Thursday, August 2, 2007
Making a House a Home
Okay. So this morning Hub and I began recycling this same conversation that keeps coming up so frequently in the last few weeks. Hub is searching for a way to find motivation in his retirement; an environment where all has changed and all is different.
There are no longer defined tasks. There are no promotions, no monetary rewards, and often no verbal accolades. So, in his attempts to come to grips with a lifetime of working as a Big Boss in the workplace, every once in a while he sinks into the muck of ‘why do I groom my lawn if it is only for sporadic visitors and a few close neighbors?’
And it’s a good point. With retirement we are suddenly out of our element. We have moved beyond the corporate world of competition and tangible rewards. And that sudden jerk in our reality has left us bereft of the purpose, meaning, and motivation that life once had.
So in desperation, and I do believe this IS desperation, he looks at the lawn and says to me, “If one of my old girlfriends happened to stop by, I could not let her see my lawn looking like this!”…and then away he goes to groom the yard.
I laugh, but finally this morning, I said. “That ‘old girlfriend’ thing you so often use for motivation has me stymied. So first I have to ask, When are you expecting her to come?”
He laughs and says, “That’s just the problem, I don’t know.”
I laugh too. And secondly I say, “I have to ask, if you go into a really clean spotless house or a well manicured yard, do you think more of those who live there?”
He was totally honest. “No,” he said. “I don’t. But I definitely think a whole lot less of those who don’t make an effort.”
That was a response agreeable to me. So that settles the yard issue, so I already knew where we would be going next – to the house discussion. And I was right. I’ve got pretty good intuition after all the years I’ve spent with this man. But its not all old hat, because usually with the expected comes some kind of new surprise. The surprise was I found his comments on the house agreeable as well.
“I like a clean house,” he said. “But I like it to reflect that it is lived in, that it is a comfortable home. Like my Mom’s always was. Neat and tidy, but homey with that bit of knitting by her chair, recipe magazines near at hand, and some extra cake in the pan on the counter.”
So there you have it – free advice from the Expert…on how to find motivation to groom the lawn and how to make a house a home.
So in conclusion, I guess I won’t be dusting or vacuuming today. I just realized there are cookies on the counter but there is no knitting by the chair.