After putting together a seminar at Boerner Botanical Gardens, I had the opportunity to hear directly from those who attended…and I learned a lot!
I wanted to get information out to the seniors and their children who attended by offering several speakers and vendors who are connected in some way to moving from the home they love. I listened closely to questions and comments of the attendees only to find that there are hidden feelings and emotions which stay below the surface. The speakers were superb, covering the home selling process, downsizing, what to do with your money after the sale, how to navigate long-term care and hospice, Medicare supplemental options, and conversations between the adult child and parent when it come to moving from the home they love. We had vendors specializing in basement repair, home inspections, staging, and in home care; seniors helping seniors. It was the last speaker and topic that truly resonated with me and all who attended!
Alan Wolkenstein, the speaker and behavioral science educator spoke to their hearts. He discussed the many emotions that can cause roadblocks and family discord when dealing with moving from one’s long-time home. The quote that really hit me hard was, “when you think you haven’t done enough, you did the best you could at the time”. Think about that. How many of us look back to a time when we felt we could have done more and suffer the guilt from not meeting up to our own expectations. What we tend to forget is that the past does not equal the future. Our capabilities in the past are different than what we can handle today. We are continually growing and changing by the day. How can we go back in time and judge ourselves by who we are today? We were at a different age, a different set of circumstances, and pressures different from those we experience today. We do the best we can at the time we are faced with life’s challenges.
We all wish we could change some of our past actions which would result in a very different outcome. But the past is not our reality today. When you are struggling with the decision to change your address to a completely new lifestyle, your decision will be based on who you are today and the emotional set of circumstances surrounding you at this time. If you are helping a parent traverse the process of a move from the home they have loved for so many years, you will do the best you can with the tools at your side today. The important word I am getting at is ‘intention’. Your intention is to help those you love and how will you meet your goals with care and kindness for family and of course yourself.
If you don’t deal with your emotions and what is behind your actions or lack thereof, you will not move forward. You can be stuck in the past by focusing on what could have been instead of what could be!
The seniors and their children who attended the seminar were so excited to know that they are not alone! There were 80 other people, search and thirsting for as much information as they could get. The more they heard the more excited they became. Many told me that they were worried that they might be one of a few attending and were so happy to see so many others were searching and gathering information to arrive at a similar place of security and happiness. They all were feeling overwhelmed and didn’t know where to begin. But the more they learned the better equipped they would be when it is time to decide exactly what is best for each one of them.
In the end, we all want to be independent and happy with our life choices. All of us wonder if we are making the right decisions as to where and when to move. We listen to our friends and family only to get more confused about which way to turn. The best solution for making good decisions is to listen to experts who have helped hundred of folks find happiness and security. There are so many great choices for seniors today as to lifestyle options. It is up to all of you to gather information from those who are qualified and experienced in finances, housing options, and mental and physical health options. Friends and family want to help you in the best way they can. But what may have worked for them may not be the right choice for you. Seek help from those are available to guide you in the right direction. The name of the book I wrote is “Moving in the Right Direction”. I decided on that title because the past is no longer today’s reality. It is now that counts, and every day is precious. So before procrastinating and putting off decisions today for another time, realize that you have all you need in professionals ready to help and assist you so that you get the very best of life’s gifts.
Remember the words spoken by Alan, “when you think you haven’t done enough, you did the best you could at the time”….the time is now and you are doing the best you can with who you are today!