Thanks to all my empty nester friends, I am having some awesome daydreams.
In the past couple of years, dozens of folks have shared with me their plans for starting new chapters in their lives now that they have the opportunity to do so, given that the kids have gone their own way.
Whenever I hear about a person's intent to downsize and/or relocate, I close my eyes and picture myself in his/her new life, from the digs to the surroundings to the weather and so on.
It’s a pretty cool trick to be able to try out a variety of lifestyles, from my very own living room couch…with no boxes to unpack…and no stress.
All it takes is some imagination and practice and, before long, I have become the main character in my fantasy. I’m able to view my life in multiple settings and can then compare options to determine which might be the most appealing for me to try out one day, for real.
Most of the moves seem to have subtle differences among them, such as going from a large suburban residence where many of us raised our families to a smaller, local dwelling in a walkable community, whether in a suburban town or a city.
These are easy choices to visualize given 1 - I’ve already lived them and 2 – I’d still be close to the important peeps in my life.
More dramatic a change is in the works for my friends contemplating life as snowbirds. They would sell their home to spend winters in Florida and summers either on a New Jersey beach or in close proximity to their current house or grandchildren.
Along these lines of moving a distance away, I have another friend who is mulling over the purchase of a place in a resort area across the country for a robust life of outdoor activities, culture and fun year-round, while also possibly keeping a residence near where they live today.
The most extreme plan I’ve heard so far relates to a friend and her husband who are living out her longtime goal. They have sold their home in exchange for the purchase of a truck camper, so they can spend all their time on the open road, hiking and camping around the country.
After decades of staying put to raise children, all of these plans fall within a spectrum of possibilities that I can envision for myself, although I’d have to get David on board.
My guess is that he is happy for me to live vicariously through my daydreams, because he’d be perfectly content staying in our house forever.
As for me, after all these exciting scenarios I’ve played out in my mind, I only know one thing for sure: If/when we do move, our new pad is going to be one level.