Wow, that year certainly went by quickly! It is hard to believe that we just passed the one-year anniversary of our effort to “rightsize” our lives but, that being so, we got to wondering how we might measure the results of our endeavor. We had high hopes, of course, that the move from a house to an apartment would be a good one but, now that we are settled in, what is our level of satisfaction?
In his book The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People, Steven Covey suggests that each of us “start with the end in mind,” and that is exactly what we did before starting down this road. In preparing for this transition, Bonnie and I discussed and settled upon who we are, what we wanted from life, and how we wanted to live now and into the future. With that established – and using that vision as our goal – we made a “leap of faith” … we sold our house, got rid of a lot of “stuff,” and moved into an Over 55 Active Retirement Community.
And the result has been better than we had any right to expect.
For example, one of our goals was to live in a comfortable and maintenance-free environment. Our apartment home surpasses all of these criteria … it is quiet, comfortable, roomy, and well-appointed. Further, on the very few occasions when a maintenance issue arose over the past year, it was handled quickly, professionally, at no cost and … here’s the best part … the work was done by someone else!
Moving to a new community always presents a range of potential social concerns: How will we connect with people? Will our new neighbors compare favorably with those we left behind? For us, any worries were erased immediately by the warm and welcoming reception we received from everyone we met. We now find ourselves among folks from a demographic niche much like ours and, to our delight, many of our new neighbors have interests and life experiences very similar to our own.
Individually, Bonnie and I have joined groups that bring us enjoyment and growth. For instance, once each week I go to breakfast with a band of ten-to-fourteen men whose backgrounds and accomplishments are amazing, while Bonnie has connected with a group of women who enjoy a variety of activities and interests. Together, we have befriended several couples with whom we enjoy going to lunch, dinner or area entertainment venues on a regular basis.
If asked to complete a satisfaction survey evaluating the way we “rightsized” our lives over the past year, we would have to rate the experience as “exceeded expectations” in every way. And while we celebrate having made this transition and what it has done for us, we continue to struggle with one nagging question:
Why didn’t we do this sooner?