We thought long and hard about different aspects of retirement during the past year. Of course, we first considered our finances but after that, we thought a lot about where and how we wanted to spend our time. We talked about the household chores and who would do what…but I was certainly taken by surprise with a recent “situation” that came up.
It started with the new routine we had developed. My husband is still a very early riser…he wakes up even before the sun rises. He really likes his surroundings to be in order so he would begin his day by putting away the washed dishes (yay!) and making sure that everything in our combined kitchen/dining/family room was completely in order. I’d come downstairs to a super clean space with my husband sitting at the table working on his computer sipping a cup of coffee.
So I’d pour myself a cup of coffee and sit down next to him with my computer to plan my day. The kids make their eventual appearances to fix themselves breakfast and go about their day since they older and have different class schedules. Then I notice that my husband starts getting agitated and even a bit ‘snappy’ at times when either me or one of our kids starts talking. He mentions all of “the interruptions” and makes comments like “it’s SO hard to get things done around here.” Hmmm….something is definitely getting under his skin.
The next day I go downstairs and hand him a note that says, “I am requesting a 10 minute meeting to be scheduled at your convenience today. Please let me know when you are available.” That got his attention–he shut off his computer and told me we could meet right away. I then asked him about what was causing him to get irritated and what we could do to help.
He thought about it for a minute and told me that he is used to going into work and being able to shut his office door and not be interrupted when trying to focus. I told him that since our kitchen/dining area is community space for everyone, maybe it would be a good idea when he wants to focus and not be interrupted to go to another room and shut the door. He agreed, but then declared that he also really needs to work on not getting irritated when we are talking and that he was going to work on that.
Wow…that was an easy fix but just something that I never anticipated happening. Wonder how many more “unanticipated” situations we have ahead of us? One thing I know for sure is that I am getting lots and lots of self-coaching practice.