A couple of people have written to me privately, asking for updates on the Big Life Shift. I hadn’t realized it was so long since I’d posted, so an update is long overdue.
Now that we’re over the first shock — it’s actually not so bad. The day after I wrote that gloomy assessment, I mentioned to my husband that I would need to order another skein of yarn so I could finish my head scarf for church. “Where’s the yarn shop?” he asked. “Center Harbor.” “Great, let’s have lunch there!” And next thing I knew, we were driving the 50 miles up to Center Harbor, a tiny village on the shores of Lake Winnepesaukee — about half the drive takes place along the shoreline of the lake, and at this time of year, of course it was gorgeous. I bought my yarn, we found a cute lunch place (closed for the season now, unfortunately), and had a Date. You’d think we’d have been able to have a lot more Dates with the kids grown and gone, but his working conditions — getting up at 2:45 am, leaving at 4:30 am, and not getting home till 7:00 pm — precluded all but household chores. Now there’s time for Being.
On the advice of our priest, he let a full week go by before beginning another job search (I think Father had more like a month in mind), and the first person he wrote to for a reference — an old professional acquaintance — said, “Send me your resume.” Turns out he works for an OSHA training institute, and they’re looking! So Jim’s been spending the last few weeks updating and honing his resume, which sounds a little obscene, in this economy (our son, for example, still doesn’t have a job).
He gets up, as he said, “at the same time I would have been walking in to work”; makes coffee and breakfast; then settles down to work at the computer for a couple of hours. Then he takes a break, either with household chores (our back door has finally been painted, after 15 years) or by going for a long run around the neighborhood. He does all the grocery shopping and a good bit of the cleaning, and I don’t have to tell you all how I feel about that. 😀 (A side benefit: Due to his background in public health, he actually knows how to clean better than I do.) But I really appreciate his shopping for dinner; he’s a good bargain hunter, but so far, he’s also picked out better cuts of meat than I’ve been able to find lately. Must come from having enough time on his hands to do it.
So…we’re shaking down with it. I never thought there could be life after retirement, but I guess there is!