It’s a Trend
One of the most prevalent trends for our generation of Over Fiftyers is this – empty nesters moving downtown.
We’re selling suburban homes, getting rid of collected stuff, and asking the kids if they’re sure they don’t want their grandparents’ antiques.
It’s a Process
For empty nesters, moving downtown is fun, it’s deliberate, and it’s all kinds of adventurous. But, it’s also a process.
Here’s how it worked a couple of hometown homebodies who couldn’t have ever dreamed this would be us.
Moving Downtown Over 50 is an Incredible Adventure
It seems to me that I’ve always been up for a good adventure.
My best growing-up memories are of family RV vacations. My parents placed a lot of value on the fun of shared experiences, which typically translated into 7, 8 or sometimes 10 people snuggled into a big RV, traveling snow-packed roads to ski destinations in the mountains of New Mexico and Colorado.
It was GREAT fun. But it was a lot of work. Like moving, actually.
My mom cooked for a week before we left. We each packed our own bags, but our dad gathered the skis, boots and poles for the entire bunch of us. My grandmother made the beds and gathered the dishes we needed to take. Somebody made sure we had other essentials, like bath towels and card games.
Every time we stepped up onto and into the snug space of our home-on-wheels, I knew we were headed off to a big adventure.
Later, Mike and I made friends with another newlywed couple at church, and we all experienced our first tent-camping / river-rafting adventure with them. We loved it!
We were novices, though. That means we had no blessed idea what we were doing! Yep, flying by the seats of our high-waisted gym shorts, we were.
Did you know that the dew gathers on the inside roof of a tent on Colorado mornings? If you wiggle the walls of the tent, the heavy droplets turn into a cold mountain shower. Also, if you don’t have the right kind of grill, your hot dog wieners might fall through the metal bars into the dirt below.
As it turned out, we made it through one long, adventurous night in the mountains, and then we high-tailed it to a hotel. But, we sure made some memories on that trip!
Moving Downtown Over 50 is a Big Lifestyle Shift
Fast forward through three college degrees, three kids, two mergers, two acres, one horse and six dogs to a small downtown apartment in Austin, Texas. How on God’s green earth did two podunky panhandle lovebirds become city-loving minimalists who can hardly wait to walk to work?
Moving Downtown Over 50 Requires Introspection
Explorers are transparent and willing. Wanderers hide and are reluctant. Wandering leads down the path of the lonely. Exploring leads up the path of the purposeful.
God warns against our wandering and welcomes our exploration. He gave Solomon “wisdom and very great insight, and a breadth of understanding as measureless as the sand on the seashore,” and Solomon used that wisdom to “study and explore by wisdom all that is done under the heavens.”
It’s faith in God that switches the whole thought process FROM wandering to exploring. What a cool thought.
So, I’ve come to appreciate the difference between wandering and exploring. I’m no longer hesitant to talk about my adventures. In fact, sharing them and encouraging others to do the same is the whole purpose of my blog.
Intentional adventure is completely set apart from aimless wandering, and that’s what my mom and amazing stepdad gave my siblings and me on those RV vacations, and it’s also what’s taking Mike and me….DOWNTOWN!
The countdown to downtown is on, and I would love for you to enjoy it with us!
If you detect a little aimless wandering in yourself, but your heart is yearning for more purposeful exploration, check out this Austin-based website. http://www.exploregod.com.
I’d love to hear where your exploration leads you.
Encouraging intentional adventures and grand exploration,