Dog New Tricks

Two weeks ago, I came out of retirement to return to music education, which is why I haven’t written a blog in a while. I’m teaching high school choral music in a private Catholic school just down the street from where I taught early childhood music for twenty-seven years. I’m thrilled to be back in the classroom, working with motivated young people, dedicated colleagues, and superb administrators. 

However, my new adventure hasn’t been without challenges. After four years of retirement, I forgot how much focus and energy teaching demands. I'm determined to be organized, stay positive, and take care of my health, but I've had to make some major adjustments to both my schedule and my mindset.

Here are a few random discoveries I’ve made in the last two weeks:

  • Starting each day with gratitude carries positive energy throughout the day, even when that day begins at 5:30 am.
  • Brushing your teeth in the dark can result in unwanted surprises. For instance, whitening toothpaste also whitens blue shirts. 
  • If you’ve misplaced your glasses, the first place to look is on top of your head; likewise, wearing glasses in the shower is not recommended. 
  • A narcissist won’t recognize himself in your comments, so you might as well save your breath.
  • Every American now knows the definition of “narcissist.” Except one, that is. 
  • Okay, those last two items have nothing to do with my new job, but I couldn't resist.
  • Laundry gets cleaner when you remember to put detergent in the washing machine. 
  • Starting a new job at the age of seventy is either extremely optimistic or extremely naive. 
  • According to the driver behind me this morning, turning right on red is not optional. 
  • Spending time trying to make life fair is a waste of time. 
  • When HGTV throws a pillow, it’s a design element; when I throw a pillow, it’s clutter. 
  • No one can steal your peace without your permission; one can be peaceful in the midst of chaos. 
  • When your friend leaves her cell phone at your house, calling her cell phone to alert her of the fact is generally ineffective. 
  • The most amazing thing about God’s love is that it’s as if each of us is the only object of that love. 
  • Ending each day with gratitude ensures a good night’s sleep...especially after getting up at 5:30 am.
Undoubtedly, many more discoveries and valuable lessons await me...which goes to prove you can teach an old dog new tricks.
Cindy L. Freeman is the author of two award-winning short stories and three published novels: Unrevealed, The Dark Room and I Want to Go Home. Website:; Facebook page: Her books are available from or