Sunday, March 24, 2013

Another Thing They Don't Tell You

by Leann

If you have children, you may have heard from friends that nothing will ever be the same. It changes your life forever. Then you tune out anything that's said afterward. Because you are obsessed. You WANT those kids. You've dreamed about them since ... well, you dreamed. Then you have them and yes, they change everything. Most of it is good. Some of it? Not so hot. You never knew you had to become a general, an accountant, a referee, a short order cook and a BANK. Is it worth it? Absolutely. Does everything change forever. Absolutely.

My kids are grown, successful and happy. I did my job and I am proud. But now, I have come across another thing the mysterious "they" don't tell you. Yes, you've saved all your life, you're looking forward to no alarm clock, to "quality time" with your spouse. You are obsessed with retiring. Now that I am in the middle of both of us being home, I am learning retirement can be wonderful one day and it can suck the next.

I am more practiced at a less-structured life than my husband. I took early retirement from my day job and have worked as a full time writer since 2005. I've been home, I had a routine. But he worked for 40 years and was a slave to that alarm clock. He was also a manager when he retired and now, left with no one to manage except ME, things have changed.

I am a person who likes "noise" all the time. I used to turn the TV on the minute I got up and mostly ignored it. My husband, on the other hand, wants silence. Oh boy. Now, I am one to respect others wishes--most of the time. But this SILENCE IS KILLING ME. I do not turn the TV on until about 3 PM. It's sort of a compromise, but though I DVR my daytime programs, I am now faced with not being able to "catch up." Ellen and The View, two of my favorite programs, are "girly shows." When he's home, I can't watch them. Ellen makes me laugh, The View makes me think. Apparently those are no-no's!

Once we break ground on our new house, he will be gone a lot and this will improve, but "no noise" is something I never anticipated. He worked in a loud chemical plant all his life. Maybe that's why. What else have I learned? Compromise is my territory, not his. Let's hope that changes in the future.

Any of you retired folks, does this sound familiar? How did you handle it?

8 comments:

  1. I recently left my job due to family issues and my husband plans to retire in four years. We are "different" people, too. I am setting up a home office/sewing/tv room for myself so I can leave my projects spread out and so I can watch my shows. I am a "noise" person and often have a radio or tv on just for the background noise. I would go crazy if it were silent here all the time!! Good luck!!

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  2. When I get up, I put on my own music through the computer, and that is it. My boyfriend hates my music as much as I hate his, so when he is behind the computer, all I hear is the white noise from appliances (which I hate) and the occasional website sounds.

    I think you need a room of your own, and a good chat with your husband that you won't give up all that you like just because he doesn't like it.
    Just make him read this post!

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  3. It's nice to know I am not alone! When we get our house built, there will be places to retreat and he will probably be out on the lake more than he is in the house. I HOPE this is temporary. PLEASE!! :-)

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  4. I can remember whem Roy retired, he would get up each day and ask, " what are we going to do today?". My day usually just evolved without structure, he was used to schedules. I can commiserate about being the compromiser but don't give up who you are. Get a set if tv ears or a sony wireless headset and turn on the tv. It worked for me. I wish I could hear his words each morning, now that he is gone. Take time for and with him.

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  5. And how do you clean house with them under feet! Sheesh never thought I would like someone to be gone a few hours so I could clean!!!

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  6. I have been at home for a while and once I developed a routine it was so much better. Can you get up before him so you can have some alone time? Then you can start the day feeling better. I like having several radios going on the same NPR station or baseball so I won't miss anything if I leave the room so I guess I' m a noise person too. .
    Your hubby needs a routine NOW preferably so,you can catch at least one of your shows as it plays. Can he go to the gym, take a walk, go somewhere so you can do what you want for part of every single day.? Everybody needs that.

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  7. I guess part of the problem is this rent house. Which puts us in very close quarters all the time. There is nowhere to hide!! LOL. Once the house is built it will be different. And Rita, I cannot get the wireless headphones to work with the DVR box we have. I used them all the time in our old home because he always wants the TV muted. He'll even watch dramas with a script on MUTE! Go figure.

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  8. I spend a lot of time in the office on the computer--with the radio on. Don't know what I'm going to do when I retire next year (he retired 20 years ago), but I'm trying to find interesting things to do in the community--an exercise class this year, maybe a book club next year, and maybe I'll try to do some volunteering at the local animal shelter. He settled into retirement very easily but I'm afraid I'm going to be bored.

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