Oh, how I’d love to have a crystal ball. I’d love to know how it all ends. I’d love to know that I probably should not wait to write that e-mail or make a long-postponed phone call. I’d love to know so I can hurry or slow down with the next book – either reading or writing it!
Am I destined to live alone in the years ahead, or will my husband, who is eight years older, outlive me? Will I be sorting and discarding and moving into a smaller place at some point? As a woman without children or other family-of-origin members still living, I wonder what my future living situation will be.
When I worked on the 2010 Census, I surveyed group homes in our city and took a long look to see if I could visualize myself residing in one of those places. For the most part, the homes, which typically housed six to eight seniors, were comfortable and inviting. The residents, however, seemed pretty out of it. They were confined to wheelchairs or lying in bed; no one was reading or having a conversation. While this part of what I saw didn’t look very inviting, I tried not to put my mindset on them. They very well could have been quite content without experiencing what I think I would miss doing.
Still, for those of us who are more active and stimulated mentally, the issue of isolation is a question. And, without knowing what our future needs will be, ideally I think it’s my job to plan for any eventuality. Then I stop there. I’m not sure how to begin the planning for my future living arrangements. Because I’m pretty proactive (some may say anal), I want to be prepared. But how?
Living with an intense focus on the present and a curious look to the future will serve me best. I will continue to read articles about what other senior citizens are doing to live most comfortably in their remaining years. However, it will be with a sense of curiosity and not angst or commitment that I will take in the information.
Because I can’t control life in the future (oh, but how I try!), letting go of what might show up in terms of living arrangements is my best course. If you’ve got ideas about what your living arrangements might be like, sure, let’s talk about them. But I won’t let a conversation begin to rule my actions for today. Today is for enjoying where I live right now.
Contact Antonia at antoniasseniormoments.com or