Thursday, January 17, 2013

A Time to Be Alone...learning about myself!

I remember reading post Bob Lowry over at Satisfying Retirement wrote about how he defined himself after being retired for a number of years. Honestly, getting rid of the titles or even the beliefs we carried in our younger life does leave a void of sorts. When we realize that we are left almost naked in the sunlight as the cloak of our vocation slips away, we must learn to love a new suit of clothes.

So how do you define yourself? If you were to make a list of 5 things that define you what would they be? I would have to tell you that "wife" would be the first thing on my list. I don't know if that is good but that is the way it is.

My husband and I have been living this third stage of our life for so long now that I don't even remember what it was like before. We have spent so much time together we think the same and even tell the same stories. I will think of an incident and I my husband will talk about it before my words form. If I am stuck, he is there to help me remember. It could be that we share a brain!

As result of this phenomena, I am beginning to think that I need to be alone more. I used to guard our time together like a mother lion guards her cubs. Now I need to do the very opposite. My poor husband will be so confused if I tell him! Happy...but confused.

52 Wedding Anniversary
Today, for example, we were enjoying our morning coffee at around 8:00 a.m. when the phone rang...I will be by to pick you up at 9:00 a.m. Be ready! his golfing buddy said. Up he jumped and out the door he scurried! The cat wandered around crying and I sat with my coffee wondering what to do with my day. This is not good people. I am an independent strong woman and I am wondering what to do with 5 hours alone?  Really...this-is-not-good!

Could it be that I have forgotten who I am? It is worth exploring because being "alone" for a while is not a bad thing, not when you are with the other person ALL of the time!

As for the cat...I don't know what to do about him.  Any suggestions?

Just a thought!

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  1. No help with the cat. The two dogs belong to me bt adore my son and If I go to colorado without him and he stays in a dorm here there will be some serious adjustments.

    You need to find some things and interest that are just you, but I know thats easier said than done. It was helpful to me that during my married life we had separate hobbies and interests and so would have been prepared to do separate things.

  2. It is very interesting how these things slip up on you. I really do have a lot that interests me but I guess I just get lazy when I have someone to smooze with all day!


  3. You are such an energetic person that I am quite sure you have plenty of interests to pursue. But, it is quite easy to slip into a comfortable pattern.

    I know because it happens to me all the time. Whole weeks will slip by if I'm not very mindful of how I spend my day.

    Betty and I have been retired together for almost 12 years...not as long as you and Earl but long enough to finish each other's thoughts. Even so we both need alone time and have no problem in carving out a portion of the day for our own interests.

    Don't you have a relatively new camera? How about a series of photos from the Tucson area? Or, photos that spur you to write a poem or brief, imaginary story about it.

  4. How about volunteering? I volunteer at our local library and also our Botanical Garden. I like to read and I love nature. Also, in my area, my hiking club has some weekday mild manennred hikes I sometimes join in with..check out clubs in your area that hook up with your is just a real journey isn't it? It's easy to settle into patterns.. but just one small activity or new friend can change it on a dime, I have found!

    Also--winter (even in our warm climate) is an introspective time of year, could be you just need some down time/space to yourself! Good luck--I enjoy reading your blog as my husband and I ease into retirement..

  5. At home, Art and I have separate interests as well as things we do together. Here in Arizona - with two weeks in and six to go - I set up all the activities I wanted to participate in and he has joined me in some of them. I realized I want some separate time. So I talked him into volunteering at the Tucson food bank one day a week! He likes going out early and picking up food from stores. So now he'll be out of the house almost all day on Thursday. I wonder what I'll do with that time!

  6. These are all very good thoughts. I loved the idea of a series of photos. I do love that new camera!

    I am not usually inclined to volunteer but I am inclined to help which is almost the same. I suppose I am more of a cheerleader than a volunteer. I live with very old people and they need attention and encouragement. That is my job.

    As for joining in the activities here in our park, I do what I like. Linda, I think the trick is to make sure that we make use of our time apart in the way that is the most satisfying. Usually blogging is my choice.

    This is a habit I have developed that is in need of amending. It will be fine because I love life. Generally these periods have nothing to do with what I am talking about but the fact that I realize it is a good thing.



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