I’ve never had problems in making friends. While I hated leaving the friends I made in Delaware/Pennsylvania, the worry that plagues many people, “Will I make new friends in my new location?” never occurred to me. I realized that before I moved to that area, I didn’t know my good friends–Judy, Esther, Pat and Joyce. I was confident I would find new friends who would also become special. As it turned out, I have made more friends here in NC in 3 years than I did in the 7 years in my previous home.
I consider my friends my chosen family. I talk with them when I need support during a crisis, when I need advice and just want to “touch base.” Why then, do I also need a coach? Given that I AM a coach myself–it got me thinking about why I/we need both a coach AND a sprinkling of wonderful friends. Here’s what I came up with…
Objectivity — My coach helps me look at the situation, goal, dream or problem without imposing her values or how she handled a similar situation. It’s about what works best for me that counts.
Push/Kick — My coach knows when I am stalling, trying to weasel out of something or wanting to stay in my velvet rut where it’s nice and comfy. She is not afraid to use whatever it takes to get me to my goal. She does not hesitate to use some special techniques to get me there–with love, of course.
Accountability — My coach isn’t a soft touch that will give me a “Get out of xxx free” card whenever I don’t make my commitments. See above paragraph!
It’s all about me — It’s my time. I don’t have to wait for the polite friendship volley where we each take turns to share our opinions and stories. My coach is working toward my agenda and my agenda only.
Resources, options and new ideas — Because my coach truly understands where I’ve been and where I want to go–she always seems to have a lot of ideas I can use for my own situation.
Celebrate — Sure, I use my friends to share successes with. But it is my coach who celebrates each little bitty step that got me there. She “gets” the effort it took and makes sure I take time to acknowledge my progress.
The good news is that I don’t have to choose between my friends and my coach. They are all an important part of my life. So, what do you think? If you have a coach, how do you utilize him/her versus your family of friends?
It’s hard to believe it’s been almost three years when I first set eyes on Asheville and let my heart lead me here. It was at the NC Center for Creative Retirement weekend about relocating in retirement (held every Memorial weekend) where I made my decision that this is where I belonged.
I remember when I was waiting for each of my children to be born. Although I was excited to be pregnant, I couldn’t imagine how this new little person would change my life. Once the baby was born, I couldn’t imagine life without her (I had all girls). The same happened when I was thinking of moving. I KNEW what my life was like in Pennsylvania–but my new life–blank. It was scary.
Now looking at the good friends I’ve made and the wonderful times I’ve had here–it’s hard to imagine what my life would have been like had I chose to stay where I was. It’s been a gradual evolution. At first everything is new–from where to put your shoes in your new home–to finding where the grocery store–to meeting your new neighbors. There were days when it can be exhausting. Before long, however, new routines became part of my life.
So much of it has to do with attitude. As you approach your new life, do you think of it as an adventure or filled with fear? Are you open to exploring different experiences or are you constantly comparing what you used to have and thinking about what you have given up? In every situation, there are trade-offs. Hopefully, your new life ends up on the plus side of positives. If not, you can always make another change. People are so afraid of making a mistake that they don’t take any risks. Life is full of lessons and by taking a step, you have learned more about what works or doesn’t work.
It probably started when I lived those 30 years in Rochester, New York–my dream to move south. I can remember back in the 70’s, one of my good friends had been talking about her former neighbors who had moved to North Carolina. It immediately captured my imagination and interest. For many years after that, when someone talked about that area of the country, I was all ears. But I didn’t have the opportunity to visit there until 2000.
I would often talk about moving to a warmer climate–but never bothered to narrow it down. I figured I would probably get a job that would take me there–maybe North Carolina, South Carolina or even Georgia. That job never materialized. I enjoyed looking through Where to Retire magazines and trying to imagine myself in one of the featured communities. But there was still time–I had to save more before I could ever think of retiring.
Well, as the saying goes, “We plan; God laughs.” Because in 2006, I was laid off.
One of my first decisions was to attend a Coaching certification program to become a Life Coach. My plan (see the above paragraph) was that while I was building my business, I would get another human resources position–surely that was the most responsible alternative. I couldn’t continue to live in my current home without my corporate salary so within a few months, I put my house up for sale. Once it sold, I would either move to where my new job was located or move into a temporary apartment.
Despite an active job search, I never came close to being hired in human resources. Once I received my certification, I started thinking, “Now what?” I had a passing thought about moving south–but I quickly dismissed it. The thought of identifying exactly where I wanted to live seemed so over-whelming.
But that thought kept reoccurring and finally I allowed myself to consider, “Well, what would it take to make that decision?” At first I half-heartedly started going through those Where to Retire magazines that I saved for the past 7 years. I cut out any article or photos of communities that looked possible. I did further research on the internet and on the phone. Eventually, I decided to take a trip to visit a few of the areas I had narrowed down.
When I drove up and saw the Blue Ridge mountains, I knew I was home. Three months and several leaps of faith later–I was there.
The reactions of my friends to my decisions shook me up quite a bit. I didn’t know anyone who had been in a similar situation. And without exception, everyone’s eyes would roll back and they would comment how they could never move to an area where they didn’t know anyone. After hearing it so often, I started wondering what was wrong with me that I was able to make such a “drastic” move. Eventually, I learned that people were sharing their own limitations. Many of them defending why they couldn’t move–but wished they could. It was about them, not me.
After I settled into my new home in Asheville, NC, I knew I wanted to help other singles relocate to the home of their dreams. I created a coaching business called Relocating Single. This continues to be one of my passions and I want to help others evaluate whether a move might be the right decision for them.
Does my story resonate with you? Have you been thinking of moving to a town by the ocean? In the mountains? Or maybe you’re looking for any place where you can start a whole new life. Perhaps you are ready to speak with someone who can help you:
You do not have to be alone at this exciting time in your life. I can bring my own challenging and rewarding relocation experiences to our sessions and gently guide you through the process. Call for a free consultation to explore whether coaching is for you. Or send for your complementary copy of the 7 Keys to Relocating in Mid-Life by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org