For years, I was in a writer’s critique group that included two wonderful writers whose husbands had retired and were now hanging around the house “all the time.” Oh my, the complaints I heard! “Every time I really get involved in a scene, he comes in and wants to show me or tell me something. It’s driving me crazy.”
So, I was a little nervous when my own lovely husband announced that he would be on leave from work for seven weeks as he recovered and rehabbed from shoulder replacement surgery. My husband is my favorite person in the world and the funniest man I know. I love hanging with him. But I had deadlines. Besides, my grumpiness knows no bounds when I’m not writing. So how was this all going to work out?
I’m happy to report it worked out amazingly well. I’ve stopped breaking out in an anxiety rash when I think about his future retirement. My prime novel writing time is in the mornings. He not only graciously accepted that I needed to have my office door closed—but he tried very hard not to open it before I emerged for lunch. He even became my own personal “phone police”—taking calls and explaining I couldn’t talk right now because I was writing. I was stunned. I also felt a little embarrassed. Why couldn’t I do that for myself when he wasn’t around? Clearly, my own boundary-setting needed a makeover.
So anyhow, the seven weeks is up. Yesterday was my husband’s first day back at work. He worked super hard at rehabbing his shoulder (well, he is a fabulous physical therapist, so he knew what to do) and his shoulder is doing great. I’ve gone back to leaving my office door open, so our cat Lucy can wander in and jump in my lap when she feels like a good scratch behind the ears.
But truthfully? Lucy misses having my husband around all day. Every time he lay down on the floor to do his exercises, she took her place on his stomach. And for his sitting exercises on the stairs, she enjoyed wrapping herself around his neck.
I miss having my husband around too. It’s nice when you come up for air from writing and someone you really, really love is there waiting for you.
P.S. I’d love to hear from you! Have you ever been really worried about something that turned out not to be a problem or a big deal after all? Or vice versa?