A Little Perspective Can Go A Long Way

What Is Remarkably Helpful to Consider If You’re Facing a Big Change?

Ten years ago, my husband accepted a job that required us to live in Southern Bavaria for a year, near where The Sound of Music was filmed and not far from Neuschwanstein, the real-life inspiration for Cinderella’s Castle at Walt Disney World. We lived only minutes away from the world’s longest castle, lesser known but quite impressive, and I regularly pinched myself because life felt like a dream. Ancient architecture in charming villages, frosty Alps against impossibly blue skies, a spectacle of festivals every other week, and friendly people who quickly embraced us.

Early on, an older friend suggested, “You’ll spend the rest of your life chasing the memories you’ll make here,” and it rattled me. There was a weight and odd grief to her words; I think, because I knew they were true. Time played tricks on my head and heart as her prophecy had me already missing the adventures and experiences yet to come.

Well, as the insight of John Lennon goes, “Life is what happens to you while you’re busy making other plans.” When my husband’s company extended the length of time we would have to live in Germany by another two years, our lives took an abrupt turn. Though we loved living there and appreciated the opportunity, what we could make work with our three teenage children for one year was impractical for three. So, prayerfully, we made the excruciating choice to walk away from that job without knowing what would come next.

Thankfully, good news wouldn’t take long; my husband received multiple job offers. The only issue was all of them required us to move out of state. It would have been one thing if our decision affected only me and my husband; instead, our youngest would have to move with us – without his college-aged brother and sister.

My mama-heart ached over my son’s circumstances: Starting over as a junior in high school! I didn’t relish the idea of my husband and I having to find our way in a new place, either. I imagined our new lives were going to be hard and horrible.

Never once did it cross my mind that our lives were about to take a turn for the better (I hadn’t yet learned to look at opportunities as “Get-Tos,” not “Have-Tos.”). My inner Eternal Optimist was temporarily out of order.

Long story short, the move was good for all of us. Every bit of that angst for my son, and the doom and gloom for our family, was little more than “borrowing worry” that never materialized.

A year later, the kid ended up being vice president of his senior class, was crowned homecoming king, and made incredible friends he roomed with all four years of college. Though not without its challenges, my husband’s job has been good for him personally and professionally. And, to my utter surprise, I made wonderful friends, accomplished lofty writing goals, and then decided Empty Nest was the perfect season to return to a traditional, full-time job as a life plan advisor for a retirement community.

In my role at Carlyle Place, I often think about how I had viewed the opportunity to move to Macon almost a decade ago: A decision we “needed” to make because my husband had to get a job. Without meaning to or realizing it, I had anticipated the worst; that we wouldn’t like our new hometown, we’d have a hard time making friends, and we’d have to settle for a ho-hum life.

Melodrama aside, it simply didn’t occur to me that life could be even better than our previous experience. And I see prospective residents adopting a similar mindset every day. They view moving to a continuing care retirement community as something they might “have” to do in the future, but it’s not something they “need” to do right now. They frequently have “anticipation anxiety” stemming from preconceived notions based on perception, not reality. They can’t see beyond the stresses of moving to the better life that awaits; one that offers priceless security and peace of mind and includes an attentive and friendly staff, a welcoming community eager to help you adjust, delicious dining options, a robust calendar with hundreds of opportunities every month, and three healthcare neighborhoods right on the same campus to meet short- or long-term needs.

It is our joy to educate visitors about their retirement options. We know it takes a little while to understand how a life plan community, by design, makes your life so much better.

Given a chance, resident after resident will tell you that moving to Carlyle Place is the best decision they’ve made in a long, long time…maybe ever.  In fact, many residents say they wish they had moved to our community sooner. They’re surprised but delighted to discover how much they love living here.

John F. Kennedy once said, “Change is the law of life. And those who look only to the past or present are certain to miss the future.” Whether you’re a high school student facing your senior year, middle-aged and considering a career move, or an active retiree weighing your options, you’ll have to let go of what was or what is, in order to grab what will be. Change is inevitable, and it will be remarkably helpful for you to consider that the next big transition you’re facing might just be the best thing that could possibly happen. 

Looking for silver linings in all of life’s transitions, Robin Dance is a Life Plan Advisor at Carlyle Place, a Life Plan Community of Atrium Health Navicent. Call 478-405-4500 to continue this conversation or to schedule a fun, no-pressure tour and complimentary lunch
 with Laura McMaster, Linda Hayes, or Robin today. 

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