As of this summer, BF officially joined me in the retirement arena. Our road trip home back in May granted the perfect opportunity to make a master plan for the summer. See, we do much better during extended periods in the car together when I’m focused on dreaming over a legal pad with my purple pen, rather than on his driving.
We were to prepare his office space to rent. Then we’d clean out closets, garages, and sheds, finally print out those “new” (2021) Wills for the kids and spruce up landscaping at home and the office. All while catching up on doctor’s appointments, reconnecting with our community, family, and friends, improving our Pickleball skills and keeping our bodies in shape while reading lots of books and writing, planning future travels, and generally taking time to just play.
We were in agreement the office needed a facelift. You know, a fresh coat of paint, moving some furniture around, and BF cleaning out his desk. This would take two weeks if we both pitched in and worked our hardest. Realistically, we’d be finished by the 4th of July.
Realistically? Twenty-one years ago when I met BF, he was living upstairs in his cute little Tudor house on Main Street, practicing psychotherapy in one of the downstairs rooms. Almost five years later, when we set up housekeeping together, he moved his office upstairs, never really clearing out closets, etc. from his last move.
I must admit, the whole project left me overwhelmed and I sort of checked out, but he persevered and over Labor Day weekend, after a fairly substantial redecorating project, many trips to donation portals, and adding a few boxes to our basement storage, BF brought in the last few boxes of stuff which were to be integrated into our home office. The office-office is ready for her next renter.
The Stuff is Not Done
As September blossoms and I shift my thinking to our winter migration, I look back over the summer and admit how few jobs on the plan are finished. I chuckle at my naive timeline. Yeah, maybe it was the timeline that was off.
And then I wonder if we’ll ever get the stuff done. If we’ll be able to keep the promise we made to not leave our kids with messes when we’re gone.
I’m sensing a major tug between getting the stuff done and the old phrase, “Do it while you can.” Do you think the “it” in this phrase is referring to cleaning out one’s mini barn? I don’t.
Actually, we accomplished much more on the connecting, exercise, and play part of our plan. And for me, that’s okay.
I do so hope our kids forgive the messes and remember us for playing and going on adventures and having fun with them. For the places we went and the adventures we explored.
I’m reminded of the final two lines of Mary Oliver’s poem, The Summer Day:
Tell me, what is it you plan to do
With your one wild and precious life?
I plan to always remember my life is wild and precious. To be curious and loving, and clean out a closet here and there, but get it done quickly so I can go out and play.