Recently clients of mine moved to Carolina Meadows, downsizing from a large, passive solar home on over three acres surrounded by their flower and veggie gardens. When I first spoke to them, they were not looking forward to the move. They loved their home and gardens, and detaching from it and their beloved possessions, acquired during years of travel and adventure, was excruciating. They didn’t have any idea how to even begin to make such a big transition.
First, they went through the enrollment process to get on the waiting list for the type of living quarters of their choice at Carolina Meadows: a duplex styled ranch home with a garage and a small yard where they could continue to garden on a smaller scale.
Next, I helped them tackle the slow process of downsizing step by step, like peeling an onion, starting with stuff they had stored away and no longer used and working our way to cherished collections and furniture that would not fit in their new home. It takes most people at least a year to say goodbye to their possessions and direct them to family members, charities and auctions. The process is painful, but every single one of my clients who has done it comes out a much happier, light-hearted person on the other side.
The next step was adapting to their new life at Carolina Meadows. In exchange for the privacy afforded by their old neighborhood, they were now surrounded by new neighbors and acquaintances who were extending invitations and rolling out a welcome mat.
Their grieving process of saying goodbye to their old life was over, and suddenly the future was beginning to look bright and fun again. When I had dinner with them several months later in the dining room at Carolina Meadows, they introduced me to scores of new friends and “complained” of being so busy with this club and that activity that they couldn’t fit everything in to their packed schedule.
Carolina Meadows has a variety of housing styles, ranging from one bedroom apartments to stylish two bedroom villas with a den. The communal dining room is undergoing a complete transformation, and is a hub of community fellowship. According to the many clients of mine who have retired to Carolina Meadows, the lifestyle, camaraderie, and opportunities for educational and cultural events are plentiful. The downsizing journey may be arduous, but by all accounts the trip is well worth the destination!