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.