This week Chris and I went for our annual eye exam together. We have been seeing our optometrist for the entire 36 years we have lived in our home. All of our kids have seen him. He has witnessed all of our life changes and it’s nice that at least once a year we can catch up. He is patient and kind and relieves our worries of aging eyes.
Today he proclaimed that Chris is the perfect man. His eyes are so different in vision that they balance each other and he no longer needs contacts just a minimal prescription for reading glasses. Now, this is a big deal. I, on the other hand, am trying to find the CAPITAL E on the chart. His test of my left eye was just a big blur and I am always taking the peripheral test (the one with the Jeopardy buzzer) with sweaty palms — please let me see the green dot!
I went first. I gave as many details in my allotted time of our last year as I could. Even though I started first, Chris finished before me which tells you our relationship story without words. Our doctor made the fatal mistake of asking me what was happening with retirement and I proceeded to fill him in on how the last four years have been going — luckily I have spent a small fortune with him so he is not losing money when I come in.
Here are a few of my thoughts:
- I was not happy for the first year as I was used to being home alone in my own world;
- I am not fond of whistling — Chris is happy when he’s whistling;
- After raising four kids, I was not in the mood to answer questions about my productivity and goal setting capabilities;
- Chris being the amazing landscaper that he is, stepped up his weed-eater and blower duties — all which make noise and create dust;
- I am the tech person in our home — my name was being called a bit more often to come to the rescue of wayward laptops and streaming devices;
- I am an everything has a place girl and I am not good when things are dropped with no container underneath.
After four years, here is what I’ve learned:
- Chris was allowed to be home — suggesting different activities or software for him to learn only put those things at the bottom of his “to do” list;
- Whistling meant he was home and happy — unless we are in the car, I don’t hear it anymore;
- He could in one sentence call me out on my bright shiny object syndrome; it turns out goals and objectives are a good thing in my world and have led me to the best career I have ever had;
- Our yards are so beautiful — they have always been his place to be calm and creative — I just close the windows when I hear noise;
- I strongly encourage reading manuals or watching a tutorial video — the technical side of life is either loved or hated and unless you love the challenge like me, just get to know what you deal with daily.
- I had to let up a bit on my “everything in it’s place” but he takes his shoes off at the back door now. Don’t get me wrong there is never a wayward glass or a bed unmade but you will find the laundry overflowing a bit more and there are water marks on the bathroom mirrors now.
At the end of the visit, our doctor proclaimed that he will probably never retire. I told him just stay part time and ease into it.
Compromise is the key. The alternative is being consumed with loneliness. While the beds are made, the dust is barely there and the kitchen floor is clean ~~ the whistling is gone.