Scott and I were chatting the other night, and as is often the case, our conversation turned to retirement. I had to admit that I now understood his fear of “What will I do all day when I am retired.” For YEARS my response to that has been, “A hobby silly!” I told him I planned on grandmothering (like how I made that a verb?) culinary arts, crafting, quilting, painting, writing, reading, taking long walks in nature and planning my next travel adventure, “Maybe you could take up woodworking?” This is all met with a blank stare and “I don’t really LIKE woodworking.”
After two rainy weeks holed up in the house I had blasted through my list of retirement activities and found myself bored. I tackled and organized the junk drawer(s) and craft cupboard. Culinary arts? More fun when Scott and I cook together, a bottle of wine and music. Crafting, quilting, painting. All messy! Reading? By butt was taking on the shape of the chair and my eyes were blurry. You can only read so much. Writing! This was the summer to write That Book. But it quickly turned into a chore, and writing should be fun. Plus I could not find inspiration. Between the rain and my fear of bears there were few nature walks. And Grandmothering? Hard to do with a 800 mile barrier.
There we were chatting….Hmmmm….. I suggested, we needed a “couples hobby.” Antiquing! We could rent a car and a trailer and go around to flea markets and collect dressers to re-purpose, old suitcases to make….I don’t know, displays? Stoneware for the kitchen!! “Do you remember how much fun we had with that old window frame project?” I was met with another stare and, “We have too much crap already, we don’t need anything else.”
“OK, I get that, ” And he is right!! I remembered his fear of towing a trailer, not high on his list and went on to offer, “Small antiques then, like watches. We could get old watches and put them in a drawer.” I was getting excited, “Maybe quest for the ‘mother of all antique watches,’ it could take us all over the country. Barns in Maine, New Hampshire cottages, old farmhouses in the Midwest.” Scott just shook his head.
Getting back to the conversation, I acknowledged his fear of being bored in retirement and suggested my next big plan. “Charitable Work! And we should start now!” Scott’s response consisted of three main points. 1) He is very busy as it is, he donates time to reffing, to different clubs and organizations, including Rotary, which he just took over as president. Oh and he works. 2) He did not want to go to a third world country. Period. 3) He wanted ME to try something first because *apparently* WE have this habit of taking things on as a couple, I get bored and he is stuck finishing without me.
So the discussion turned to exactly which charitable work I should do. This is the part of the conversation that does not paint me in a flattering light, so I am not going to share it. But suffice it to say, I am kind of picky about charity. So, with my *little* list in hand, I have a few phone calls to make, but truthfully I think our problem is unsolved. I find it unsettling to write a blog/essay and leave it unresolved, but I don’t think I have a choice, and I am sure we will chat about this many, many more times