We can be sailing along just fine – independent, self-contained, pursuing our own interests, plenty of friends, regular contact with family members, and then boom! – the holidays come upon us and we feel like our ship starts to sink.
Maybe you’re still living in the house where you raised the children: Bedrooms remain unused. Closets are full of things accumulated over decades. Memories are in every corner. The garage is stuffed with who knows what.
At the risk of sounding like I’m advocating that you become one of those unaware old folks who try to engage strangers – inappropriately, in extended conversations – I’m going to say this anyway: “DO talk to strangers.”
In the book about downsizing called The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up, it’s suggested that you discard items in your home that don’t bring you joy. The same could be said about friends, I suppose.
Sometimes the hardest hurdles we face are the ones we create ourselves. Meaning that they’re not really there – they’re only in our minds.
We all know that money is that last taboo topic, causing more embarrassment, secrecy and shame than even conversations about sex.
So, if you’re making plans to live with a roommate, it’s a good idea to acknowledge that fact up front and make a commitment to tackle the subject openly.
Recently, I had the pleasure of sitting on a panel of judges for the fourth Design Challenge sponsored by the Stanford Center on Longevity. I reviewed several innovative ideas that encourage active and independent living as we age.
Who doesn’t remember the “bigger is better” philosophy of the 70s and 80s? These days it seems America’s gotten wise, or at least more conservative when it comes to financial and resource waste – hence our shrinking cars and soda pop cans.
It’s easy to concentrate on the upside when you make the big decision to share housing and start looking for a roommate. And it’s perhaps even easier to fantasize about all the benefits of living with a roommate and gloss over the possible pitfalls.
Our attitudes toward the important things in life – relationships, money, and careers – are shaped by the experiences we have in our youth. The Millennial generation – our kids, in other words – are demonstrating this in their attitudes toward saving, investing and real estate.
Check out this interesting article in The Motley Fool on the financial habits of Boomers versus those of their children. It gives us a whole new take on the term “sandwich generation.”