"The secret of change is to focus all of your energy, not on fighting the old, but building the new."
This post is in response to Endre Barath, Jr.'s challenge to write about changes we've made in the last couple of years. Since I retired in 2011, I can't write about any business changes I've made, but I did make some personal changes that have made life a little simpler (and complicated) for me. And, the moral of the story does apply to business.
In 2014 my sister-in-law, Connie, who lived in Arizona, had a back surgery that went bad at the end. I won't go into the gory details, but she has been left with severely diminished cognitive and physical limitations. About two years ago, I was appointed her personal representative and given POA/AIF responsibilities. I can tell you it is no easy task managing those kinds of responsibilities from 1400 miles away. I did so for over a year.
The change I made was moving her to where I live in Wenatchee, Washington last March. And, although it has been a lot of work getting her relocated and settled, the result is so much better for her. I enlisted the help of a lot of people to get the job done. I could not have done it alone. And, I had to compose a letter explaining why she needed out of the lease she held. As you know, property management companies can be a bit obnoxious about that. But, I did and it worked like a charm. My negotiation skills came in very handy on that one... and it cost us nothing but a postage stamp.
Instead of living alone, Connie is in the independent living section of a senior community. She has her own apartment, but she is not alone. In her Arizona apartment, she would go for days without seeing anyone. She had no family there since her husband had died. She now enjoys the daily camaraderie of the community dining room, putting together puzzles in a central area, and the many activities they have at the facility. She also has several nieces and nephews in the state that come to visit about once a month. She lives only 2 miles from my house, so it is very convenient for me to deliver meds, what few groceries she needs, pick her up for Dr. appts, and take her for outings occasionally. Although she doesn't like the cold winters here, she is adjusting. The only time she goes out in the winter is for appointments, so it's no big deal. The picture above is Connie in her ski jacket IN my house when she first arrived in Wenatchee last March. She was cold in my 72º house!
So, the moral of my story:
Sometimes you have to do something hard in the interest of the best long term results. The physical move was a PITA. Getting her set up with all new Doctors was a PITA. In many ways, having her in town is a PITA because she expects more of me because I am so convenient.
BUT... it was the best and right thing to do. And, isn't that true in life and business? Sometimes we have to make decisions that cause temporary inconvenience for the long term good.
All that said, I AM making some changes this year that are taking me quite a bit beyond my comfort zone. We'll see how all that works out.
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