A NEW LEARNING
“How’s retirement treating you,” everyone who hasn’t seen me for a month asks. “Really good!” I blithely say. “I like it.”
It takes too long to answer candidly one of those predictable break-the-ice exchanges. If I were to answer fully, my acquaintance would charge me therapist fees. It’s been five months now since I retired and began staying at home – in Christine’s space. Are you intuitive? Do you know where this is heading?
Prior to my retirement becoming official, a thoughtful woman gave Christine a book to prepare her for my homecoming. “Honey, I’m Home for Good,” was the title. Christine loved it and laughed, that is before she had to live it. Does anyone have a problem? I am always here. That’s the problem. I should cover my tail on this one. It’s not so much a problem as an adjustment. I have upset my wife’s routine. I haven’t meant to do it but that doesn’t matter. Hitherto, what a great and antiquated word. Hitherto when I worked, I slipped away early to the office and Christine could sip a few mouthfuls of coffee, go for her morning walk, sit with her journal, be quiet, then in time turn on Regis and Kelly, perhaps dust and clean house in a stress-free manner taking as much time as she liked while listening to CBC classical. Now she may be sitting with her journal when I trundle to the kitchen for another cup or go to the can. Apparently the sound of flushing disturbs one’s prose. Oh, certainly I have agreed to share household chores, so I vacuum and I wash the kitchen floor and do anything else she invites me to do. But that poses a concern because I work too fast and do not take time to enjoy the process and thereby create an environment that makes her feel that she has to rush her tasks as well. Christine also graciously cares for two of our grandchildren two days each week. With me at home, she cares for three dependents. She is constantly concerned about how I am handling the grandkids’ volume and interruptions.
That is how I would respond to the initial question if I felt a freedom to be more than merely courteous. Oh, and that is only half of it but it’s enough for now. It’s a good thing that Christine doesn’t bother reading my blog. She wonders why anyone wants to air personal stuff anyway. If she knew about this entry, well! What would she do? Maybe threaten not to go to bed with me. Big deal. I am already sleeping in the guest room, for three weeks as a matter of fact because I have had a lingering head and bronchial thing going on.
Really good. We like it.
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