I assumed that, because I was the happiest I'd ever been here in Wimberley, Hubby was too. I assumed that he had finally found his passion in photography, and that he loved spending his evenings down in the man cave, working on his digital photos, framing things, or watching sports or horrible sci-fi movies on his big-ass TV, even though I myself found that part of the house to be kinda creepy at night.
The truth was that, while he loved spending time here on weekends and holidays when we first bought this place, he also loved going back to Houston during the week, where he spent his days sharing his skills with others, hung out with other guys all day every day, and had an unlimited supply of places to explore and restaurants to try. Here in Wimberley he feels isolated, and though he used to love going to classes and programs over at UT, the drive over is getting worse and worse, so he's going less and less often. And, though there were several consulting jobs to keep him busy when he first retired, those have pretty much dried up. Also, he thinks the man cave is kinda creepy at night, and feels even more isolated down there.
He assumed my priorities were still the same as when I first moved up here, and that I could never be this happy anywhere else. He also assumed I actually preferred it when he went and spent his days in Austin, and his evenings down in the man cave, so I could concentrate on my books and art and projects. Wrong! Well, okay, maybe an eensy bit right, but only because of the incessant noise. I explained that if he would just put on his headphones when he wants to watch a loud movie or listen to loud music while I'm trying to write or read, I would be thrilled to have him stay upstairs with me. He was like "Oh. Never thought of that."
As for my priorities, well, a lot has happened in the last ten years. I'm not the same person I was when we first bought this place, and time no longer appears as an endless stretch ahead of us. I sat down to make a new Bucket List, and this is what I realized was most important to me now:
1) Creating memories with my hubby, kids and grandkids
2) Making my life less about stuff -- simplifying
3) Making art and creativity more of a priority
4) Having more adventures with my hubby and with our BFFs
5) Encouraging my hubby to find his tribe, his voice and his passion
So, I'm thinking maybe it's time for the engine and the caboose to trade places once again, right? We're not rushing into anything though, in case you're wondering, and didn't run right out to put a For Sale sign in the front yard. Instead we are taking our time to toy with all the possibilities. Here are a few we've come up with so far:
1) Rent a place in Austin while fixing this place up to sell. Find out if that actually makes Hubby any happier than he is here. If not, move back into our house here, which will finally have every repair done to it that we've been putting off for years.
2) Turn the man cave into a second bedroom, and turn our sunny upstairs master bedroom/studio into one large studio for us both to share.
3) Find some way for Hubby to share his skills here in Wimberley.
What about you? Any others with hubbies who lost their way when they retired? Would love to hear how you dealt with it!