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Gone are the carefree days of life as it was before one spouse retires and the other still works from home. I’ve come up with a short list of important tips. I used to be home all day working while H was out in the work field all day. There is no more, “How was your day dear?” because his day was my day. It’s not easy to suddenly have to share my space and time. Sometimes I find myself looking for something to do so H won’t think I actually had some free time once in a while. What he didn’t know did not hurt him! You can read about that here.

5 Things Newly Retired Spouses Need To Know – When One

Works From Home And Hasn’t Retired Yet

  1. Hamper – Even though there is a lid, it opens, and dirty clothes can be put inside.
  2. Hot water – Don’t turn on the hot water in the kitchen while I’m in the shower. This is an old house with old plumbing.
  3. How to fix a sandwich  – It’s easier than you think. Take out bread, meat, cheese, and condiments. Put all together between two slice of bread. Cut as preferred and eat. You can also make two – one for me! I’ll love you forever for that!
  4. Cross off items on your to-do list – Yes, you have one. I gave it to you months ago. Don’t sit around thinking of things I can do to keep busy while you are sitting in your chair playing on your phone and watching Fox News 24-7. I may not look it, but I AM WORKING – WRITING IS WORKING.
  5. It isn’t all about you – Remember this is as new to me as it is to you. I may sometimes seem distant, but my time and  space has been invaded and my routine disrupted, also. We both need to learn how to share our free time. It doesn’t mean I don’t love you when I say I need some space.

I’m sure there are more tips I could add, but I don’t want to seem bitchy and unappreciative. The scales have been tipped and we are searching for the answer. It’s a learning process when suddenly there is an extra person around all day. I’ve learned to say what’s on my mind because H can’t read minds any better than I can. After ten months we are finally figuring it out!

What can you add to this list?





I was excited when H pulled his tools out and stated he was going to actually put up that closet door in the Philadelphia room. Oh, good! When Andrew comes home he won’t feel as though he’s sleeping in the closet, since that’s the room he likes to sleep in.

Two weeks later when he finally began the task, I was even more excited. You’ve got to understand. H doesn’t get in a hurry when it comes to working on this house.

The closet door had been leaning up against the wall in Andrew’s room for about three years and was going to finally have a place to call home. A friend had replaced some doors in her house and asked me if I wanted it because she knew we had begun renovating this small house. Of course I wanted it! Doors aren’t cheap and this one came with the frame and all its facings.

H asked me why she was replacing that door with another one because there wasn’t a thing wrong with this one. I told him I wasn’t sure. “People with money replace things and upgrade even when it’s not needed. They get a hankering for something new.” So from that whim, we benefitted, and have a free door to hang.

The door opening for our closets go all the way to the ceiling and it’s too expensive to have custom doors made to fit so we have to fill the top portion in with sheetrock and finish it. I wanted transom windows above the closet doors, but H didn’t like that idea because he said it would look like the men’s bathroom at the bus station! I think he just doesn’t want to tackle that project.transom-window

Now, it’s a week later and the door is up – sorta. The facings aren’t  yet attached and we had to make another trip to Lowes today to get narrower facings for the inside of the closet. I could go into Lowes and buy three pieces of wood and some finishing nails in less than twenty minutes, with one cash register lane opened. H can do it in just under two hours. It’s fair to say I’m the winner in this race. Where’s my prize?

While I stuffed inserts into four bolsters – which isn’t an easy task – H stood and contemplated for forty minutes about what the next step was going to be to put the facings up.

When I whined about it taking him so long to do that door, he said, “I’m not a woodworking kind of guy. I have to think about what I’m going to do.”

In that case he should just step back and let me do it myself. I do believe I could hang a door. It’s a lot like sewing and I’ve gone through the process before of building a house – just not with him, so he doesn’t quite believe I know what I’m talking about when I give him my handy-dandy construction tips.

When I complained some more about all the repairs and remodeling we had to do in this house, he said, “Why do you get in such a hurry?”

“Because I’d like to enjoy it finished for a while before I die!”


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