Every now and again, someone changes your life.
Choices to make,
Budgets to consider,
Sacrificing to consider,
Decisions to make.
It was a mauzy day in March. My husband and I had made the decision to renovate, one last time. As you close in on your retirement, there are things you need to do before you start down that next segment of life.
Like many couples, we wanted to be budget conscious and live within our means. This was a big initiative and serious choices were necessary. We realized that we wanted to stay in our neighbourhood, we wanted to brighten up the house, upgrade our appliances, heating system and be as senior accessible as possible.
Every decision was sensible and our plan gave us the structure and budget we could live with.
One evening our contractor arrived to chat about our plans. We had worked with Roy for a long time and he was the person we trusted. We spoke about our plans and Roy wondered if we wouldn’t be better off selling our home and building nearby. It is easier and cheaper overall to build than to renovate. We smiled and said staying exactly where we were was decision number one.
We discussed each logical and serious decision we had made. I was beginning to realize that we were serious and not exuberant.
Roy took out his measuring tape. He asked my husband how old he was. Hubby answered 57! Following that, our trusted contractor and friend rolled out 73.5 inches. Roy explained, “Hub, an average Canadian male can expect to live 73.5 years. This amount of tape signifies the life you have to live.”
Next, Roy clamped the measuring tape at 73.5 and asked me to hold the tape at 57 inches. I did so. The tape dropped to the floor, all 57 inches of it. We looked at Roy, not particularly excited about where he was going with this analogy.
“This short piece, 16.5 inches, is the time you can reasonably expect from here.”
I took a good look at the comparison. We were all silent for a long and uncomfortable minute. Hubby and I had more thinking to do.
Suffice it to say, our home looks wonderful today! While we didn’t go crazy, and start buying everything to live in the moment; we did not focus solely on being senior ready and the extent of our budget. We certainly refocused on a happy 16.5 years ahead and stopped putting life on hold. Each day matters more and more. Exuberant is much greater than serious.