I think the reason I miss my husband so much is because I see him so much now. Being retired means that we are both home all day together most days. Being home all day together most days gives us the impression that we are actually spending time together. Because we have the impression that we are actually spending time together, we tend not to plan anything special, just the two of us. The result is that most of our time together is spent apart in the same house, doing nothing special.
When I was working, the time that Doug and I spent together after a long day at work could hardly be described as quality time. I was tired and usually cranky, and much of our evening was spent eating dinner in front of the TV. But since we were very aware that we didn't get to see much of each other during the week, we often planned outings, dinner, a movie, a concert, just the two of us.
When I envisioned our retirement, I figured that since neither one of us was going off to work each day, the quality and the quantity of time that we spent together would increase. Well certainly the quantity has.
The thing is, now that we're home together most days, the special plans that we do make usually include other people. Our friends are off at work all day, so on the evenings and weekends, we make a concerted effort to include them in our plans, you know, since we've already spent all that time alone together. Except that we haven't.
We may be physically in the same place during all those hours we formerly used to be apart at our respective offices, but we're still attending to business, the business of running our lives: errands, housekeeping, gardening, and other mundane tasks. We may think we've seen each other all day, but really it is mostly in passing. And in the evening, we fall into that familiar pattern of eating dinner in front of the TV.
So what's really changed? I guess I'm in a better mood while we're eating dinner in front of the TV, but I wouldn't go so far as to say that makes TV watching actual quality time.
So here's the thing about quality time together in retirement. You have to make it happen.
When we were vacationing in New York this year, I wrote about how I love to get Doug out of town because when our days aren't filled with the mundane tasks of running our lives, we have a lot of fun together. That's probably why I wound up getting us the hell out of Dodge almost three months this year.
I guess the real trick though, is to make plans to have fun together, just the two of us, the other nine months of the year, even when we're not traveling.
Could wind up saving us a bunch of money on travel . . .