Tough week of babysitting, so the house is a mess. The grandkids' constant demands exhaust me emotionally more than physically. I have a great time with them, but when I come home after a day with them I need a nap. So, at 1:30 a.m., I'm up and trying to get the house in acceptable shape for the girlfriend.
My girlfriend keeps her own house incredibly clean. I have none of the 12 Habits of People Who Always Have A Clean Home.
Ah, for the days of wine and roses, back when Myrna and I were both making the Big Bucks in Manhattan. We spent the week in the apartment in the city and weekends and holidays in the cabin in Woodstock, and we paid other people to do all the dirty and unpleasant work.
The doorman took the deliveries and dealt with the service people in our Manhattan residence. The Life of Riley.
I'm just an old widower living happily out at the end of a dirt road in the woods in the mountains. I've got somewhere between a year to three years to continue enjoying that before the house sells and I move into a new in-law unit with the kids so that I can be available full time as Mr. Mom to the grandchildren.
Life is no longer exciting and challenging, as it was back in the day, but it is pleasant and gratifying.
The twins won't be babies much longer. They are approaching their first birthday, and they are eager to stand up on their own and walk. Morning and afternoon play sessions now include stints on the walker for both. Next fall, my toddler girl will be headed off to pre-school, so my babysitting demands will diminish. I'll miss her, but she needs to socialize with other kids, and I'll be able to focus more on the development of the twins with her gone for half the day.
The house really does need a full spring cleaning. It will go up for sale in a couple of months, so I'm going to have to keep it presentable for showing. Time also to start throwing away three decades worth of accumulated junk in the attic, closets and garage. The next moving day should be my last, except for that fateful move to the nursing home.
Retirement has been grand. I've had to slowly acclimate to the role. For the first year and a half, I kept thinking that I would go back to work. I worried about money a lot, and I felt like I should be accomplishing something, instead of just enjoying myself.
Slowly, I found things to do that brought me much more satisfaction than getting up and going to a job. Despite the fact that I did some very interesting and challenging work in fields that are quite often considered glamorous, I had "jobs," not a "career." I was a supportive tech worker. Never really wanted to be a manager. Too much work and too much stress.
Instead of struggling to make more money, I caved into retirement, and cut my bills and expenses down to the bare minimum. What a relief! Once the house is sold, I will have no bills, lifetime security at a modest level and the most minimal expenses.
Playing classical music, drawing and painting for my own satisfaction have gradually filled up my time. Spending time outdoors gardening and bicycling is joyful. I spent so many years in gray high rise office buildings.
And, of course, the grandkids really filled in all the other spaces.
The bathroom is clean and it's time to move on to the kitchen. If I'm lucky, the girlfriend will leave me a week's worth of meals.
God gave me everything I need.