We’ve been in Greenville for about a week now. Settlement for our house was Friday morning and all went well! It’s an odd feeling to be house-less. The last time we were in this situation was when we were moving to Singapore, but our rental apartment was waiting for us. It’s a free sort of feeling – like high school graduation or our wedding day – times when we felt anything was possible.
People seem quite interested in our little adventure and I finally realized why. Peter has been telling his colleagues what we’re up to and they have expressed envy at our freedom. Most people our age move to be closer to their kids and grandkids, which we don’t have. But what I had forgotten is that many adults move closer to their parents to care for them! My parents have been gone for a long time and Peter’s amazing mother was in perfect health until the week she died, so we haven’t been in parental care giving mode for some time. So we really, truly can live anywhere.
I was trying to explain to a friend, who would love to move but is too frightened to, how liberating moving is. Whether you are happy with yourself or your life or not, moving where no one knows you and you are unfamiliar with things gets my juices going. Barbara Corcoran puts it this way in her interesting book entitled Nextville:
And so I truly believe in the transforming power of place. I believe that when you go to a new place – when it’s the right place – you have permission to start over, to do things you couldn’t or wouldn’t do before. In short, you have an opportunity to meet the better you. It’s never a cure-all, of course, because we often bring our emotional baggage with us when we move. But the new place at least lets you make a clean break with your old patterns of day-in, day-out living. It gives you a chance to shake your life up and reopen your eyes to see the world afresh.
In her book, Corcoran tries to help you find out what you want to do or be next. Peter is still working, so he has his work persona, but he is delighted to be changing the scenery! He is an avid biker and was quickly bored with the flat, flat countryside around Chicagoland. There are mountains and parks winding through three or four states and we will enjoy exploring them. Nextville is a great resource.
I subscribed to Where to Retire magazine for a year. Though Peter is not retiring, it made sense that they would feature wonderful spots to live. We do not want to live in any sort of “adult” community or a neighborhood with homeowners associations, and the magazine features those most often. But they do offer alternatives. (I’m sure that the developers and communities pay their bills!)
Findyourspot.com is a really fun website that I discovered many years ago. You take a test and it gives you destinations at the end, with lots and lots of information about them. What’s really fun about it is that you can go back and change everything and see what locale comes up next. On my first try, my number one destination turned out to be Harrisburg, PA, a place we’d lived for 4 years! As Peter would say “been there, done that!”.
I won’t be lonely this move, for sure. A dear high school friend is about an hour and a half away. My brother and his family and some friends from long ago are about a three-hour trip. All these people live closer to me than they have in years so it will be fun to visit more often.
The house hunt is starting in earnest now and we’ve been driving around getting the feel for Greenville and environs. Hopefully we will drive up to some house or land and it will sing a song to us….