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When I had more time…

When I had more time…

I woke up this morning thinking there was never any time to do the things I wanted to do. Of course it was seven-thirty am and I think I may have actually thrown back the covers closer to eight. That was after I picked up my phone and checked emails, twitter, Facebook, and played a game or two of Words With Friends. When you binge watch Netflix til one in the morning it’s hard to get going.

H was already up with the TV on. He had made his coffee, brought in the newspaper, and fed the cat. H’s sleep pattern is very different from mine. Four to five hours and he’s good to go. I cut a grapefruit, threw two waffles in the toaster, and poured some orange juice. That was breakfast.

Since H retired, our lives have changed quite a lot. When he was working, I was up by half past five every morning to get him out of the door by six-thirty. Then I had the day to myself. I even had time to blog! Working from home you can do things in the order you feel like.

Flashback to BF (Before Retirement)

He did not know that at least twice a week I dashed through the house like a crazy woman, fifteen minutes before he arrived home, vacuum in one hand and dust cloth in the other, picking up discarded items in my wake. I shoved magazines under the sofa, arranged the pillows, hid a load of laundry in the washer to be washed the next day and left the dried ones in the dryer to be fluffed up the next day. I closed the Philadelphia Room door so he couldn’t see my mess in there and pushed shoes into the closet. All that mattered to him was that the house was tidy, the sink unloaded from breakfast dishes, and a pot of something simmering on the stove.

Two days of the week I did all-day-laundry. Not because we were extremely dirty people, but because I usually forgot to switch it from one machine to the other and when the dryer did go off I was deep into another project, so I dried most loads at least twice to get the wrinkles out. Hence, all-day-laundry and that is why it took me two days to do four small loads.

On Wednesdays I actually worked out of the house, delivering my pillows and cutting more at Debs shop for the next week.

  • He had no idea the dishwasher was overflowing and the “something” on the stove was a pot of chili I had made last month and froze the leftovers.
  • He had no idea I had spent most of my time trying to write twenty-five hundred words on a new book, met a deadline with some pillow work, or designed some new items for my Etsy shop.
  • He had no idea I had paid all the bills, caught up on paperwork, and had lunch with a friend.

“He has no idea what I really do around here all day. He thinks its a piece of cake and I have all the time in the world on my hands.”

Well, be careful what you wish for.

AF (After Retirement)

He is usually up before I am in the morning, which irritates me. If I did it right I would get up before him and have some time to do what I want. Not that he stops me from doing what I want – it’s just a whole lot different when there is another person in the house with you all day.

  • When I am busy sewing he interrupts with, “When you get to a stopping point, we can go get some lunch.”
  • When I am busy crafting or blogging or writing on my newest book, he interrupts with, “Don’t you have something to do?” I think he is afraid I might have some time to myself.
  • When I am  busy taking a shower I here the vacuum start up. Oh yes, he is “helping” but I know he’s thinking, “When does she plan to get this done?”
  • When I am busy doing the laundry, he changes the wash to the dryer and then removes it and sometimes folds it. I know he’s thinking, “Did she forget she was doing laundry?” Of course I did! The problem is he doesn’t fold things the way I do and after moving the folded items to the bedroom I usually re-fold.

I know most of you are thinking, “What is she complaining about? I wish my husband did laundry.” He also does dishes, and yeah, I know what he’s thinking. I am grateful for the “help”, but there are a lot of things he could be doing instead that would make me happy because I don’t intend to do yard work and even though I believe I could install a closet door and rewire some sconces in The Philadelphia Room, I don’t relish the idea of starting those projects with hime standing over me. He procrastinates and then overthinks. I have come to realize I did not marry a handyman.

About Elle Knowles

Elle Knowles lives in the Florida Panhandle with her husband and off-at-college-most-of-the-time son. She has four daughters, one son, and eleven beautiful grandchildren. 'Crossing the Line' is her first novel. The sequel 'What Line' is a work in progress. Recently published is Coffee-Drunk Or Blind - a nonfiction story of homesteading in the Alaska wilderness with her parents and four siblings, told through letters by her mother and remembered accounts from the family.

11 responses »

  1. Nice comparison of before and after retirement.

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  2. I have a chill every time my husband mentions retirement. I am so used to having the house to myself.

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  3. Loved this! I read it to my husband and we were both laughing because it sounded so familiar.

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  4. After 8 years of retirement I mostly don’t know where he is. He’s around but not intrusive. He’s in his workshop or in the yard working on something. I have to find him to suggest the occasional lunch. Sometimes we’ll have a field trip somewhere but mostly we each go our own way. Most of the time we make our own lunch and it could be at different times.

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  5. The struggle is real. Almost six years into retirement and I’m still trying to figure it out. I crave alone time… my husband, not so much.

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