Putting Down Roots Once Again
By Dr. Lisa Cowley and Victor Westgate

Spring is the season where seeds are sown. A seed germinates when there is the right mix of water, oxygen and temperature. The seed expands, cracks open and the root is the first to emerge from the seed. Truly miraculous is the change this speck of a seed went in its journey from seed to head of lettuce.

Similar to the seed, an idea holds similar potential. An idea springs forth out of nowhere to help someone. Another idea in the shape of a creative pursuit nudges one in the middle of the night. Or maybe one day you have an idea that a move is the right step to take.

Changing location is not for the faint hearted.  We can attest to this since the home we bought is smaller than our last one, but older by almost one hundred years. Even though the previous owners did major renovations to the footprint inside, for the last several months we have taken up multiple projects. We can say that with an older home comes not only character but a few more gray hairs. Until you put the shovel in the ground and paint brush in hand the full effect of putting down new roots is not fully understood.

Many people think about moving but don’t take the plunge. According to AARP, 77% of adults fifty years and older want to remain in their existing home for the long term. Also, the U.S Census Bureau reports that only 1.6% of retirees between fifty years old and sixty-five years old actually move across state lines. Perhaps finances, family, fear or a combination of these factors get in the way?

We had prepared ourselves for many years before making the leap. Doing research which you will find in our “Sense of Place” chapter in Pack Lightly: Making Sense of the Second Half of Your Life, along with interviewing many other baby boomers started wetting our appetite for the ideal community. After pouring over the research and then holding a vision for what we desired most in our next home/community, we positioned our seeds of desire to “break open,” and put down new roots.

With change comes an opportunity to renew your sense of purpose, connect more deeply with your loved ones and make new friends. We talked many times in previous articles about wanting to live in a pocket neighborhood, and even though our home is not in a designated one, we feel we landed in one of sorts. We talk to our neighbors! One neighbor is passionate about water quality and has enlisted us in the volunteer water monitoring program that is similar to one we were involved in upstate New York. Our other neighbors have been there to help since day one with any tool we needed to borrow and watering our garden while we were away.

Overall, despite the steep learning curve that comes with moving into an old home/new community, we are excited to put down roots. We are most excited about the seeds of possibilities that lie ahead.  Stay tuned with how we grow as individuals, a couple, as well as good neighbors.

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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