Today is an exciting day at my house… I think. It’s retirement day!!!
My husband is retiring after nearly 40 years in the workforce. And, while we survived 25 years of marriage and all the trials and tribulations of that accomplishment, I am anxious about surviving the next 25 years of marriage with a partner who will be ever present in my daily life.
I am so happy for him!!! He took his work seriously, getting up day after day, week after week, year after year, going to the office and making money to provide for our family. And, now he gets to enjoy much-deserved and earned ‘time off’ in retirement. WOOT WOOT!!!!
I decided early on that I wanted to stay home with our children. So, we sat down with a financial planning program and worked out a plan that would allow me to stay home as well as save money to pay for our children’s college education and for us to retire comfortably.
My husband had a great role model in his grandfather who made it his life’s work to make sure that his wife and child (my husband’s mother) would be cared for in old age, long after his passing. How lucky for me to benefit from a man I never met because of his strong work ethic and commitment to family!
I have had the house to myself during the daytime hours for years, both with children I am responsible for and without. As an introvert, alone time is my fuel and respite!
What will it be like to have hubby home day in and day out? Seriously some days, and to be honest most work days, we only saw each other for a kiss goodbye and a kiss hello. His heavy work schedule and travel and my evenings filled with child-focused activities made quality time challenging during the week.
My husband knew I didn’t care to relive the boring and mundane activities of being a mom or maintaining a home by sharing them with him at the end of the day. But, will my husband expect me to tell him where I am going every time I step out of the house? Will I now feel tracked or watched or even just annoyed at reporting where I am going as it happens or even just doing what I do at home?
As he has been home more leading up to retirement day, he has been helpful, jumping right in when I am doing a chore. But, it can seriously impact my flow!!! Like dude, I have this wired after 25 years. Do I sit back and let him do it? Because I know he is doing it out of love and I so appreciate THAT!!!! Or, do I gently tell him how and when I would like his help without making him feel I don’t appreciate his efforts? Will it kill his desire to help, being told when and how to help?
What will it be like when every day seems the same? Because we won’t be planning and setting time aside for weekend projects and activities, every day will feel like a weekend day! Seems like an ideal, but is it really??? As much as I loved weekends doing things together, I loved my alone time when Monday morning came. What will be it like to have a week without a Monday morning to look forward to?
As my kids went off to college and became independent young adults, I began getting myself involved and putting my skills and talents to work in causes and work that I believed in. As he is ramping down, I may be ramping up as I get excited by ‘working’ after not ‘working’ for so long. What will happen if I become the one who leaves every day and travels for work? Does he expect me to be the partner by his side as he enjoys his retirement, traveling and carving out his new daily routine?
So many unknowns as this new chapter in our lives begin.
It is like we will be building our lives together all over again.
And that is both exciting and scary.