When we got home from Houston after our Christmas visit, Hubby had a meltdown which for him is rather a major event. He was very unhappy that I was announcing to everyone that I planned to retire at the end of the year.
"We have never discussed your retiring. The economy is awful. This is not the time for you to be out of work.
In my mind we had been discussing my retiring for the last two years -- and very seriously since September. As the administration and staff had continued to change in my school district, as I faced taking the last three hours toward final SPED certification in FUNCTIONAL BEHAVIOR FOR ELEMENTARY SCHOOL, I had been consistently saying, "I think it's time I retire." When I met with my advisory at Pitt State after Hubby's heart problems in January 2011, her question to me was, "Why are you doing this? Retire." And from that moment on, I had been "seriously" discussing retirement with Hubby.
I guess we just don't hear what we don't want to hear.
But here's the cool thing about my husband -- he is NOT a stupid man. I walked away from the meltdown he was having at the start of 2012 and thought about his point of view. I began to have doubts myself about retiring. Still a couple of days later, I sat down with him and laid out all my reasons for wanting to retire this year -- why I thought it was really necessary. And at that point I brought with me a budget of what we spent monthly and the estimate that social security had sent me when I turned 65. I could prove that, though we wouldn't be rolling in money, we could manage if we limited ourselves. Hubby listened. Then he processed the information.
As the spring semester rolled on, things got progressively worse for me with my job. By March Hubby was on board, even championing retirement. He was the one who took me to social security to enroll. He was the one who made all the trips with me to the board of education for complete paperwork. When he talked with our friends, it now sounded like his idea, too.
We both agreed that we would have to be careful that I didn't just hole up in the house, never get dressed, and never go outside. I'm not a naturally social person. As an only child from a very small family, I have always been quite comfortable with my own company, creating my own entertainment. I was ten years old before we had neighborhood children I could play with. Until then I had played by myself, mostly inside the house. I had not learned to ride a bike or play sports. I could invent great games though -- and when we finally got a family of boys who moved in two doors from our house, we were outside running around from early dawn until dusk, playing the games I made up in my head -- using all their outdoor toys. It was with them I got my first broken bone, my first big bang up scrapes, rode my mother's two-wheeled bike that she had as a kid, and shot my first toy gun.
Now it's hubby who is carefully arranging that I go outside the house at least every other day. Yesterday he drove me to Target and Trader Joe's. I wanted curtains for the bathroom -- Target only had drapes. We got the dog treats at Trader Joe's. I went shopping for a little over an hour, but it was enough to interrupt the bathroom cleaning, require me to put on clothes, leave the house, and see other people. On Tuesday he took me to breakfast at The Big Biscuit, a new restaurant that opened up across the State Line.
Hubby comes home every day for lunch -- which we actually eat as our main meal. Then we can snack for dinner -- either on left-overs or on fruit and sandwiches. On Sunday he made chili for us. This week I've done the cooking but I've found that if I request something, get it thawed, and the kitchen ready, he's still willing to cook. Last week it was thick pork chops, that were so good we just ate them with sliced watermelon.
I can see he's trying to adjust to having me around all day long. I know in this little house it's not exactly the most optimum arrangement. Some mornings I fix breakfast (biscuits and sausage today) but on others he fends for himself. Every morning he and the dogs take off for his little house around the corner, but it's hot outside and Hubby is not withstanding the heat very well this summer. Usually by 12:30 he's back, taking a nap while I get lunch / dinner prepared. He naps during the afternoon while watching the most vile TV. I work in the computer room or clean in the bathroom while the dreaded marathon of Walker, Texas Ranger takes over the bedroom. Some evenings he takes off to visit with friends or works out in his garage, but he's home usually by 8:30 and then he leaves the TV watching to me, while he plays on the computer.
Both of us are adjusting to this new life we're leading, probably Hubby more than me. It's really nice that we finally have this time together -- and apart -- doing the things we both enjoy. I had worried that Hubby would be cranky and distant once the event was actually a reality. Instead, we are working toward making this new adventure both pleasurable and beneficial.