Downsizing can be daunting. Moving house anyway is often stressful, but downsizing includes jettisoning many loved objects acquired as we’ve drifted through our lives in order to fit into (new, smaller) available spaces.
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My husband and I (both in our eighties) decided we did not need a two-storey house, extra bed- and living-rooms and a study. Time to rethink where we live and how to get there.
Our road to a new lifestyle hit a bump when a stranger we met in a lift on our way to view an apartment for sale eyed my husband and me up and down. Then she asked if we were planning to invest or move in.
‘Cheeky bitch.’ I thought. ‘It’s none of her business.’
‘ We’re downsizing,’ I said.
‘You’ve left it a bit late, haven’t you? I would have thought that at your age…’ she said.
Until then we hadn’t considered we were ‘too old’ to downsize. We simply knew it was time.
Until then, also, we didn’t know there were rules about age and moving house. Next time we need to make a decision, we’ll read the instructions about how to age more closely and try to follow them, instead of carrying on like a couple wayward kids. You’d think we’d know better, at our age!
Her comment made me think (again) about the move and whether it was a good idea. It is! It will be even better when we re resettled.
Our reasons for downsizing include
- We’ll have more time to play. There will be less cleaning, maintenance and gardening. I love homemaking and we both enjoy gardening, but now they feel like chores that sometimes overwhelm us.
- We will possess less, including an extra car, so we’ll have fewer things that require our attention.
- ‘Ageing in place,’ a concept espoused by the Australian government for managing care of the ageing population, appeals to us. Older people who age in place live their lives in surroundings they they call ‘home’. A smaller house makes this easier for everyone.
- The decision about where we live belongs to us, rather than our kids deciding what should become of us as we grow older.
- It’s a sobering thought that there is a high probability that one of us will die before the other. It we are already in a smaller place, the survivor will be set up with viable options to continue living in a comfortable, familiar home.
Frivolous reasons for downsizing AT OUR AGE.
- Change and new adventures beckon.
- We fancy living and participating in a vibrant community rather than in suburban sprawl or a retirement village.
- Our plans include short walks to the shops, cafes, church and bookshops. Trains nearby will take us to Perth city and its art gallery and museum, the Alexander Library, the Fringe Festival, theatres…
- We can literally lock up and leave, instead of organising for someone to water garden or returning to dead plants.
- Someone else will rake the leaves and bark from the box trees on our verge.
What better reasons exist for a couple in their eighties to move to greener pastures?
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