My wife has retired. Lots of changes there, as you’d expect, including how I work, both in and out of the shop.
As part of our move to Pennsylvania, Sally decided that since she was leaving her teaching job in West Virginia anyway the time was right to retire. She’d normally be off in the summer, so we’ve been able to ease into it. However, I’ve already noticed a few things.
• I have no idea what day it is. – Used to be that if I was alone, my brain said it was a weekday; if Sally was home, it was a weekend. Doesn’t change how I work, but my internal calendar is jumbled up whenever she’s home on weekdays. Is this trash day? I have no idea.
• She won’t leave me alone. – I’ve been on the computer for about two hours this morning. She’s been in here seven eight times. Don’t get me wrong, I love to help or answer any question she has, but I’m trying to work.
• My chore list has quadrupled. – There are many things on my “honey-do” list, and not only have they multiplied, but it’s harder to put them off till I’m not working. These chores have changed from “I’ll do that later,” to “This must be done now.” Similarly…
• Nothing can wait. – Do we want to go out to dinner tomorrow? What should we get grandson Jed for his birthday? (In December!) These lamps don’t look right; should we buy new ones? Hey, these are all important questions, but they don’t need to be addressed now.
• “Is your table saw always that loud?” – That, and many similar questions, are already being asked.
Yes, everything’s going to be different from now on, but you know what? I never liked being alone all day while I worked, not least because I do dangerous stuff when the stuff I do isn’t on the computer, so having somebody around while I’m using machines is a comfort. So is having someone surprise me with a sandwich when I’ve forgotten to eat (something I do a lot when working). Likewise, yesterday during a particularly long work session Sally appeared with a full water bottle fresh from the refrigerator – she knows I drink water all day and noticed I hadn’t gotten a refill in a few hours, so she brought me one.
These kinds of things make everything else worthwhile. I think my workdays are going to be a lot more enjoyable with this new arrangement.
Even if I don’t know what day it actually is.