Oregon writer, Rain Trueax, and Oregon painter, Diane, co-author Rainy Day Thought, where they write about ideas and creativity. Diane posts on Wednesdays and Rain on Saturdays. There may be extra days or changes as situations warrant. Comments, relating to the topic, are welcome as it turns an article into a discussion, but must be in English and not include profanity or threats.

Saturday, May 19, 2018


by Rain Trueax

When you reach a crossroads in your life, how do you decide which road to take? 

As children, choices are made for us most of the time. When we reach young adulthood, that changes. We have to decide whether to go to college, then which college, or is military a better fit, how about traveling for a few years and putting it all off? For most of our adult lives, we will be looking at choices, some of which are minor like what to eat, whether to exercise, who to spend time with, but then come big ones-- with whom to build a family. That one can only be topped by deciding to break up a family. 

Today, my husband and I are looking at a crossroads which involves where would it be best to spend the next say 10 years. At 75, we can expect to live independently at least that much longer, but where to do that. Some move into retirement communities, where services will be provided as needed. Others get an RV and begin to travel figuring they won't get another chance. 

As we age, our choices can be impacted by-- do we need to be closer to doctors, stores, services, or would being reclusive out in the mountains be a better choice? What can we afford factors into where we might end up.  What worked for us in our 60s may not in our 80s. It's a constant flow of choices. Many of them we don't even think of as choices that will lead to something else.

Some of the choices others make have little appeal for me and never did. There are choices I've made that never again required rethinking-- like having children. A lot of life though is cyclical-- and one choice comes around again as circumstances change.

The immediate issue I am wrestling with is we have two homes-- one for nearly 40 years and the other for almost 20. It seems unrealistic in our senior years to keep them both as they are 1200 miles apart. They offer very different advantages and complications. I've considered dumping them both and moving somewhere else-- but where would that be? I am a huge lover of the American West. I could imagine living many places from the ocean to the Rockies. Would a new place be a better fit than one where we have long lived? Adventure or security?

I've recently spent a lot of time wrestling with this question of change as I enter into genuine old age. I don't have an answer. Do you have a way you work through such times?

 Photos altered by Dreamscope. It's a way of illustrating how we can see the same thing but angle changes everything-- a bit like life.


Diane Widler Wenzel said...

Love the last Dream Scape of the cactus bloom.
At age 75 I realize a change in residence is as likely as making our home more senior friendly in the next ten years. My husband and my plan is only to reduce the stuff we own so our children will not have to liquidate it when we pass away. If we suddenly decide to move, the transition will be easier because of our habitual constant reduction of our stuff. This reduction of course impacts my painting. I am trying to keep only my strongest pieces. It is difficult deciding which to retire and how to go about reducing my inventory. Wednesday I will post one way I creatively, carefully consider reducing the results of my prolific painting while gaining satisfaction from the process.

Tabor said...

I have only a few neighbors here on my street. Of the ones that I know well enough to greet, two are leaving this year which means a bigger change for me. They are downsizing and moving closer to children. I am reasonably close to my kids but would like to be closer. It will take a crane to get hubby to leave here in spite of the various maintenance issues such as crawling up ladders in the rain to clear gutters that are flooding the basement! That happened this week. And we are mid-70s.

Rain Trueax said...

Reducing what we have is my concern. With 40 years on a farm, the accumulation is frightening-- and an attic... very bad to have an attic lol

Annie said...

That is the question, isn't it? I don't know the answer, or even how to come to the answer. In my own life I have decided to stay put until my dog dies, then look hard at what the choices are. Part of me wants to take more chances and not be tied to doing "the safe thing". Part of me thinks I should be more sensible. There are many things I like about my current situation, and many things I'd still like to try before I die. Inertia says keep doing what you've always done until you can't. But sometimes one wants to take hold of life by the collar and just shake things up a bit. FYI, my neighbour's husband died a year ago, she's about your age. At first she said she was going to sell everything and move into an apartment, then she went apartment hunting and said, maybe not. Maybe she'd stay put. But something changed over the winter, I don't know what, but at any rate she is busy cleaning her place up and getting rid of stuff in preparation for selling. She tells me she doesn't know what she'll do next, she'll cross that bridge when she comes to it...

Annie said...

Oh and I love the paintings!

Rain Trueax said...

When we get old, those are the issues, Annie. I expect to die before my husband given my family's genetics and his but you never know. When that happens, it all changes. I could never keep the farm up without him but I could live in Arizona. It's a challenge to figure out what would be best or would be nearer the kids be better? Crossroads for sure

Joared said...

Am catching up a bit after my long absence from blogging. Probably missed a lot more before this, but won’t go back any further. You’ve touched on a really pertinent question most of us face sooner or later. Resolution is such a highly individual choice. So many factors come into play. And I think we feel there’s more of a feeling of finality about our decision than when we were younger. Even having concluded long ago that I would stay in my home, I periodically have second thoughts. Part of me entertains the thought I may well need to change my plan any day either intentionally, or because of circumstances beyond my control.

I’ve been procrastinating on downsizing since my husband’s death when I became distracted from an intended doing so by learning to use a computer, exploring the internet and blogging — the latter becoming much too time-consuming. Coincidentally, I’m exploring this very topic, of making choices, having interested others, and may be involved with a group focusing on the same in the future. Eventually I may write about it if comes to be. More self-inflicted busyiness to keep me from dreaded downsizing? I can tell you this — do it now! Unexpected events make it harder and harder the older you get is my experience, now at 82 yrs.