Life is full of transitions. And your transition from a busy adult life to the more relaxed lifestyle of retirement and senior citizen status has its fair share of adjustments too. From retirement from a full-time job to learning how Medicare works to becoming a full-fledged member of AARP, your move to senior citizen status is another of life’s big transitions.
But probably one of the most difficult transitions you will face will be the decision to move out of your house to an apartment, a condo or an assisted living facility. Many times the initial idea of you moving out of your house comes from your caregiver or your children. The idea almost always is hard to hear because, even if you knew this day would one day come, you may have bonded with that home in a very deep way.
If this is the house you have been in for a long time, perhaps even raised your children there, every room is filled with memories. If your spouse has passed on, the house is a shrine to his or her memory as well. So if it your own children that suggest that its finally time for you give the old place up, that can strike deep and hard and cause you to put up a lot of resistance to the idea.
So we need some guidelines on how you can accept this transition and how to walk away from a place that you have loved so much. Perhaps the first step of dealing with the explosion of emotions you feel when the idea of moving out of your house is brought up is to recognize that what you are going through is genuine grief. To a large extent, that house is more than just a building you live in. Because it has been the stage that the drama of your life has played out on, it is more than a place. It may have become a member of the family by now.
So, in a way, letting the house go is like seeing a close member of the family pass away. So before you even try to “talk yourself into it”, just recognize that you are going through grief just as you have when you experienced the passing of a dear friend, your spouse of a member of the family. And like those other times, grief will pass and when it does, the final stage of grief is acceptance of the new world you live in and peace.
Next, sit down with a cup of coffee and talk some sense into yourself. The resistance you are feeling is almost entirely emotional. But its time to “debunk” some of the myths that your sentimental side has allowed to grow up around that house. The truth is, none of your memories are going to die out just because you move into a new building. Your memories will stay with you and be just as precious in a new home as they are now. Your kids will love you just as much. You will continue to go to the same church and keep the same friends. Start to see that home as what it really is, a building and one that has been good to you but its time to move on.
Finally, begin to give more time thinking about why this move is a good idea rather than looking at the negatives. Maybe the money that will come from the sale of the home will enable you to buy that cozy little retirement condo you have always wanted. Maybe that money will help with your medical expenses so you can stop worrying about the future. Furthermore, when you are living in an apartment or assisted living center, you don’t have to fuss with mowing the lawn, keeping the place painted and maintained and all of the other stuff that goes with owning a home.
Your life will become simpler and more relaxed because you took the time to learn to walk away. You will be glad you found a way to learn to walk away from the old and embrace the new. Now get with the program and make this move yours so you can enjoy the adventure of a new stage of life. You will be glad you did.
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