Decisions, decisions

by Doris
(South Carolina)

I worked in New York City for many years before retiring. Had a terrific administrative assistant position that exposed me to all of the amazing things NYC had to offer.

Things change, my boss stepped down and retired and my family moved to SC and I retired and followed having no more family in New York.

I built a beautiful new house and am two miles from my son, his wife and two grandsons - who are growing up (one sixteen/the other ten). I really don't see them too much, as they are busy.

We take some trips to Disneyworld, some day trips, but I am lonely. I am in a family neighborhood, but there are some retired couples sprinkled in, who are all married. While they are friendly, I have no social life here.

Finding it difficult to be alone here and my huge double bathroom sink is a reminder that I am alone.

I have a son in Northern California and I love it there. He has a young son (seven) by his first marriage and is getting married next month to a wonderful young woman with a daughter. Big surprise, she is expecting - I have accepted that the world is a different place and am happy he is happy and am excited by yet another grandchild, and he would like me there.

I love it out there but all I could really afford would be a senior mobile home park (which is fine); I love the Redwoods, love the nature; would take courses at the local college. Recently purchased a small mobile home which I would really enjoy out on the west coast.

Have really made the effort to make it work here in SC, but I just cannot fit in. Things are not convenient for me and drive a lot - for someone used to NYC public transportation, this has been an adjustment.

Thing is, I try to project five years ahead and ask myself if I would be happier in California or should I stick it out here where I am not happy.

Days are long and sometimes I do not talk to another person for four days!!! Have done the "Y" thing, take nature trips and hikes, tried a photography club (I'm an amateur), but just cannot fit in. Am not comfortable and I cannot figure out why.

It has been three years and sometimes I think that because I really want to be in California that I am sabotaging my existence here. Do I go back to NY? I have a brother in VA - do I go there? My entire life I have wanted to live on the West Coast - do I fulfill that dream? Everyone is leaving CA and I want to go there!!!!

I have never been a "house of my dreams" kind of woman and have always wanted to camp and travel the West Coast. What do I do? Help!!!!

Comments for Decisions, decisions

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New Home
by: Herbert/ Maryland

I would visit several places including California before making a decision to move. Have you crunched the numbers to determine what city is affordable.

In the meantime I would checkout local meetup groups and try to make new friends.

sounds wonderful
by: Anonymous

I would move in a heartbeat if I were you. Sounds like you have mined all there is where you are and need a fresh start!

Take a leap of faith
by: Janet

I think you should take the leap of faith. It sounds like to me that you're really a city gal and still need that type of energy to be happy. Suburbs are nice for raising a family, but they can be very lonely as one ages. They weren't built for that reason. Cities offer more choices for many different age groups and more diversity. Your travel plans sound very exciting and fact that you have a son that lives there may make the transition easier.

Decisions, decisions
by: Wee Zer

First I would like to say you seem to want to get out and into some kind of social stimulation. I think where you built your house is in the wrong area for that.

I agree with another poster and think you should look into a 55+ community with activities. The Villages is something you should look into but it is in FL and probably not where you want to live. Look at the website and 'see' what they offer and think if it is interesting for you.

Then check in the surrounding area where you are currently living to see if there is something similar. Go there and do a 'stay and play' package and stay a few days to get the feel of it. Then look on the internet for something similar in CA near your other Son and maybe also do a 'stay and play' there too. Maybe then you can make some decisions.

Either son in either state could move at any time so there is no guarantee if you move that they will always be there.

If you think CA is where your heart is, go there. Don't stay where you are and pine for another place. Even if you move out there and hate it, no one can make you stay if you want to move again! Go for it!

by: Cindi H - NC

Your answer is already in your post. California is calling you.

There are times to plot way ahead in your life and times to just live your life. It sounds like you gave SC a good shot and I'm sure there were very good moments there but you sound like you are very open to life in California and as you say, you are not tied up in having to have a perfect home.

It's not houses that make our lives - it's the people and experiences we have. You cannot predict the future - whether you will be happy in 5 years or not. I suspect you are enough of an optimist to make where ever you live a good experience. Go for it!

If it makes you feel better, you are not the only one thinking about making a move. My husband and I have lived in this house in NC for over 30 years and we are in the midst of making plans of moving back up north near Lake Erie - I know - who moves north into all that "weather", right? Family is all down here, but we need to shake up our future and see what things await us up north.

Best of luck to you - let us all know how it goes!

GO for IT
by: plp/green bay

I read your story and say "go for it". If you do not like it you can always move back. It sounds like you are financially OK to do this so what is stopping you.

I am not adventuresome....I stay where I have been for 40+ years. Have moved to condo and very happy I did that for sure. Smaller place, less cleaning!

Hope to hear from you on this.

Moving and moving
by: Lynn

That's what the Sun City type of over 55 communities are for. They have lots of activities, built in friends, plenty of single women.

I think ithere is one in Florida called the Villages. Is there any "Sun City" type community near you where you are now?

That would be a better answer than going to a VERY expensive state just to be near a young family which 1 will not always be young and 2 may actually not get along with you...especially the new wife.

Perhaps you could give solace to the discarded wife and kids but seems like finding an over 55 community where you are would be the "safest" strategy.

Trial run
by: Ruth Johnson

Find a place you can rent for a short time out West. Test it out. Now you know what works and what does'nt. Good luck! Take your time.

California or Bust!
by: Chandler, AZ

After reading your post twice, I got the clear message that you wish to be in California! That is where you need to move.

You sound pretty unhappy where you are and you have a son in California who seems to want and need you there.

My personal opinion is that your decision is already made, you simply need to relocate to CA. Keep your current home and rent it for a while, in case California is NOT all that you desire.

Good Luck - you're going to love it!

by: Dee

I can relate to everything you have said. Loneliness is the biggest hurdle to overcome in retirement if you live by yourself.

I live in a mobile home park and it does have advantages over living in a single home. I have to put more effort in getting involved in the activities here but there are so many "cliques" that I have become a semi-hermit. LOL

But I am trying to extend my boundaries a bit and hope it works.

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