Friday, 3 February 2012

Lifestyle Transitions

by Sadge, at Firesign Farm
A wry smile crept across my face as I read my co-writer Aurora's post, immediately preceding my day to write. I have a comfortable morning routine, honed over many years. Or had, shall I say? My husband, transitioning into retirement, now has put everything into disarray.

Many of the same things still get done: breakfast cooked, dishes washed, a load of laundry started, bed fluffed and made up. And sometimes, now it's even him doing some of those things, so I really can't complain (although I do prefer he stay away from the laundry - and I do speak from experience).

But some things have changed too. He's an early riser, so I find my day now tends to start earlier too. I usually read the newspaper as my breakfast muffins or oats are cooking - he has the paper. I take my mid-morning cup of tea in to check my email - he's on the computer. I go to vacuum the living room - he's watching something on television. My late-afternoon walks with the dog are now more likely to take place much earlier, and now there are three of us. Dinner plans now are a topic for discussion instead of up to my discretion.

Spending patterns are in flux right now too. My grocery list has changed - he's now eating lunch at home instead of at work. And I had to reinforce that idea too. We'd often go out to lunch on his day off. But now that every day is his day off, that pattern needs to be broken. He's now readjusting to fixing and eating lunches at home most of the time.

Most of our household bills will remain the same, but we're still waiting to see about car use and gasoline expense. He's not commuting to work, but with more time to spend together we are getting out and about, doing things together. It's a good thing I do so enjoy his company.

As he said a couple of days ago, his "accumulation" phase is now ending. Now we're looking at how to start using the funds we've saved up for this time, and how far we need to plan ahead. Neither of us is quite old enough for government health care. Without the company health insurance, we're going to have to shop for our own coverage for the time being. Not constrained by corporate dictates of who we can see, we'll probably re-examine our health care providers - perhaps changing dentists, optometrists, and doctors.

We've saved and planned for this day - but it's always been "someday." Now that it's here, it's going to take the both of us a bit of time to readjust.