Baby Boomer Interests

Baby Boomer Interests

Our Condo Shrunk

Becoming Retirement Pros — By Tomi Leslie

The funniest thing happened to my husband and me after retirement. Our condo shrunk. We retired three years ago. So seemingly we’re becoming the pros of our retirement. The first proof is that we’re still alive. The second proof is that we’re still talking to each other.The third proof is that we’re still in love.

What is it about retirement that captures the best and the worst of us? I suppose most people, if asked that question, would answer differently. But here’s our response. Our personalities are alike in a few areas – – the opposite in most areas.

I must admit. My husband Robert’s retirement was a huge adjustment for me, but not so much for him. And that surprised me a bit. He was a telecommuter. It was normal for him to be home during the day. But the dots hadn’t connected in my brain, that preceding his retirement, he usually spent 12-hour days holed up in his 10×10 home office. In contrast, I filled the remaining square footage. Taking my laptop to wherever I plopped down to write. In other words, I claimed the territory. That changed with retirement—the magical threshold guiding us to happily ever after.

Bliss lasted about ten days. Of course, I’m only going to reveal what Robert did to irritate me. Not what I did to annoy him. For instance, he decided to help in my kitchen.”Why do you store the pans in that cabinet?” He inquired using a district attorney’s tone. Then he asked me for a grocery list. He decided to do my grocery shopping. I clamped my mouth shut, scribbled items across on a note, while I thought. Who needs a list? If I forget something . . . oh well.

To make matters worse, after Robert returned home with his list-purchased things, he remarked, “I found paper towels fifty cents cheaper than the brand you jotted down.”

Cringing, I asked. “When is your next golf lesson?”

He answered, “Next Monday.”

I gulped. It was a Tuesday. “What do you plan to do in between today and Monday?”

He shrugged. “Be with you.”

It was time to communicate. And to problem solve. I reminded him that I require extra space and more alone time than he. Solution: We created two separate living spaces where either of us could escape.

It also became clear to me that I needed an attitude adjustment. Robert actually liked the grocery shopping. I detested it. He was much better at finding deals than I was. Bingo. He became our primary grocery shopper. Another issue solved.

Then we decided to give priority to our similar interests. We both love watching football, walking on the shore, and growing with God. So we turned those events into dates. Together we watched certain college and NFL games; together we strolled along the beach. And many mornings we spent time discussing God’s Word and praying.

No, our condo hadn’t shrunk after retirement. Our expectations of each other did. And while the process continues, we’re becoming the pros of our retirement.