My husband, the IPS teacher soon to be retired, was late in realizing that he had TWO whole weeks off for Spring Break this year. He learned this just the week before and commented that it was "like Christmas and birthday all wrapped up into one!"
At first, I was a little apprehensive. Being a 'self-employed, non-routine worker', I was a little nervous as to whether or not I would be able to get anything done in the two weeks he was home. When the family is on break, I always feel a certain amount of pressure to stay home with them, and sometimes, I put off things that need to be done. Last week, Ben was home, and he and I drove up to my mom's for three days--just the two of us. We had a nice visit with my mom and lunch with my dad. [We had planned to go to the zoo in Fort Wayne, but it was CLOSED!!!] It was a nice week. This week, Ben went back, but John stayed home.
I talked with him a little about his impending retirement, and shared with him my sense that I needed to stay home when he was home. He countered with, "Well, I'm going to have my own schedule. I'm going to set aside specific times for writing, painting...." I was relieved to hear that.
However, it's been a really nice week. I'm at a bit of a lull right now in Theatre World, so we've had some nice times. We took Ben to a doctor's appointment on Tuesday and had lunch with Rachelle on the north side. Yesterday, he agreed to be on my TV show with his writing-buddy Tom, to talk about the writer's group at the library. He's done some stuff around the house; he's worked on a model; we've done the grocery shopping together, been to the library, watched a couple movies and cleaned a little house. He's relaxed, calm. He mowed, raked the leaves up in the long-neglected garden, and we talked about painting the trim on the house a different color--and suddenly, I see a very clear vision of his retirement. It's a good vision.
I'm no longer nervous that we're going to drive each other crazy. I'm not worried that I'll feel like I need to hang around the house just because he's home. And I'm feeling increasingly sad that he has to return to school for...another ten (?) weeks--when previously, I've been glad for him to get back so I could 'get something done!' I've long thought that we both had enough interests, enough outside projects going, that neither of us would ever be bored in retirement, and I believe that's going to be true.
It's going to be different, for sure, and I can't wait to have him home for good.