I received a lot of insightful comments to my query on retirement challenges. It sounds like we all realize retirement is no different from the other times of our lives. There are ups and downs we weathered and will continue to weather as we age. For some of you the challenges provided inspiration to find new meaning and purpose enriching your retirement. For others, you faced unexpected loss as I did early in my retirement. For others still, it was a matter of accepting the situation, what I call lightening up.
For me, while recently working on creating a greater idea about my life, I’ve encountered some setbacks beyond my control. As someone who’s always tried to control events learning to let go and allow this evolution to flow wherever it takes me is a challenge in itself. My personality was never one to lighten up.
Now, I find myself with no other choice. The new house is on indefinite hold. I haven’t sold my current house. In order to build the new one I must first sell this one. Our inflationary period played a role, but the big deterrent came out of the blue. Following the height of the pandemic, people are still working from home and many will continue to do so. I lost two serious working-from-home buyers wanting to live the rural life, but needing the ability to video conference. I now know more about the internet than I ever wanted to know.
I have high speed internet. However, the download is fast enough for video conferencing; the upload is not. The upload pushes information out into the world wide web. The only way to increase the speed at my house is access to fiber optics, which my carrier predicts is at least a year away. As I write this fiber is being laid a mere eleven miles from my house. According to a recent article in The Washington Post only 43% of the population in the United States has fiber optics. The Biden Administration passed a bill to extend fiber into rural America and Michigan received its share of the funding. As we all know, everything takes time as a project of this magnitude requires lots of labor and materials to execute the plan.
Since I need to rent while my new house is built, I was also in a quandary about where I would live. Not only are rents exceedingly high, every single place I contacted had long waiting lists. Very few offered short-term leases of six to eight months. In the college town of Kalamazoo with thousands of rental units I was shocked to find nothing readily available. With my three cats and Rachel’s three dogs, moving in with her family is out of the question, unless we want the fur to fly. Consequently, I decided to take the house off the market and wait out inflation, market fluctuations and laying fiber optics.
Though disappointed I’m also grateful I don’t have to move. I have the luxury of staying put a while longer. And, with all the work preparing the house for sale, I can sit back and enjoy the fruits of my labor. We all face challenges. The ups and downs are normal. We work through our current sticky wicket, reach a plateau and then the next glitch appears in our lives. Working through each one is called growth. We learn, compromise, rise to the occasion, adapt, acquiesce or whatever else it takes. It’s all part of our evolution. I decided to surrender to this moment. I know what I’m seeking and eventually it will happen. For now, I’ll continue doing nothing and just lighten up.
Having my hip and the knee replacements
I want to walk forever that is why I am doing the replacements
And my stomach is big now from not walking
I am hoping for the best
It sure gives me something positive to do
I see friends not walk then not eat.
I don’t want to go there
Love you Kathy
We are here for you
Carol, sounds like you are going to be the Bionic Woman! I recently learned I have knee replacement in my future. I’m told the most difficult part is the recovery as it takes physical therapy, stationary bicycling and time. Please let me know how it goes for you. I’ll be thinking of you. Thank you for your kind words. K
I don’t know how this happens. However, your blog just seems to appear when I need a boost of energy. Some days I have to remind myself, good enough is good enough. Thanks. I enjoy your blogs. Cecilia
Thank you! Sometimes the universe opens up to meet our needs when we need it. I’m happy to be a part of its wonder.
New reader here. Enjoying your site.
Welcome to my site Tonya! I’m glad you’re enjoying it.
Thanks for the interesting reflection Kathy. These last few years have definitely been interesting ones ! Our retirement story has changed so much from what we imagined it would be. Three years on and three years of Aussie Covid lockdowns and border closures later, we use one word “ pivot” because that’s what we do . Through all the changes – happy and sad. Learning to adjust and build resilience has been a godsend. To some extent we create our own happiness. Our world at the moment is smaller than we thought it would be, but it’s full of love and joy and hope. Here’s to you and your new timelines and plans.
My mom was a strong believer that everything happens (or doesn’t) for a reason. Sometimes it takes time to see the reason, sometimes we never really see the reason. I love hearing your acceptance of this moment. And I do hope that if/when you “see the reason”, it is an even better next step when something happens. Thanks for role modeling, once again, a positive “surrender to the moment”.
I like that “lighten up” approach. It seems like sometimes I carry so much weight on my shoulders that it feels good to shed some of it, at least for a while. I am sorry that your plans to sell haven’t come through yet. The stars eventually will align though and things will fall into place, including that fiber optic cable. Let’s hope it will happen rather sooner than later.
I learned so much from you when you and Martin were building your retirement dream home. As a matter of fact, I am currently remodeling my master bath in an attempt to make it usable for many years to come. I am not sure if I’m going to live that long, but it feels like should I get that lucky, I can age in my own home. A lot of features I learned from you are now in place in my bathroom. I can’t quite express how grateful I am to you for sharing your planning with us. It really made me aware of what features my environment should have as I am getting older if I want to be able to stay in my own home until the end of time.
The rendering of your little farmhouse looks adorable! You must be so disappointed, but it will all work out as it’s supposed to; we just need to Let Go and Let God.
I always get a lot out of your blogs,
Your last line is the best! I’m working on a book with a working title “Retirement: Creating Balance”. I added “Doing Nothing” a few years after retiring to my short list of what it takes me to stay in balance. It was a totally new concept for me! I’m glad you’re seeing the positive in what-is.
Hi Kathy, your resilience is quite a honed skill! Thank you for sharing your story and your wonderful perspective. And I’m sure you’ll enjoy the fruits of your labors to upgrade your home! Enjoy the fall season, my favorite!
I’d also like to invite you to check out my blog. You’ve been an inspiration to me in many ways. https://www.retirementcommentaries.com/