A Life in Transition

Based on the number of posts I’ve made lately, it’s a wonder anyone actually still stops by my blog. Yet, each day there are a few views and a few visitors, encouraging me to press forward.

It’s difficult to consider blogging when your life turns completely upside down. It didn’t happen in an instant, thus why my consistency has been lagging for months now. No, it’s taken several months for life to finally flip from one end of the normalcy spectrum to the other and now I’m in the process of digesting what, for the moment, is the new “normal.”

Hubby sold his business! After 28 years at what was the “current” business and another 10 years before that in other businesses, he, for the first time since he was 16 years old, does not have a job that consumes him 24/7. It has been a long time coming, something he has wanted to pull himself out from under for years. With the economy as it is, selling a business has been slow and hard. The only plus is that he didn’t have to walk away from the business. He did actually sell it, not for what he paid for it, not for what it is truly worth, but at least it was for something.

Now for the first time since I have known him, he doesn’t have a job — other than finally being home as a husband and father. Funny how for the past 28 years (the amount of years we have been together – 23 married and 5 before that dating) the thought of him really being here seemed an impossibility and now he is here practically every minute.

The transition has been interesting and not surprising — challenging. He is trying very hard not to get in my way or step on my toes, as I’ve been solely in charge of taking care of everything here at home with little to no help from him for the past 23 years. Yet, he is also trying to be as helpful as possible, almost as if he’s trying to make up for lost time.

My thought is that all those years are gone and at this point don’t matter. There is no “making up” for anything. We did what we had to, what we thought was right, what had to be done at the time. Now we need to move forward, not dwell on the past. Trouble is that I am so accustomed to not having anyone to turn to for most things around here, that having him here is awkward at best and cumbersome at worst.

I thought when everything was done, and the papers were finally signed, life would somehow fall back into place. That my routine and every day existence would somehow pick up where it had left off prior to all the time I had to spend helping Hubby get things ready for the sale. But, no. Nothing is the same. Well, the kids lives are still basically the same. They go to school, have their own activities, come and go as they have. That part of my life is still the same as well. I get up and get them both off to school, but when they are gone, when I would normally have the house to myself so I could plan my day and do “my thing,” I have Hubby to contend with.

The first week it was fun. It was nice to have someone here all the time to chat with, someone to share my morning coffee with, someone to run all my errands with. That was the first week.

By week two I was beginning to look for excuses to run up to the grocery store by myself. I got up early so I could have some time to myself. I went to bed a little earlier than he so I could read or unwind in peace. Heck, he had only been sleeping at home two nights a week for over a year and only four nights a week prior to that for the past five years or so. It’s definitely a change dealing with someone whose sleep schedule is going to bed after 11 o’clock, closer to midnight, when I have typically gone to bed between 9 and 10 o’clock for the past four years or more.

Then there’s the issue of filling in the time. Hubby isn’t without responsibilities. He has an online job that he works several hours a night, six days out of the week and he has an eBay business where he sells various items. These “jobs” however do not fill all the time that he has available and him going from having no time to all the time in the world — not an easy transition.

I’ve been trying to understand his position. I have accepted that he needs to get out of the house and do “something” every day since his “retirement.” Unfortunately though, my life cannot become his. This is the case for two very important reasons.

First and foremost, I don’t want to become dependent on him and then have it all taken away. Being as independent as I am today was not an easy place to get. When we were dating and after we were first married, it took me years (yes years!) to come to terms with what our lives were like. I had a predetermined idea of what married life should be, and what I got was absolutely nothing like it. Not having a husband around for the most part was hard on all of us. It took me a long time to establish a home where everything and everyone had a place and when Hubby was home, he had very little to worry about and very little responsibility. He had two other priorities that came before me, the business and his parents.

Second, this is supposedly not a permanent change. I have suggested he take at least 6 months, but he can take as much time as he needs, but eventually he plans on either going out and finding some sort of job or perhaps some years down the road we might venture into a business that will be “ours” rather than his. The business was really his parent’s business, but for the past several years his father’s involvement has been limited and for the past 10 months nonexistent. A new business would be something we do together and I would truly be a part of, not just helping out when he absolutely needed it.

So because of these reasons, and many others, I am hesitant in becoming used to how things are and having him here. It’s still a lot like a dream — not a nightmare-type dream, but something that doesn’t seem real.

Anyway, by week three, which was this past week, things started getting a little strained. The main problem is that Hubby has never been home enough to know exactly what I do, how long I spend doing things, or realize that things don’t just happen without me actually having to do the work.

Did you know that hanging clothes outside on the line actually takes a lot longer than just throwing them in the dryer? Well, you could have knocked me over with a feather when Hubby pointed this out to me, but then I wouldn’t have that wonderful fresh outdoor scent, now would I?

Did you know there is far more to changing the carpet in a room, than just waltzing in, unrolling the carpet, and tucking it under the floor boards? Yep, you have to repaint the room (which is what was necessary to remodel our office), move all the furniture out, remove the old carpet, then put in the new carpet, and yes, you do have to move all the furniture back into the room as well. Go figure! When was all this done before? Well, before Hubby got involved, of course.

Did you know that dinner doesn’t rear it’s ugly head magically without me having to spend sometimes hours on my feet in the kitchen over a hot stove? Hubby certainly didn’t and him telling me that he doesn’t like to see me spending so much time in the kitchen really wasn’t comforting. I like to cook — didn’t he know that, isn’t it obvious?

Did you know that they sell cans of beans, vegetables, and fruit at the grocery store? Really? And here I thought pressure canning my own was the only option. What planet have I been on all these years? The things you learn…

Did you know a dog needs to be let back in the house shortly after you let her out? Hubby didn’t. Well, that is only of course if you ever want to see your dog again. I suppose the hope that she’ll somehow figure out how to let herself back in is always a possibility, but I’m not willing to wait for that to happen.

