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.