Fifteen years ago, when we were moving from California to Florida, I said to Bill that I hoped this would be our last move. The move to Florida was our ninth major move (not counting from one place to another in the same city) in a then thirty year marriage. I longed for the stability of sinking deep roots in a place and never having to go through such a major change again.
Much to my surprise, I was the one who pushed for the move to Boston almost three years ago. It would not be a move to somewhere we could remain, but to a temporary setting — a term-limited time in Beacon Hill Friends House, an intentional community run by the Quakers (read about that adventure here).
Now we have moved on to another adventure – living across the hall from our youngest daughter, her husband and their two children. There are no guarantees this will be our last move.
In pondering all of this I came across a quote from Gail Godwin’s book, The Finishing School. In it she describes the kind of death we should fear: “It can happen at any time you’re going along, and then, at some point, you congeal. You know, like jelly. You’re not fluid any more. You solidify at a certain point and from then on your life is doomed to be a repetition of what you have done before. That’s the enemy.”
One thing I’ve learned about my body as I age: If I don’t keep moving it, I freeze up, become stiff, lose range of motion and strength. One thing these adventures have been teaching me: It’s the same for my self. If I don’t keep moving, I congeal. I don’t have to keep moving from home to home, but I do have to keep learning new things, accepting new challenges, putting myself in situations that stretch me.
So our next adventure has begun. We live in an apartment directly across the hall from our daughter Kate, her husband, Marton, and their children, Leila (2 1/2) and Mateo (7 months). It’s a different kind of community living than we were exploring in A Year in a Room, but we fully expect to be challenged and stretched in ways we can’t even imagine now. We will share our learnings from this adventure as well as other musings here and hope you’ll join us in our wanderings.
We have plenty of friends and family who have remained mostly in one place without getting stuck in their ways, so we know ours is not the only good path. What keeps you feeling fresh?