Someone asked that I write about how to handle your husband suddenly being home all the time.
Of course, Tom isn't retired yet (though he imagines he'd like to be), but alas, I've had much experience with having him around the house for weeks. In the power plant business, work hours are wild and with minor finagling, it's easy to get two weeks off by requesting only three days off, or so. Plus, with Tom's surgeries, week-long breaks each month and working night-shift every other week, (meaning he's home sleeping during the day), well, I've had many tastes of retirement life the past, oh, twenty-five years.
And here's my conclusion: Having a husband constantly around the house can be a sanity (and happy marriage) buster.
I could give you whole paragraphs outlining the fits I've thrown when I've been denied the 6 hours, or so, daily "alone time" which I function on best. Mostly I'm a happy loner, perhaps because God's made me a writer/teacher of sorts here in this blog, one who needs much time alone with God to come up with this stuff. I require time to meditate and read and think and write. And, too, I'm part hermit because, well, I've just always been that way. Some things just are what they are, you know.
It's so very easy for me to complain to Tom that I get nothing accomplished when he's home. It's the fear of being interrupted in the middle of projects, I think, which defeats me. Also, it's the way he tempts me to watch movies with him or go for rides or shopping or (insert other temptations here). There's the needing to make more official meals than ones I make for myself when I'm alone. There's the myriad "Debra, where are my_____?" (fill in the blank again) requests.
There's all that and more.
But what's my conclusion after fighting with the unnaturalness of having him home or just giving-in and lying around, being a lazy Lucy? I've decided that the problem is not having Tom home so much, but rather, it's my attitude about it.
It only took me 25 years to figure that out.
Like I said, it's so easy to complain. But complaining accomplishes nothing. So only recently have I told myself to stop moaning when Tom is home, and instead, just make clever changes. I've found that I can get up earlier for extra quiet time or use my time outside in my yard for it or set-up personal 'altars' around the house (so if he's in one area, I can move to another). I can write in this blog when he's not in the living room (where the computer is), even if that means I can no longer write during the same time daily. I can cook meals ahead and freeze them. I can find tasks for Tom to do and then go about doing my own tasks--or send him out on errands and finish my housework.
I can be flexible if in my head I'm determined to be.
The main thing? It's that annoying "Everything Has Got To Be A Certain Way" belief which trips me up and keeps the dander flying high. It's the strictness, the stubbornness, the My Way or No Way which must disappear.
And really? I think that's as God wants it. He wants me to be flexible while still being kind and patient toward others, especially toward my own husband. Charity does begin at home, for it's at home where I am my true self ... it's from this base where I reach out to the world with a love that's only as real as it is inside my own home.
Don't you love that photo at the top of this? Now there's a man who's thrilled to be retired and a wife who's frazzled because he's always home. :)
It's easier to complain than to be clever, but clever is better.