Especially since retirement, Spouse and I have come to appreciate the fact that, since each of us is left with only half a brain at this point in life, the only way we can function is to put those two halves together!
As I was catching up on emails today, I came across this prompt from yesterday. In the bad old days, when I was working on my last job, being this far behind on emails would have caused a great deal of stress, both internal and probably also coming from Twit and Princess Fairy Dust. I am so fortunate to be out of that situation and to not feel like I’m required to stay consistently current with friends and family, because they are all generally healthy, happy and content as possible given the possibility of a Republican takeover of the federal government. I can say this knowing that most of them are Democrats like me, and if they’re not we’ve already forgiven each other for mutual political lapses, and the RNC ended just last night.
Spouse and I live under the same roof and are generally carefree, content and happy in our retirement home. One reason for this current state of bliss is that, although we keep different schedules and pursue different activities as individuals, we both seem to feel that it’s part of our “marriage contract” to monitor each others’ well being on a daily basis, and to act accordingly. Our daily interactions start when he joins me in my “woman cave”, usually bringing his morning wake-up beverage with him. He’ll come through the door and ask, every day, “Whatcha doin’ dear?” knowing full well that I will be either sitting in front of my computer or reading in my grandma’s pink upholstered rocking chair. He’ll then sit down on the my other grandma’s pink flower covered couch and we’ll begin our mutual morning status checks on sleep pattern and quality of the previous night and the expected aches and pains of old age.
The pattern this morning, however, was very different. I got up and initiated my usual morning routine but, after plowing through the second fifty pages of The Big Sleep, I started to feel a little sleepy myself, and realized that I had hauled my buns out of bed an hour or so earlier than usual. So, I decided to mix things up a bit and go back to bed where, if I was able to catch a few more Z’s, I would probably be a little more energized for all the additional reading and computing I expected to do today. I did fall back to sleep, and when I woke up I simply restarted my morning routine where I had left off, back in the woman cave.
In the interim, unbeknownst to me, my poor caring Spouse had come up to join me and became a bit concerned to find me not upright in a chair but quietly prone back in my bed. When he returned to restart his usual morning routine he made a point to tell me that he really to make sure that I was OK since it was so unlike me to sleep during the day, unlike him and most other husbands I know who, for some reason, as a group, feel that a midday nap is a right and requirement to keep their grizzly bear grumpiness in check, especially if if they have been cooped up in the house with their wives all day i.e. every weekend while they were working.
Amazingly, as I promised the author over a whole month ago, I have actually remembered to reblog this on my weekly feature “Old Fart Fridays” because, really, most of us long-time paired-off old farts don’t like to fight crowds on any holiday. Even more amazingly, I am actually posting it @ Valentine’s Day, which falls on Saturday (tomorrow) this year. Unfortunately, my Old Fart spouse, has been sick this week. Fortunately for him, though, I will be sharing with him tomorrow one of the Two Heart-Shaped Bo-Berry Biscuits for 99 Cents I purchased at Bojangles a couple of days ago. http://newsroom.bojangles.com/press/155/bojangles-sweetens-valentines-day-with-heart-shaped-bo-berry-biscuits#.VN53qC4WZuk
“If God wanted us to be naked, why did he invent sexy lingerie?”
– Shannon Doherty
Although she doesn’t speak for me personally as I have outgrown the sexy lingerie I bought for my courtship and honeymoon nearly 25 years ago to the day. Our silver wedding anniversary is January 9. We were married in Hawaii so a swimsuit was more appropriate anyway!
1. Roll With It – Steve Winwood
“Just roll with it, baby!”
This is my philosophy of life. It was initially a self-defense and sanity maintenance mechanism.
The title became my theme probably about halfway through my ten year tenure at Shinmaywa (California), Ltd.. I started my full time job there as a Senior Buyer following a one year period of unemployment. SCL provides supply chain management and quality assurance services to support ShinMaywa Industries aircraft production and other special programs in Japan. I had worked on the Space Station program under contract to McDonnell Douglas for three years before that. ShinMaywa (Japan), SCL’s parent company, had a contract from McD to build some major commercial aircraft subassemblies. At that time, I think SCL was hiring just about anybody who had any tenure in any capacity at McDonnell Douglas on their resume, whether that experience was directly transferable to their requirements or not.
