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  • Writer's picturehawaiichocolate

Accepting Changing Realities

This has been one of those weeks where I’m grappling with some aging and also friend's issues. A number of friends have had hip replacements. Every time I get pain in my hip I worry I’m next, especially with osteoporosis. It’s usually just if I sit to long that I get up and I’m stiff, but it works itself out. But I also had an accident this week in a sleepy 3:00 am dream state and fell in my bathroom, landing on the 3” lip of my shower. The result is a massive bruise about the size of 2 grapefruits. Looks ugly but fortunately nothing broken. I installed a motion sensor night light after that, I need it pretty dark to sleep. There are 5 steps to get into my tiny house. It got me wondering if those steps will be navigable in the future. How do you do a hip replacement and get up the stairs? Although a ramp is an option, because of the height to get in my house, the ramp would have to be longer than the house. And inside is not wheelchair friendly as the doorways are narrow.

Some other realities hitting me are that in the next year or so I may need to start dialysis. It can be done 3 x a week in a center , or at home if you are in an area that has home health. I live in a rural community about 1 hour from Austin. We don’t have a lot of services. (no recycling if you can believe that) . It takes 30- 45 min at minimum to drive to doctors, grocery , and recreation center. Home delivery of grocery is not an option. There’s no Uber or public transportation. Home health is limited, a dialysis center is about 45 min away. So for all the things I LOVE about rural living, its inconvenient for many more.

A few things are clear- it’s important to have community around you as you age. With no family, even more so. I have really enjoyed going to the recreation center. There are classes, weights and machines, a pool, arts and crafts, free movies, even free tax prep. Cards and games, a library etc. You can even eat lunch there for $3.00 although I’m on a diet that doesn’t work with their typical lunch. Because it takes an hour to get there , I only go 1-2x a week, and I don’t drive in the evenings so I miss taking advantage of most of their offerings. But I see the immense value in this facility, the friendships forged there, and how it is a lifeline for many seniors who otherwise would feel pretty isolated. I also enjoy my tiny house community. Everyone is willing to lend a hand or check in on you. we try to do a few community events but are still hoping for a community center to be built where we can gather more easily.

But one thing missing for me is being around highly creative and artistic folks, or people that are entrepreneurs. I'm mostly retired but still need to make an income. I was self employed for the last 30 years so that's what I gravitate to and enjoy that type of mastermind and sharing with people who still side hustle.

So what might be next, A different kind of tiny home? A townhouse or condo? I don’t know but I’d rather plan for it then have a disaster that’s hard to cope with. It might mean another move. I’m back to thinking about one of my choices prior to coming to Texas to help out a family for a year. That is Arizona. I love the desert, but prefer it at some altitude. Pima county, AZ ( Tucson and surrounds) fits that bill as do the mountainous regions just east of Phoenix. So a another road trip is in order.

I don’t dislike Texas, but I don’t love it either. I do love the greenery. It’s actually just as hot as the area in AZ I’m exploring. But colder in winter. After being a Hawaii girl for 20 years, I don’t care for the cold. Heat is easier to manage.

Texas politics as we know are messed up. While all of AZ is not a prize, Pima county is democratic and progressive in many things. I used to go there every year for the Gem and Mineral Show, so somewhat familiar with the area.

What’s your situation? Have you had to reconsider your living arrangements due to aging or health needs? Join the conversation.

Also Coming soon, a complete guide to Living Luxuriously Tiny. Not sure that’s the name yet but it will be a state by state guide to where you can downsize and live in a smaller footprint, whether is a Tiny house on wheels, a park model, or a foundation built tiny home.

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1 Comment

May 05, 2023

When reality challenges us we must face it full on and address it. Seems you are doing just that. Get yourself positioned to have access to services and support you’ll need.

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