Local couple trying to navigate the challenges of DownSizing
More of the conversation with Richard and Rachel…our local couple trying to navigate the challenges of DownSizing and the age-old, old-age questions that come with it…
Tom: When you said “control is an illusion,” what did you mean?
Rachel: It’s the myth our culture promotes. Work hard and eventually you get to a place where life is dialed in. You can settle into a retirement cocoon and live forever in a comfortable ‘goldilocks zone’ where everything is just right all the time.
Richard: As we’re going through this process and specially as we’ve cared for our own parents, we’ve come to terms with one inevitable fact: Things will keep changing. Whether we like it or not. Whether we’re ready or not.
Rachel: Whether it’s memory issues or an unexpected fall or a spouse passes or kids move away. Ten years ago, we never even thought about the stairs in our house. Now we think about them alot. The older we get, the more certain big change is.
Richard: It’s impossible to predict when things will happen, just that they will. Should we be proactive now? Choose our change and enjoy whatever new chapter opens before us? Or should we just hunker down, ignore it all and wait to react when whatever happens happens?
Tom: What’s the answer?
Richard: I think it’s about planning for eventualities and not specifics. Like hedging the future in your investment portfolio. One great way to hedge is figuring out how to be the happiest you can be right now. That’s what will have the greatest influence on your long term health and longevity.
Rachel: I think some people are so afraid to consider change they won’t even look at the possibilities. Almost like, if they talk about it, they’ll be forced to do something against their will.
Tom: So what do you recommend?
Rachel: Talk about it. List the choices. Research them. It can be a fun exercise to imagine doing things differently than you’ve been doing for most of your adult life. What are those things you’ve always talked about? You never get anything without giving something else up. A lot of the resistance is just inertia. Just get started. Open yourself up to the possibility of change. Be courageous.
Richard: What was that you said in one of your columns? Empty the rice bowl?
Next Week: Filling the rice bowl with possibilities…