Did you know that lint actually collects on the carpet and needs to be vacuumed several times a week in order for the carpet not to become obscured by a thin-film of white that forms a low rising cloud when walked across? Why yes, yes I did. But, did you know we actually have two vacuums to remedy this particularly tricky situation and they can be used by both women AND men (if it bothers you that much, that is)!

And my big question to Hubby:


Yep, a challenge. And this is only the beginning. I have only lost it emotionally with him twice so far (seeing that in writing it seems a lot worse than I initially thought), but have vowed to do my best to not let it happen again. Patience is something I need to practice and with the hope of spring being just around the corner, I think we’ll be okay. With spring I can get outside, leaving him inside, and have a little free time. Of course he has made it a point to tell me over and over again he is here to help. Please! Please no. Go to the gym, work on our taxes, spend some time with the kids –anything but help.

So a new chapter in our life begins.

I can’t say for certain that blogging will once again become something I can find time to do on a more consistent basis, but when I can, I will. Today I finally completed a post I started back in March on Simply Grateful Cooking called https://simplygratefulcooking.wordpress.com/2016/04/02/tomato-vodka-cream-sauce/. Check it out if you’re so inclined.

For now, I’m off to the kitchen to make dinner while Hubby heads down to the basement to workout. This way, dinner can magically appear and the illusion will continue, and for this I am — Simply Grateful.


9 responses

  1. Wow~ That’s quite a revelation there, but it’s a good way to come to terms with what you’re feeling. I think writing is the best medicine at times. I can kind of empathize with you. My husband will be retiring by the end of July. I cannot imagine what that will be like. They say retirement is another phase altogether and it can either go well or not so well. Like you, I’ve always had the run of the house and get it all done on my own. After 36 years with the same company, he’s finally hanging up his hat. The positive side is there are no children at home anymore, but the very fact that someone is here all day will be interesting. Perhaps in your case, you will get help with the children now. Good luck, keep us posted, l’m sure you’ll come to terms with it sooner than later, as will I.

    • It’s still early in the game, but as with so many other stages of marriage, this is yet another challenge for us to overcome. I too have heard that retirement is a big phase in marriage and that’s why I’m trying to remain calm and not panic at every little bump in the road. Our first 23 years of marriage were tremendously stressful and challenging and I figure if we made it through that, retirement can’t be any worse — I hope. Thanks for the support and good luck to you as well.

  2. I’m dreading the transistion into retirement……I can’t imagine having the husband underfoot every minute and he realizes that he’d be bored to tears if he didn’t have something to do….so we’re trying to downsize…….me doing less of the ranch work and him discerning the fact that if I’m not out there helping he might want to cut it back so he can enjoy what he does and not be overwhelmed by it and I can accomplish some things that I enjoy without being defeated by SO much.

  3. The ebb and flow of life very ends… some time to much and some times to little… I have a work away husband also.. for off and on for about 20 years, He had surgery Feb and has been home 24-7 for two months… it does get easier in some ways but it is hard to not have as much Me time. Huggs I have been their!

  4. Sounds similar to what happened with my parents after my dad retired. 🙂 I have no advice for you, but I imagine that communication will be key, just as it always is in marriage.

    • That is one thing we are definitely focusing on. We are both continually checking in with each other to make sure we’re okay. At times it’s almost too polite around here, but once we get a little more used to where we’re at right now, I am hopeful things will level off and become some sort of normal. Thanks for the support.

  5. Oh, my heart so goes out to you and what you are experiencing. My husband lost his job in his late fifties, (I can’t even remember exactly when), and he was having a lot of trouble finding a new job at his age. I was working at a job that has become increasingly difficult and was stressed most of the time. About the time his unemployment ran out I became incredibly anxious and worried about our future envisioning ourselves eating out of garbage dumpsters. I also became a little resentful of him being home all the time. We finally (after much ‘conversation’) came to an arrangement that worked for both of us. Honestly, we even elicited the help of a counselor to help us find a workable path. To make a long story short his unemployment turned into a early retirement and he took over all of the household duties. That was hard too because I hated the way he did everything!! I I really had to learn to keep my mouth shut and Just Go With It. When I retired a little over two years ago, I was thrilled to be able to be a wife/ housewife again. The thrill was somewhat short-lived as we now had to redetermine our positions in the household once again. At least this time we have the benefit of experience and good communication – honest communication and it has worked out very well. Good luck on your journey. Life is generally is a journey in motion.

    • Thank you so much for the support.It sounds like your journey is going well and I can only hope for the same. My husband is currently not looking for work, even if he would be able to find any being in his early fifties. He tutors online and has a side eBay business that we hope will help fill in the cracks until he decides where he wants to go from here. We’ve talked about another business and moving, but can’t do anything until Grace is out of college and Zeb is 26 (Michigan is the only state that offers free schooling/training to disabled adults until the age of 26 and we don’t want to pull him out of the program). This gives us four years to get our bearings. Hubby plans on applying for various positions perhaps in a month or so, once he’s caught his breath. Most of the time, so far, things are going okay. For now I think we are both walking on egg shells, so as not to step on each others toes. One of the hardest parts right now is finding time to do things that were in my daily routine. The day seems to fly by and I can’t begin to even know what I’ve done. We run errands, fix things, and are basically catching up on things that have gone far too long undone because of him being away from home nearly all the time. I know that eventually we will get somewhat caught up and then perhaps fall into some sort of a routine, but at the moment, I feel as though I’m running from the moment he gets up (thankfully I get up at least two hours before him and take advantage of that time as best I can). Thank you again so much for the support. It’s nice to hear how others have handled transitions like this and to hear that they have survived and continue to.

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