When my MG retired, I thought our pace of living would slow considerably. I was wrong. You should see our kitchen calendar. Nearly every box for each day of the month is filled. To keep track of both our activities and appointments, I began color-coding the entries. I went stereotypical for the two of us. His entries are highlighted in blue, mine are in pink, and our joint activities are highlighted in purple. I highlighted family birthdays and anniversaries in green; holidays are in orange; other days of note are highlighted in yellow. Every month of the year takes on the appearance of a checkerboard rainbow.
We do not sit in our easy chairs and relax all day, namely because MG does not know how to relax. He has to be doing something or he gets antsy and drives everyone around him crazy. That would be me.
We travel more than we did before MG’s retirement. We have more time now. We don’t have to wait for scheduled vacations or holidays to hit the road. We just do it whenever we choose, and we stay away as long as we choose.
We also socialize a lot more than we did before MG’s retirement. We have more time now. We don’t have to wait for the weekend. Weekdays are like weekends for us. We can stay out as late as we like because we don’t have to get up early the next day and go to work or get the kids off to school.
When the boys were in their teens, they caused many a gray hair to sprout. We would be home at night waiting and fretting when they went out with friends or on dates. Where were they? Were they injured? Were they safe? Did their car break down? We especially worried if they weren’t home by curfew—which didn’t happen often. When it did happen, and they finally arrived home, they got the third degree.
Where were you?
Do you know what time it is?
Have you any idea how worried we were?
Why didn’t you call to let us know you’d be late?
Years later, both boys were married, had children of their own, and were living out of state by the time MG retired. They called regularly to check up on us as if they had become the parents and we the children. We found it both amusing and endearing.
One night, when we went out to dinner and the theater with friends, we returned home after midnight. We saw our answering system’s red light flashing. I pressed play. Our Firstborn left us three messages in total. The third message sounded kind of familiar.
It’s ten o’clock!
Why don’t you answer?
Where are you?
Call me. I’m really worried.
We couldn’t help laughing. Now we were the ones causing gray hairs to sprout. Ah, the joys of retirement.