On Friday, after 46+ years working in the same building (two different employers, multiple different jobs and all three shifts) my husband retired.
I’m excited for him. When I quit my job two years ago, I discovered that I LOVE it. Although I’ve always been a fairly achievement-oriented person, it turns out I’m happy as a clam having my days to call my own. Hubs is much more mellow to start with, so I predict he will luxuriate in not having to get up at five a.m. to go into work.
On the other hand, it will mean some changes. Less income, of course, and new health insurance, courtesy of the U.S. government (in return for a reasonable monthly payment).
But the biggest change, from my perspective, will be having him here all day. I’m used to being home alone when I write. I’m also accustomed to the house being silent during the day. Holding an entire universe in my brain fills it to the max—there’s no room left over for inspirational art or aromatherapy or mood music or even white noise—so I keep it pretty quiet around here.
Hubby, on the other hand, likes to turn on the TV and check out the weather first thing in the morning and then leave the TV on as background noise for the entire day. Fortunately, my writing cave is in an addition at the back of the house that doesn’t readily transmit or receive sound from the rest of the house. (We have an agreement in our marriage contract that states that neither of us is permitted to initiate communication between the old and new parts of the house. If one of us attempts to do so, the other is entitled to yell, “Article Eleven” and the offender must travel to where the target is located and being the conversation again.)
I write a lot on the weekends, so he’s used to my being busy and he doesn’t interrupt me. What may be a greater challenge is that he’s a pretty joyful person and I love the sound of his laughter. When I hear him laugh in the other room, it’s a siren call to go see what’s so funny and maybe grab a quick smooch.
I’m thinking there are worse problems to have.