Have you ever purchased furniture requiring you to assemble it?
Are you the type of person who assembles without following the directions or do you follow the printed directions one step at a time?
We must admit that we have jumped in without examining the proverbial “directions” and are taking a different approach. We have recently moved from one state to another and consider ourselves settled in now after about a year. Home improvements are basically done and now the to do list is what one would consider the normal tasks one has when they own a home; cleaning the windows, mowing the lawn and other maintenance tasks. Since we bought a home in a neighborhood that is not a part of a NORC (naturally occurring retirement community) or a 55+ community we have had to “wing it” so to speak. That is, there is no set coffee hour, club house or welcome wagon to roll out the carpet. In addition, we have no family who live in our town.
For us, taking the slow and steady approach, in regards to friendships and organizational involvement is for many reasons. When we first retired and moved to rural upstate New York, before this recent move, we jumped right in and in hindsight moved too soon to address environmental issues that concerned us. Individuals that we thought would be future friends showed us that they did not appreciate a recent newbie in their community being so vocal and as a result we found our relationships less than satisfying or rewarding.
So based on our prior experience here are some simple suggestions we would like to share with you when you move into a totally new community. We would not consider the advice to follow perfect or a perfect fit for everyone but we do think the suggestions that follow are very effective in making your new home and your community a good fit.
We have always believed in finding out who are our local, state, and national elected officials.
At present, we are actively pursuing the assistance of our state representatives in developing programs and presentations for those in our community about to possibly retire or change careers in the second half of life. Coordinating our programs on issues like re-affirming sense of purpose, helping others to be their own wellness coach, and moving the clock forward without fear with programs already in existence or a natural complement to those existing programs is using our time wisely and taking advantage of our elected representatives who are already in a position to “co-ordinate benefits” for those we call our neighbors.
Many hands are better than only a few and when you feel frustrated about community issues you are not alone and it’s usually best not to pull all the weight yourself. Whether you recently moved to a new community, are considering a move, or want to get to know your existing community more intimately, we recommend you dip your toe in first by reading the direction manual first and proceed forth with eyes and heart wide open.
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