I was asked to write about a personal challenge that I am facing, and then interface with a brand new website, Life Reimagined, to see how it can help me figure out my way forward to resolve it.
So here’s my challenge – once I sell the home I raised the kids in (my family home of 30 years), how do I best consolidate for the next chapter?
The kids both live on the West Coast and may stay there for a few more years or forever. When the kids come “home” they come to our summer home and bring their friends and stay for a week to 10 days – sometimes twice over a three-month period. As of this summer, we have made a giant leap and rebranded the summerhouse our family home.
The home of 30 years was the perfect place to raise a young family, and given the abundance of kids under five-years-old on the street now – perhaps it’s time to turn it over to the next generation.
So what are our options?
1. Do we rent a place for a while and try out the nearby big city of New York? (We love our NY friends and aren’t ready to say goodbye, and love the stimulation of the big city).
2. If we don’t like the city, will we regret having sold the house in the burbs?
3. Do we try on a warm place like Florida for a few months to see how we like it and see if we could actually live there for six months? (This could be good on our old bones but we are concerned our brains may turn to mush down there – plus, I’m not a huge fan of the heat and my husband is).
4. Do I drag my husband out to the Rockies of Colorado where it’s cold (and refreshing) and there’s big altitude and nature is plentiful, animals run wild and there’s plenty of skiing and snowshoeing and it’s not congested? (Or is Colorado just a place to vacation and not realistic as a place to live half the year?)
5. Lastly, do we hunker down in our summer home and use it as a base to test out all these ideas? How long do I hang on to the old suburban home in the hopes of figuring this out?
In completing this assignment for #lifereimagined I realize this is a first world problem – but it’s my problem and needs a resolution and the intention of this website is to help with this sort of thing.
However, I’m a bit skeptical as approximately 80% of my friends are going through the same transition and we can’t seem to figure it out. If this site can shed a little light on what’s next – I will be mighty grateful.
So, I went onto the site and it turns out my quandary is not identified specifically as a topic that has been explored in detail. However, there is a section on empty nests which is not really my direct problem but falls under the same umbrella during transition time.
I decided to see how the people at life reimagined would approach the empty nest issue. Their process takes on an interactive coaching format designed by Dr. Janet Taylor.
I was first guided to take an on-line quiz, which apparently I passed. It asked some basic questions about how enthusiastic I am about embracing this next chapter. Turns out I am very enthusiastic and was guided to the next exercise.
Dr. Janet next asked me to meditate. I clicked on the guided meditation, which was lovely. She posed the question, “Now that this is my time, how can I connect deeper within myself” – then I was asked to observe my thoughts – it was very cool. Then she added in a visualization exercise, which was helpful to feel grounded.
I’m a big meditator so I thought this was a terrific tool and if you’ve never meditated – this is pretty basic and easy to get through. After the meditation there was a list of questions to talk through with a friend to help move the internal dialogue of empty nesting forward. The questions appear to stimulate introspection. Following this exercise the next was another mediation to strengthen one’s relationship with a loved one. Very sweet.
Given that I have been coaching for 10 years – it was interesting to me to see how this website used a coaching tool without a “live” interface. I think it’s a very creative idea and depending on one’s openness to the process could be quite helpful.
There is also a feature to “chat” during specific hours which I haven’t tried yet — but I’m glad it’s available.
The new website is called life reimagined website (lifereimagined.aarp.org) and it’s an online, subscription-based service. It’s mission is to help explore, dream, and plan for what’s next in life. Fueled by a coalition of experts who are on the cutting edge of their fields, the personalized platform provides a place where people can go to discover what is meaningful to them, navigate life’s crossroads, and find new possibilities. It’s able to connect to users via multiple touch points, to keep you constantly inspired along your path.
I didn’t get my exact question answered about when to sell the family home, but I wasn’t really expecting that. What the website did, however, is give me more ammunition to figure this whole next chapter out– how to think about things so I can help myself figure out what our next chapter will look like after the family home is sold.
Check it out – what do you think?