This past weekend, we had our first snowfall of the season. Though it wasn’t much—about three inches, and a lot of it melted the next day—I have to tell you the arrival of the white stuff was a shock to me.
Just the evening before, we drove about 30 miles to attend the Christmas dinner hosted by my beloved’s employer. I stepped outside to get into the car and holy cow, was it cold! The wind was howling, clutching cold drops of rain within its icy talons. As we drove, the rain turned to sleet and then the sleet turned to snow. And I realized in that moment that here was another instance of my being so “out of it”, that winter weather had snuck up on me.
We’ve less than thirty days to Christmas!
For better or worse, I’m apparently living in my own little world these days, as I have never done before. I am the architect of this unintentional state of being, of course. All it took was relinquishing most of my daily driving duties to my daughter.
I’m not ready for the winter season—and I’m not referencing here my state of physical preparedness. That, I’ve got nailed. The bin of safety salt is on my front porch, ready to be used on sidewalk and porch steps; the upstairs portion of our house has been closed off, to save on heating energy; and my winter coat is hanging by the front door, gloves stuffed in the pockets, ready for me to shrug into.
My mind and my thinking processes, however, are stuck somewhere between the end of August and the first of October. This explains my shock at feeling the arctic cold blasts of air and seeing the snow.
My beloved and I were discussing this state of disconnect in which I seem to have fallen, lately. In a way, it’s as if I have finally, really become a “retired person”. Oh, sure, I write every day, so I am not technically retired. But I do that writing here; right here where I am at this exact moment, butt in chair with my fingers on the keyboard. I do that dressed as I am on this Wednesday morning, in my “writers’ pjs”. I’ve showered, and washed my hair, and swept it up, mostly still damp, in a clip. And while I plan on leaving the house tomorrow, that’s only in order to keep my scheduled every-other-Thursday appointment at the spa for my massage. Otherwise I’d be able to say I have no plans to go out for the next few days.
We also discussed what we thought things were going to be like for us in about six or seven years, when he joins me and becomes a “retiree”. We pretty much agree that if we don’t get a different house—one that is a bit larger, and with at least one outbuilding—before then the chances of murder happing in this sleepy little town of ours are quite high. He needs to find something to do during the days of course, something to keep his mind and his hands busy (and him away from me). I’ve had him home for a week’s “staycation” in fairly recent memory, and he spent a great deal of that time standing behind me and looking over my shoulder. Seriously, it was more than a little unsettling. And when I would turn and look at him, I’d get some version of, “so, do you want to do something, or go somewhere?” I was doing something—or at least I was trying to.
My beloved absolutely cannot retire without having a good hobby.
Now that I don’t have to get up before the butt crack of dawn to drive him to work every day, I can stay up later at night, if I want to. And I often do, because I get caught up in reading, or writing, or even playing a silly game. Before I know it, it’s approaching two a.m. Now that’s not a problem, really, except it means if I get up around seven thirty in the morning, I am crashing into nap mode by two in the afternoon. I always feel guilty when I do that because it kind of puts me on a different schedule than my husband. I think it’s the part where I’m napping while he’s at work that is the source of those guilty feelings.
That last point, at least, is one thing that won’t be a problem for us once he’s retired, too. We’ve already made a pact that we’ll be awake when we want and sleep when we want, without a care to what anyone else thinks.
After all, there has to be something good in that pot of gold at the end of the work-a-day-world rainbow. And some reason, therefore, to look forward to getting older, rather than dreading it.