Before the hubs and I started this retirement phase, we got up every morning and headed off to our respective jobs. Patterns emerged…we sort of fell into a routine of who did what each day, each week. He got up early and made the coffee. I figured out what we were having for dinner and made arrangements.
Out the door we went, where we put in our 8 hours working for the man…(ha ha ha – Who am I kidding! I was a TEACHER for cryin’ out loud). But wait…I digress…When we finally did arrive home after work, we again settled into the motions of getting all of the required tasks done so that we would be able to successfully get up and do it all again tomorrow. After 30 years or so, let’s just say
We settled into a routine!
But after just a short time on the Encore Voyage, guess what happened?
The routine got shot to hell!
You see, now, nobody absolutely must be out the door by 7:00 AM anymore. The entire house does not need to be cleaned on a Saturday because we have plenty of time over the course of several days. We can shop for groceries…together…at midnight…on a Tuesday! We can read books all night and snooze in the afternoon if need be. Even our Encore Careers which we’ve developed have flexibility of schedule. So many times, we just look at each other and say,
“This is a sweet gig.”
We now have time to pause, to reflect, to live our lives with more intention. We enjoy being together, and are paying attention to what that really means. Many different sorts of “routines” have started to emerge. They are ours, they are personal, they are subtle. Some are just plain goofy things we do, some will probably make you gag – and they are all the exact opposite of rushing out the door.
Here’s a few to show you what I mean:
- When we get up, hubs now comes around to my side of the bed, tucks the covers in around me, and tweaks the end of my nose. (Sickeningly sweet, I know!) I wake up every morning feeling cherished.
- Often in the evening, we have a glass of wine before dinner. I don’t know why or when it started, but with every glass of wine I drink, I now hand him my glass and give him the last sip. My way of saying, “I’d give you everything?
- Hubs often needs to fly to different project sites. Not that I worry about his flying, but still…every time he lands at an airport, he sends me the following text – “Tranquility base, the Eagle has landed.” I am his tranquility base.
- Now, every morning, because we don’t have to rush off to our respective employers, our dog, Roxy and I head into hub’s office, where we both climb onto his lap for a second and be “daddy’s girls.” Alright, I know you’re thinking that one is a little over the top…
My point is, we are developing new rituals – new ways of being with each other – that our working lives would not have allowed. We are creating new life patterns that are based not on a hurried routine, but rather on lingering in the moments that matter. Who knows – perhaps in retirement we have developed cases of “terminal mushiness.” When I asked hubs about it, he said, “I don’t know…but I love you, and I appreciate you.” I am confident that he always has! But the Encore Voyage has given us time to delight in our new routines.