Small Change. Big Impact.

One Simple Change That Will Make Your Life Exponentially Better

When you were a kid, what was the last thing you wanted to do? Chances are “chores” would make the top of your list. Most of us, at a minimum, were required to make our beds, pick up our clothes and toys, and take a turn washing dishes. Maybe your list included taking out the trash, cleaning the bathroom, or vacuuming, too. Did you have a least favorite (or favorite) chore? (I don’t think it’s coincidence that “iron” and “dust” are four-letter words….)

Lucky ducks were the ones who received an allowance for their efforts. Back then, I felt sorry for my friends who were expected to “do their part” as a member of the family without compensation. Once I became a parent myself, I realized how intentional those parents had been in developing the character of their children. I learned how setting the standard for every family member to help take care of their home (in age-appropriate ways) went a long way toward combating a sense of entitlement for children. And, I sure wanted my future daughters-in-law to marry someone who knew how to clean a toilet.

Once I became a homeowner, my view of household chores shifted. I was no longer a child getting by with the minimum to obey my parents. Since a house demanded routine maintenance, ongoing upkeep, and yes, plenty of chores, it was in our best interest to do whatever needed to be done. Gone were those blissful days of receiving an allowance for my efforts. Now, my husband and I had the pleasure of doing everything that was necessary to keep our home in good shape…without getting paid.

We discovered what everyone eventually learns: adulting isn’t quite what you expect.

When our children were old enough, we doled out chores to them like our parents had to us. But, imagine this: one day they grew up and moved out! While empty nesting meant we were free to come and go as we pleased, taking care of our home was, once again, all up to us. Either we coughed up the money to have others help us, or we raked leaves, mopped floors, or – horrors! – dusted the furniture ourselves. 

It was during the aftermath of a wicked storm years ago that my perspective changed about home upkeep. There had been significant loss of life, and thousands lost their homes. Hundreds of thousands of people were at least temporarily displaced, and the U.S. calculated billions of dollars in damage.

We may have lost power and a refrigerator full of groceries, but my house and health were perfectly fine. As I picked up sticks and branches scattered across my yard, I was incredibly thankful to have a home and yard that required my attention. I found myself thinking, “I don’t have to pick up sticks and branches, I get to pick up sticks and branches….”

And, just like that, a simple change in my perspective took root.

I began to look at everything through a “get to” point of view—

I get to wash dishes because we have food to eat.
I get to clean my house because I have a house to clean.
I get to do laundry because I have clothes to wear and a washer and dryer in my home.
I get to pay bills because I have a job that will cover the cost.
I get to exercise because I am able to physically.

Adopting a Get To mindset isn’t just putting lipstick on a pig; it’s noticing that the pig was pretty special all along. I’m convinced that once you begin thinking in terms of Getting to ____ in contrast to Having to ___, your life will be exponentially better.

I’ve thought a lot about a Get To perspective since going to work as a Life Plan Advisor for a continuing care retirement community (CCRC) that offers the incredible Life Care Contract. Routinely I receive calls from people who say, “I don’t have to do anything right now, so I think I’ll wait….” I cringe for multiple reasons:

  • There’s a lot at stake financially – potentially hundreds of thousands of dollars – when you wait to move to a CCRC (or Life Plan Community) that has a Life Care Contract. At Carlyle Place (my employer), we offer a Type A contract. Under this contract, if you require healthcare as you age, you have unlimited personal care, memory care, and skilled nursing care without additional charges for the care. Since you qualify for the Life Care Contract by your health, waiting could mean something happens to prevent you from qualifying; you’ll end up paying market rate for healthcare, which is substantially more than under the Life Care Contract. If you wait until you “have to” do something, it’s too late to qualify for the benefit (although you can still move here).
  • Moving to a Life Plan Community is an extraordinary Get To opportunity for retirees. Communities like Carlyle Place, by design, help seniors age well. No longer are you burdened with the demands, responsibilities, and hassles of home ownership. There is an attentive and well-trained staff ready to serve you. Healthy dining, diverse activities, exercise and fitness classes supported by certified instructors, social engagement— a CCRC is your partner in maximizing your life’s potential for the rest of your life.

Are you ready to make one simple change that will make your life exponentially better? What are your “have tos” that you’re willing to see as “get tos”?

Life Plan Advisor Robin Dance along with her colleagues Laura McMaster and Linda Hayes have a Get To invitation awaiting you: join them for a complimentary lunch and tour of Carlyle Place! You’ll have a wonderful meal, a no-pressure visit, and learn how Carlyle Place might be your next best move! Call 478-405-4500 today for more information or to schedule your visit.

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