Local couple trying to navigate the challenges of DownSizing

Tom Brezsny
- Tom Brezsny

Local couple trying to navigate the challenges of DownSizing

Picking up the thread… of our local couple trying to navigate the challenges of DownSizing and the difficult questions that come with it. Anyone interested reading the series of columns devoted to Richard and Rachel’s conversation can email me at [email protected]

Tom: Rachel you were talking about imagining the future as a fun exercise…

Rachel: At one point, we noticed we were eliminating possibilities before we even talked about them. Like we had programmed ourselves to reject the thought of anything new even though we both said we wanted something different!

Richard: That was our amygdalas talking. The emotional brain center that responds with fight or flight in the face of anything scary. We’re creatures of habit that both desire and fear change. A lot of the difficulty in downsizing was in our heads.

Rachel: We decided to make a game out of it to get past the inertia. We started taking trips to places we might want to move to. We started calling it “research” so we could explore what the future had to offer without getting freaked out first. Change is always better when you are being pulled towards something you want rather than being pushed out of your comfort zone.

Richard: We wanted something new in our lives, but only if we didn’t have to change anything. Couldn’t we just move our existing house to the ocean, plop it between a Starbucks and a Whole Foods, lop off a thousand square feet, put in fake grass and an elevator and do it all for less so we could transfer our property taxes? We wanted it all.

Rachel: One of the things life teaches is that you don’t get something without giving something else up. There are always trade-offs. That’s been true about every big transition in our lives. Why should this one be any different? When one door closes another one opens. But you have to be willing to close the door on the last chapter first.

Richard: There’s a part of this that feels like one of those “first world” problems. Having a million dollars of equity and not being able to figure out how to downsize is an embarrassment of riches. Perhaps we have too many choices. There seem to be a lot of people without a lot of choices who are very happy and unconcerned about their futures.

More Next Week: Solutions for first world problems…. 

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