My dad worked for the same company for 44 years.
He started out there as a slick-haired 18-year-old and retired at 62, the grandfather of three girls. I have no idea how he stuck with it for that long.
He used to leave for work every day at 6:30 a.m. and return home at 4:30 p.m., change his clothes and retreat to his rocking chair where he would engross himself in crossword puzzles or the latest issue of Popular Mechanics. By the time my mom got home at 5:30, he was refreshed and ready to hear the tales of her hen house-like office job.
He had a system and it worked.
When I read the book Men Are from Mars, Women Are from Venus in college, there was a section in it about men "going to their caves" that immediately made me think of my dad. That's what he was doing in his rocking chair: removing himself from society so he could recharge his batteries.
The book said women dealt with stress differently, but I don't think that's the case with all of us.
You see, lately I've been noticing that I too do better if I can "go to my cave" after a hard day. Although I've been living with Mr. Wonderful for almost 8 months now, this just occurred to me last week. I was having a particularly frustrating time at work and one night Mr. W wasn't home yet when I arrived.
I poured myself a glass of wine. Decompressed. Shed my grumpiness from the prior 9 hours. By the time Mr. W got home, I was perky and pleasant to be around. (My mother and sister are rolling their eyes and muttering "liar" right now.) Every other day last week, I wasn't in the best mood when I greeted my hubby.
I really think the alone time did the trick.
Not quite sure yet what to do with this information. Maybe I need to tell Mr. W not to talk to me for 15 minutes when I get home. Or maybe I need to make it a habit to lock myself in the bedroom for a little while until I can have a peppy attitude.
Just when I think I've learned everything I could from my parents, dear old dad gives me another life lesson...