This is the first day of the rest of my retired life and just like Douglas Adams, I discovered, “I love deadlines. I love the whooshing noise they make as they go by.”
My blog is so tardy I gave myself a detention and for good reason, there’s been a run on words and my creativity is out of gas.
I know, I know, my plan was an entire day of total and complete relaxation as a celebratory repose after years of endless toil in the field of education.
Yes, that would be my education.
“Sometimes doing nothing makes way for everything.” Hiral Nagda
With absolutely no plans to foul my tedium, I’m basking in a new noncommittal lifestyle. This is intentional because, despite all the available evidence, I do have options.
Larry is thrilled as you can well imagine.
There I am, snuggled as if a beloved dog in my excessively comfortable bed, sipping Folger’s coffee brewed exclusively via the Laundry Room, browsing Facebook Marketplace for used Pelotons while Larry paces the remaining space in our conspicuously crowded room, trying to spark my interest in his lengthy todo list.
Unsuccessfully ignoring him I say, “honey, I’m on a permanent coffee break.” Mind you, he hasn’t fully accepted that I am no longer employed, and he stares at me as if I’m speaking a foreign language.
Is this a difficult concept?
I didn’t think so.
While I bask in the theoretical ability to relax, there have been strange men in the house since 7:00 am, cutting tile, installing lighting, and generally milling about banging on things. Not that I’m complaining but it’s disorienting and disruptive to my tedium.
I resist putting on a mud mask as I don’t want to scare off the workers. I do what I can.
As a backstory, you all might not remember that I cleared out the entire kitchen, family room, hall closet, and dining room BY MYSELF! If memory serves I literally begged for assistance but was met with avoidance, nonchalance, and outright dissent.
Can I just say PAYBACKS A BITCH.
Now it’s time for Larry to clean out his private office (outrageously disordered man cave) and Dante to clean out his private room (picture The Grand Bazaar in Istanbul, Turkey). The two of them had months to do this mind you but waited until THE DAY BEFORE they start refurbishing the floors to get organized and now they’re scrambling while I file my nails, reheat my coffee, and sigh noncommittally when approached, “honey my rash is acting up, I really shouldn’t exert myself.”
It’s been a little over twenty years since the floors have been done. I’d say they’re due. The only rooms in the house with carpet are the guest room and the master and of course the patio. All these spaces are now haphazardly stacked with mattresses, frames, trunks, couches, tables, lamps, bookcases, desks, bedding, closet doors, and such.
The dog is clearly perturbed, pacing endlessly, panting, and obsessively licking his paws. Larry does much the same but bites his nails instead of all the licking. The two of them are making me anxious.
Not that I’m complaining. Our vision is taking form and it’s quite exciting to say the least.
Yesterday (FYI, yesterday was about a week ago) was tough and I learned something new about myself. Nothing good, just knowledge, which might be useful in the future.
I don’t like goodbyes, especially at my age, and by the way, I’m easily influenced by the agendas of those around me. Translation; I cry, it’s not sweet little tears, it’s an ugly cry ~ loud, wet, messy. Oh, and I can’t stop, so that can be problematic.
Notre Dame hosted their annual good-bye luncheon, with endearing speeches from the principal for each retiree, accompanied by gifts, cheers, and those “I’ll probably never see you again,” hugs. It was very touching but I spent the entire time holding back a lump in my throat the size of a golf ball. A person can only take so much.
When I walked through the door, Larry didn’t even have to ask, he gallantly handed me a tissue and glass of wine!
I used to think I made things happen? That’s such a fallacy. I make things happen in a vacuum created by those around me, this is different than being a change maker, which would be excelling at not being sucked into the neurotic vortex of others.
Call it what you want, regardless, it’s not creative, it’s obliging. They’re different.
As the day unfolds my best-laid plans fail to materialize, I’m forced from my bed into the servitude of others who shall we say were dilatory in their responsibilities and now require my assistance.
I thought retirement would be a permanent coffee break but I was wrong, it’s more like brewing your own coffee as money, opportunity, and time slips right through your fingers.
I’m Living in the Gap, resting on my laurels, care to join me?
Speaking of slipping through things…
I realize my blog is a week late and I have lots of excuses but I’ll not bore you with all of them. I have an addendum to this post because I wrote this last week, the day we were hustling to get the house cleared out, the day after my good-bye luncheon, the day we were were leaving to spend the weekend with Pete and Jan, and my concept of a permanent coffee break had to be completely reconstructed.
Driving away from our empty home, with most of our dusty belongings stacked in the back yard, and our son Dante acting as guardian, I felt uneasy.
They moved up the refurbishing of the floors up by two days and that put a kink in our plans as we were counting on Sunday to finish moving everything out. We somehow managed but Larry’s back is now acting up, I’m not only sore but have unexplainable bruises all over my body, and Dante did all the heavy lifting.
So we spent the weekend trying to recapture our youth in the most amazing adult amusement park the world has to offer, Lake Tahoe, and I always come away with a new perspective. Our dear friends go out of their way to make the weekend special but this time Jan and I opted out of many of the activities, preferring the back deck lounging in our sweats to boat rides, parties, and bar hopping.
In an ensuing discussion about this stage of life, Jan said, “We worked really hard raising the kids, providing for our family, and now I want to enjoy the time we have left.” I asked her about her priorities and she said, “companionship, plain and simple.”
I plan on exploring the concept of companionship in my next post, so remember to check back some time in the near future, God only knows what will be commandeering my writing time.
Sunday morning we head home to collect the dog, check on the house, and head up to Clearlake for the rest of the week while they continue to refurbish the floors. After being stuck in heavy traffic for five hours, we arrive at our house feeling agitated. There is blue tape blocking all the doors as if a crime scene. It’s a little surreal.
Dante emerges from the room in the back of the house and scares the shit out of me as I’m peeking through the dusty windows checking out the floors. He took the dog to Larry’s parents as there was no room in the house for him putter.
To set the scene a little better, the only two rooms not being refurbished are the master and guest room, both have doors going out to the patio, so they are accessible, but on opposite sides of the house which is shaped like a U. We need to get into the house to resupply our wardrobes before we head out for another week but we have no way of getting into our room.
Except…for one small window in the back of the house.
Are you thinking what I’m thinking?
The next thing I know Larry and Dante have lifted me eight feet into the air and are attempting to shove me though a one-foot by one-foot opening. I want you to appreciate, maybe even savor the full picture of a sixty year old woman, being forced to act as if Houdini.
Doesn’t work for me either.
I squeeze my arms, head, and upper torso through the tiny space as if a dog jumping through a hoop but halfway through I get stuck.
I start panicking, imagining the 911 call, “yeah my Mom is stuck in a window,” and they arrive to the alluring picture of my ass and legs dangling precariously off the side of the house. I felt as if John Jones who got stuck in the Nutty Putty cave in Utah and I’m absolutely positive I’ll never get out.
Larry and Dante are laughing like schoolboys as they attempt to push me through the opening as if one were trying to push a fat finger through a small ring. It requires a lot of twisting and maybe some butter.
I shift my hips perpendicular to the opening and somehow manage to slip through, landing roughly headfirst onto the bed. It was not pretty, elegant, or applaudable.
No pictures were taken, praise be to God.
After wrestling a stray mattress away from the French doors I let the hooligans into the room, we restock our bags, kiss Dante goodbye, collect our dog at Larry’s parents, and embark on another three hour drive to the lake.
How’s your week going? Entertain me in the comments!