"Change is the only constant in life."
We have been challenged byJeff Dowler, CRS to look back on the past decade and reflect on the many changes in our personal and professional lives.
In 2009 I was busy working in my growing real estate and property management company while my husband and I dealt with his advancing Parkinson's Disease.
1) In February of 2010 my husband, Max, caught pneumonia and spent 7 days in the hospital. He never walked again. I reconfigured our dining room to set up a hospital bed for him and I set up another bed at the foot of his bed for me. I hired a care giver to be with him during the day while I was working. But in the evening and at night I was on duty 24/7. For the next 15 months, I turned him every two hours so he didn't get bed sores. That year was complicated by the fact that I was the President of the local REALTOR® Association. I had an amazing EO that made the job easy and me look competent. I received the REALTOR® of the Year award that year.
2) In May of 2011 my beloved Max passed away. If I am ever in a similar position, I pray for half as much grace and gratefulness as he showed during his fight with Parkinsons. In his prime, Max was always a busy guy. He loved working on his classic cars, working in the orchard, working in the yard or being an overall fix-it man. I used to tease him that he fixed things that didn't even need to be fixed. He was just always trying to make them better. For him to remain pleasant while confined was such a blessing for me.
As you can imagine, Max's passing set off a whole string of changes for me. My health had declined and I was sleep deprived.
3) By November of 2011 I decided to take a year off from work. I merged my property management and real estate business into another company. I needed to rest and take care of myself after focusing ALL of my attention on my husband and my business (in that order). That year of "rest" came and went and I just never went back to work. I not only needed rest. I needed to, literally, reinvent myself.
4) Lots of traveling. After Max's passing I just didn't want to be home without him. It wasn't that I was afraid to be home. It was just too lonely and different without him. I started traveling a lot. I took several trips to Arizona that first year (where his sister lived). In 2013 I went to Missouri and stayed with a friend for a little over a year. I enjoyed seeing a part of the U.S. I'd never been to and she was also a golfer. So, I was able to get back into golfing in earnest again. It's what has given me new direction and purpose.
5) By 2014, I was mentally prepared to spend more and more time at home. I think this is when my "reinvention" started taking place. I still take trips and do quite a bit of traveling but by 2014 I was no longer running away. It's been 5 years since then and I feel quite content with my life. I have a wonderful sisterhood of friends with whom I do a lot of fun things.
6) By the end of 2015 I reactivated my participation on ActiveRain. I originally joined AR in 2006 but became inactive by 2009. I was pleased my blog was still available when I came back and I love the new connections I've made since doing so. I've made some meaningful connections here that I value very much. While I was getting my personal act together, I've been able to keep a connection to an industry I enjoyed being involved in for 30 years.
7) Family stuff: In the last decade 6 of my 7 grandchildren have gotten married and 4 of them have had babies... 3 of them last year. I now have 7 great-grandchildren. I also lost one of my step-sons to complications from diabetes. It's a wake up call to the importance of taking care of yourself.
8) With the help of Katerina Gasset, I built a new website earlier this year focused on SeniorWomenGolfers. I am anxious to see how that evolves.
9) In 2018 I took my first cruise. 9 friends and I went to Australia and New Zealand. It's a good thing I didn't discover cruising sooner. Now I want to go every year! We have a cruise to Hawaii booked for 2 weeks in October. The gal who is my traveling companion has cruised a LOT, so as her cabinmate I get the same VIP privileges she does.
10) In March of this year, I moved Max's sister from Goodyear, Arizona to a Wenatchee Independent Living fracility. I was managing all of her affairs from afar and this makes it much easier. She seems quite content here.
11) Bonus: I started collecting Social Security a couple years ago. Yay!
The last decade has been an interesting journey. It will be interesting to see what the next 10 years brings.
Anne Edwards Johnson
Delray Beach, FL
Jeff Dowler, CRS
Sheri Sperry - MCNE®
Ron and Alexandra Seigel
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