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?