During my time at SCL, I bought (or tried to buy) a mind-boggling range of products. I also learned a lot about the Japanese way of doing things, and it was nothing like what I’d expected! They were inefficient and disorganized. They were also some of the nicest people I have ever met in my life. Before I adopted “Roll With It” as my theme and philosophy, I had taken to calling my work at SCL “The ShinMaywa California Adventure, an E ticket ride every day!” This was an homage to Disneyland, and anyone who grew up in Southern California before 2000 or thereabouts would know the basis for these references. What I specifically meant was that I never knew what I would be working on or fixing or trying to locate on any given day when I walked into that place. It was fun and exhilarating, much like an E ticket ride at Disneyland, for quite a while. At some point, though, I just couldn’t handle that much fun and exhilaration AND STRESS on a daily basis anymore. That was the point at which I decided it would be better for me to “just roll with it, baby!”
At about the same time, my life outside of work was getting more unpredictable and stressful, too. So, amazingly, I decided that my entire philosophy and way of handling life in general, from that point forward, would be to “just roll with it, baby!” This approach has served me well ever since and I can highly recommend it.
2. Just You and I – Crystal Gayle and Eddie Rabbitt
This one is a rather traditional choice as it was the song to which my husband and I shared the first dance at our wedding reception. If you click the link for the video, you’ll see the lyrics. My favorite line is in the chorus.
“We’ll be all right, just you and I” is how I felt then, when I was 34 and knocked up (fortunately by my husband), how I have felt through all the trials and tribulations we have gone through (I won’t say shared because we haven’t always) for the last 25 years, and how I feel now that we are finally enjoying our retirement together.
3. Just the Way You Are – Billy Joel
A simple line that’s repeated in this song is the most important affirmation that two people in a loving relationship can give to each other.
“I love you just the way you are.”
It’s what I say to myself about my husband when he’s grumpy and doesn’t want to go out and do something fun with me that I want to do and he doesn’t. It’s what I said to myself when he was drinking too much before he checked into rehab. I imagine he may say the same thing to himself when I’m talking his ear off and probably what he said to himself when I cried all the time for a year or so before I started taking the right meds.
It applies even when one or both or you are not the same as they were when you loved them the way they were before, earlier in your relationship. We have changed, but we love each other just the way we were, just the way we are and, hopefully and maybe most importantly, just the way we will be.
I would tell my children that it’s the promise they will make when they speak the traditional marriage vows, and that it helps to remember that promise and those vows before they think about giving it up or leaving. I know it’s helped me.
Traditions: we’ve all got ‘em, especially around the holidays. What is it about my family’s traditions that keep them going strong for my children in our blended faith family?
I was raised by two liberal Jewish parents. The Hanukkah tradition in our home included lighting the menorah each night, then opening one of the presents that had been arranged around a three foot tall foil covered Star of David my dad made as a substitute Xmas tree. The presents grew in size (and probably in value) over the eight nights of the holiday. I think one year we might have broken Mom down and got a tree, which we euphemistically called a Hanukkah bush. Every year Dad put the blue and white “Xmas” lights in the window.
My spouse was raised as a Mormon and was married a couple of times to at least semi-Mormon women. He brought a lot of leftover ornaments to our marriage. I was pregnant when we celebrated our first Xmas together. He was so excited and told me that our baby had to have a Xmas tree, even if she wasn’t here to see it yet. I went along with it when he went out and purchased a new fake tree and put it up in front of the window in his house. He pulled out the recycled ornaments and lights and we decorated it together.
Fast forward about 3 or 4 years. We now have two daughters who are well acquainted with both their Jewish and Mormon grandparents and know that the beliefs of each are nowhere near the same. In the interim, every year, we put up the new fake tree with the recycled ornaments. By this age, the kids are in pre-school and other places where making Xmas ornaments is standard practice.
So we expanded the tradition by adding a menorah, and then two menorahs so there would not be fights over who would light the candles. I continued my family’s Hanukkah gift-giving practice starting on the first night with equal or equivalent dollar store items for each of my girls and ending eight nights later with equal or equivalent department or book or electronics store items. The kids made new ornaments and decorations at school and scouts every year. We also started to buy ornaments as souvenirs on family trips so over the years the new ornaments replaced the recycled ones, which were falling apart or breaking anyway, and the fake tree became a very real part of our holiday traditions.
Later, decorating and undecorating the tree were added as family activities. Our family, being non-traditional in many ways at this time of year, did it a little different than most I knew. Dad and Mom would take the tree out of the box and build it. Then Dad and kids would string the lights, followed by Mom and kids unpacking boxes of ornaments and decorations, trimming the tree and the house. The whole process, including participants, happened in reverse at the end of the season.
I’ve been fiddling around with wordpress for a few months now so had pretty much already established this info on my home (or is it about?) page which I think everybody can get to so they can see for themselves. Please ignore the size of my picture there, though. My ego is not that large so eventually I think I’ll at least try to convert that picture to thumbnail size.
As instructed, I’m adding tags, also from homepage + blogging101.
Hope to meet and chat with some of you in the commons, as soon as I register, of course!