Monday, July 6, 2009

"For Better or Worse... but not for lunch"

OK, this is still my old blog. But as you can see, I haven't written here in quite a while. Most of my writings are on my journal website by the same name. But I have decided to add "Retirement - a new experience" to this "Cats, Coffee, and Chocolate" blog. It will give me an avenue to record the adventure in its early days.

Recently (like 10 days ago) my husband of 42 years took his first day of retirement. It was thrilling... and frightening... at the same time. Thrilling because it was a new experience for us - an adventure into the unknown. And frightening to think that there would be no more paychecks coming in. How would this work? Did we have enough saved to live for another what... 10 or 20 years? (If we're lucky) Our 401K's took a beating like everyone else's in the current economy, so we're certainly going to have to survive on less than we'd planned. Could we?

Well, we'll have to, won't we? But it'll take a little time to sort things out. Right now I'm dealing with what it's like to have someone home 24/7 that's never been home 24/7... except for limited amounts of time (like weekends and vacations). It's different... and takes a little getting used to... for both of us. I think we're going to like it as long as we continue to be aware of the impact this change has made in the way we have previously done things.

For instance, I work mornings at a bookstore, come home, give my cats their treat, and then sit down to read the paper and eat my lunch. With hubby home, he may want me to fix his lunch, or go out to eat, or run some errands with him (or throw the paper away before I get home). And although this is a small thing, it changes my routine. I use that first 45 minutes after work as 'downtime' and then I'm ready to move on. I can adjust... but it's nicer when he is aware that this is different for me. (a friend whose husband has been retired for many years now said this to me... "for better or for worse, but not for lunch.")

Time and money... these are the things we'll have to work out. Not anything new that we haven't dealt with before (I mean, hey, it's been 42 years), yet now in a different way. We've discussed some of this previously; like which up to now routine expenses we might forego, which new ones we might have to take on, where we could trim the budget and how to work out insurance plans, etc. So we're not completely in the dark. And I'm not complaining. Actually so far it's been kind of fun... but again, it's only been 10 days.

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