A New Chapter
By Dr. Lisa Cowley and Victor Westgate

Several months ago, we read an article about a married couple who decided to leave America and go to Italy to live in a small city. It had always been a dream of the wife to live where she once visited and studied abroad. She “test drove” the area by renting a home for 3 months on a trial basis. Her husband soon followed, they fell in love with their new life and look forward in the years ahead to a new place they call home.

We have also made a leap. We haven’t moved to another country but a different topography. We lived in a rural area in upstate New York where part of the draw of moving there was being closer to Victor’s parents, who needed our help. Also, we could live financially a more comfortable existence due to the cost of living being cheaper there. And lastly, we had built a custom log home on 23 acres that was truly bucolic.

Victor’s parents passed on, the winters were tough, our abode became a perpetual project and we missed being closer to family. After many conversations with each other and with our family, we put our home up for sale. We sold and moved in with our son for 10 months before finding a home. We decided we wanted to live a half an hour drive from our son, within an hour of my mother and sister and found our dream home. It is totally different from our log home: a remodeled Colonial Revival in Warren, Rhode Island. It happens to have the distinction of being located in the smallest town, in the smallest county, in the smallest state in the United States. We couldn’t be more in love with the area. The Warren River is a couple blocks from our home and so is a 13-mile bike/walking path. Even though we didn’t test drive the town per se, our son, Chris, rented here several years ago and has only glowing things to say about the town and area.

It may not be prudent to change your address but if you are contemplating a move, you may want to consider asking yourself these questions:

  • Do you love your present home and community?
  • If the answer is yes, would you still be open to moving if it meant that the quality of your life would improve? Are you open to a different experience in living? Are you interested in developing new friendships?
  • Will moving to a new location allow you to enhance your physical, social and financial well-being?
  • If you are not in love with your present home/community what are some things you are looking for? Proximity to nature, including hiking and biking trails, near mountains, desert or ocean? What weather resonates with you? Do you want to live in a rural area, a small town, suburb, or a city? Is walkability important to you? A good public transportation system? Will your new location maintain or enhance your proximity to excellent health care?
  • If you decide to move closer to family, is it a home/community you can visualize aging in place even if your family member moves away?
  • Have you tested out the new location to see if it is a good fit?

We are looking forward to opportunities for being a positive force in our new community and promoting generativity and hopefully renew our own sense of well-being as well as longevity through these interactions. We have been living in our new home just six weeks but find the people we interact with to be open to strangers and making new friends. If home is where the heart is, our hearts are full!

About the Authors:

Dr. Lisa Cowley, a holistic chiropractor and nutritional counselor of 25 years, along with her husband, Victor Westgate, a high school educator of 34 years, are authors of Pack Lightly: Making Sense of the Second Half of Your Life. You can learn more at: www.joyinaging.com


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