My husband and I are still part of the work force, although we officially retired over ten years ago. Now we have the luxury of living on the entitlements so graciously given us by our government. I’m not being sarcastic here. We would be long gone had it not been for Social Security. We retired with no long range plan, no 401K, no pension. Life circumstances got in the way, but we do have the strength to press on for the eternal prize
I wondered what we would do when we retired. What would we talk about? Our family was out of the nest. Did we have anything in common? The time we’d spent together alone took a back seat to family matters. The whole idea of retirement scared me for a while.
I don’t know why I was so concerned. However, there are a few things you can plan on before you get to that point, so the transition won’t be difficult. Start by thinking back to what first drew you together. In my case, I’ve known my husband for most of my life. We were friends in high school and became “steadys” in our senior year. It was four years later when we got married.. We never lived together prior to marriage because we didn’t. Today, that would be considered unenlightened, but I digress.
So what drew you together? Was it a love of the arts – sports – eating out – going to the movies – a sound religious faith – hobbies? Maybe you simply had a lot to talk about. You might have been drawn in by physical attraction or more on an intellectual level. As you grow together in a marriage all of those things take a back seat to having babies, supporting a family, building a business and caring for each other by instilling some good values in that family.
Your interests change with time. Sometimes those hobbies you once loved are now physically impossible so you have to adjust, just like we adapt to other things as we grow older. We suffer through illness, financial difficulties, problems with our children and tons of other problems through a marriage, but those things shouldn’t break us – only make us stronger.
My husband and I have learned to spend time together talking, usually first thing in the morning. We share our aches and pains. We talk about our plans for the day, discuss issues that are bothering us, the state of the world and other things which we have no control over. That one hour sets the tone for the rest of the day.
We’ve also managed to make time to do something special together. This doesn’t have to involve spending a fortune or maxing out the credit cards. We’ll often get in the car and take a drive in the country for an hour, or maybe extend it to a day road trip. When we have a little extra money, we go on a real date. Last Friday, for example, we went to see the movie, “1917,” nibbled on popcorn and then went to dinner at a Mexican restaurant.
Our every day routine sets us both in different directions. Paul goes upstairs and works on a painting or art class curriculum and I stay downstairs and write my blog. We meet at noon for lunch, where we again spend time talking. In the afternoon, we often take a short siesta and then deal with everyday tasks.
Our time goes quickly. It seems the older we get, the shorter time becomes. There’s even a sense of urgency about growing old – like we have to get everything done before we go to heaven. Life really is short, but when you have someone to spend it with you have a treasure beyond measure. When God is at the head of that union, you can’t lose.