Change can be scary…and overwhelming! In a six-month period, my husband and I decided we needed to move from the community we had lived in for 30 some years. So, in that time, we bought a lot in Dayton, ordered a module, sold a house, moved in with my mother, quit a job, set up a new house and moved in a blizzard.
We added two new grandchildren to our other three and were lucky enough to adopt our grandson. So, we started over with all that “school stuff” as well. We also earned the official title of “senior citizen.” It was a lot of changes at once and it was overwhelming.
So here I was. New community, church, hairdresser, doctors, prescription, grocery shops… You get the idea. It was not easy leaving my old life behind where I had grown up. I knew everyone by name and history and now I was the new person.
I realized I had several options to survival. I could hole up in my little world and feel sorry for myself or I could do something about it. Thankfully, I discovered I could change. I found a church, the grocery stores and the Dayton community center. Through the center, I found friends that advised me on doctors, dentists and the day that garbage was picked up. They put me in touch with book clubs, the Dayton Benefit Club, exercise classes, painting classes and the Senior Center in Sheridan.
Through the Senior Center, I found a job, new friends, new activities, Help at Home, the Dementia Friends group and the Family Caregiver Support Group. Grandparents Raising Grandchildren has been a real blessing as has Carla at the Foster Exchange program. I even volunteer at the elementary school. I changed my world and I love it.
What changes are you facing? Do you need a little more help doing those everyday things in your life such as cleaning the house and laundry? Do you need a meal prepared for you? Would you like it delivered to you? Do you need help with a bath? Maybe your health is changing and it’s hard to get around and you need some specialized equipment. Do you need to move to a new location? Would you like someone to come and visit or read the paper? Are you family or a friend or a neighbor to someone who needs some assistance? Do you simply need a friend? All those are changes that certainly can be met.
What I really want you to come away with is that change is not all bad. They can be planned changes. They can be changes that just stop you in your tracks. They can be sad, scary, difficult to face and unwanted. They can be positive. It’s how you face them that will count in the end.
Don’t be afraid of changing. Accept the new changed you, ask for help and step into a new world. Know that you are not alone in life’s journey. It’s your life…change it for the best!
Guest columnist Robin Ruff is the program coordinator for Senior Center Services in the Tongue River Valley communities. Center Stage is written by friends of the Senior Center for the Sheridan Community. It is a collection of insights and stories related to living well at every age.