Month: January 2012

we’re how far into the new year?

Yeah. Not that far. But. Oh, my. We just got into the first week, sort of playing it by ear when everything changed. Life does that, you know. You’re walking down a path, seeing the sunlight, feeling the breeze and Whack! You’re not. So. You go with what you are given. Scary, but true. Some bad news, but not so bad news. I need surgery. But it’s surgery lots of people have had. Lots of people survive it. I should too. The harder part was being overwhelmed by a bit of bacteria that put me under for three days and has me feeling like the walking wounded, still. It’s that feeling of unknown. Of weakness. Of not in control. For a type A like me, this is tough. And….it’s going to get tougher. Tom is not even close to being the same type A as me. Not that he’s a type B, he’s just, well, different. So different.

I’m going to need to be very chemically dependent, I can tell you. I will have to be drugged not to go nutzy. After all, as I’ve said before, this is my universe he’s entering. He’s asked for resident status and he doesn’t even know the rules. It’s like the game BAFA BAFA. Designed by the Navy back in the ‘ugly american’ days, the game was meant to give some insight into the way we have to handle another culture when the rules have developed or evolved over so much time. It was always fascinating watching people try to navigate the unknown. Trying to ferret out what was real and what was unstated. ‘Visible and invisible’ as we say now in the Creed at Mass. Funny to think that all by my lonesome I developed my own culture. But I think I knew that. I used to say we could live anywhere because we brought us with us. True.

Unfortunately, Tom never played the game!

gotten behind…

Wow! It’s Friday. I totally blew off Wednesday, which is trash day. Because with Tom not going to work, I actually lost track of the days of the week. Not that I’m saying it’s Tom’s fault. Just saying…

I have a Day Clock. And you have a sort of idea as to whether it’s the beginning of the day, the middle or the end. It’s kinda cool, and a great conversation starter. But this week I’ve actually had to look at it and check. It’s like we’re on vacation, but not. Tom is still trying to find his place. Funny thing about that. When I stopped working full time back in 1990 [Yikes! Twenty years ago!!!!] I wondered what I would do. Well, no time for that. I was a wife, mother of two young children and was very active in our town government and in our parish.

My biggest issue was learning to say No. No. No. All of a sudden it seemed like I had plenty of time. Well, I had no more time than any other time in my life, but since I wasn’t getting up, dressing, eating, leaving for the train, working in the city [that would be a capital ‘c’ if we were in New York, but since we were in Boston, a lower case ‘c’ will suffice] getting back on the train, coming home. Now, to be fair, we had a nanny. She did the grocery shopping, cleaning the house, changed the linens, cleaned the girls clothes. So you might think, well, I had it easy. Well, maybe. I still had lots of stuff to do, events with the girls, events at church, town government and all that. Plus, although Jean was wonderful, it was still my house and I had to make sure it was all right.

Naturally, when I stopped working [The girls called it retirement. Tom told everyone I was sitting home reading and eating bonbons–I wish] I sort of bought into the idea that I had time. And so I got more involved. Dumb! Really, really dumb! I realized I was doing two, maybe three jobs. What I had always done as wife and mom. What Jean had done as the nanny and what everyone else thought I should be doing with my ‘spare’ time. Yuck. It was awful. I had to learn to say no.

I’m guessing that Tom won’t have to learn to say no. No one expects him to join a board, or volunteer at the SPCA. When I stopped working it was like I had to take the skills I had used in business for the past twenty five years and make sure they stayed clean and sparkly. I’m sure everyone thinks Tom has earned his right to his time. And I agree. ‘Cept, geeze, I do have a couple of projects…..:-)



day zero….

So. For three months we’ve been doing a countdown to retirement. And. Today is the day. First day, actually. You may think that yesterday was The First Day, but no. Today. Our First Day. And at 8:53 AM, I can safely say, it’s going well  🙂

If you go back and read, you’ll know that I did a little research on retirement. A pretty innocuous word. Not really good or bad. But still. Today neither one of us has a job. Today there is no paycheck coming in. Today, if we let it, will be like every other day. But that’s not the way it works anymore. We don’t look at it as an end. Well. I can’t imagine this as an end. A new beginning? No, not really. But change. Yes. Change is good. Change means your brain has to compensate. Change means you’re going to have to adapt. Change means exciting. Maybe not in the same way that a new job or a new location was exciting. Exciting in that you are still on the planet, able to contribute, able to go places, see things, interact and live. Yes. It does come down to live.

Happy Retirement, Tom.