I can truly say, each move excited me. New possibilities, new layouts, color choices, and furniture (remember, interior design background.) When time came to move our first retiree, the fact that she was not excited about the move stunned me. As we were doing our initial walk through/meet & greet, she told me she was dreading the move, the ‘beginning of the end’ were the words she used.
I honestly don’t know how many times I have moved in my lifetime. Growing up, we moved a couple of times before I could have real memories, but for the most part, I lived in the same home from when I was in kindergarten till, I moved out to go to college. During college I moved at least once a year. In the next decade I moved probably every 2 to 4 years. Then I married and settled down and stayed in that home for twenty-two years until my kids were in college and middle school, respectively.
For her, it was the last time she would be living in her own home, there was a loss of freedom, an impending doom about what lay ahead. As we talked through her decision to move into a retirement area, I discovered her reasons for wanting to do it. She saw it fitting in with her future not only monetarily, but for health reasons and area companionship. So as the project went forward, those were the things we emphasized.
For instance, she wouldn’t let go of her piano (she could no longer play) so that we could allow more seating space in her apartment for her new friends to come and play bridge. With her kids all in south Texas they weren’t available to be there for each decision. I helped her pick paint colors, arrange furniture, and decide on which art pieces would work in her new space.
We purged every portrait of their frames so that she could keep the pictures just not put them up on her very few walls. She later got them put into books so that she could go through them as she liked. We helped streamline her paperwork, so she could shred years of old tax info and not continually store it.
Last time I saw her in her apartment, she was content. She had a very pretty bedroom, living room, and sitting room each with enough space for friends, walkers, and wheelchairs. Everything that did go into storage (in her same building) was easy to get to and labeled so that she could find it. Being hesitant isn’t the beginning of the end it’s a natural feeling that just comes with a move. I look at it as a new chapter that hasn’t been written yet. The best part, you can design and do whatever you want for the sake of your happiness. Remember, if you’re ever overwhelmed and don’t know where to begin Design Your Life helps you organize so that you may design the life you love.