From a four bedroom ranch house to a two bedroom apartment.  From countrified suburbia replete with deer, wild turkeys and the occasional bear, to a two bedroom rental apartment in a sleek four story structure across state lines.

Despite the joy of living now within walking distance of daughter, son-in-law and grandchildren,  I thought I would be sad—to leave the screened-in porch and the woods within a stone’s throw.  Maybe I will, come spring.  But not at the moment.  For now, I am surprisingly content.  Although this building features a small gym on the ground floor, I’ve been walking outdoors instead. How odd that for all the years before retirement and even after, I used the treadmill in our basement. And now, suddenly, I want to walk outside along the relatively busy street lined by shops and restaurants, a gas station, two banks, the town hall, a football field. How strange that I am enjoying the activity—people waiting at the bus stop in the chill morning air, children on their way to school.  Cars and trucks, a railroad crossing, a small bridge over a muddy stream.

It took no time to adjust. Thirty years in that house and I do not long for the space. So lovely to be a three minute drive from family.  To serve as the regular grandparent Uber upon request.  No shovelling snow, no raking leaves.

A smaller, easier, more manageable dwelling.

A new lifestyle.

A new outlook.

The upside of downsizing.

Article by Author/s
Annie Gotlieb
Anna (Annie) Gotlieb retired a year ago from a lengthy career as head of public relations for an agency in Rockland County, New York and editor of the magazine published by that agency. She is the author of three books: Between the Lines, C.I.S.; In Other Words, Targum Press and Full Circle. The first two are collections of vignettes, the third is a novel. During the last four months, while waiting for a vaccine or a miracle, she writes every day. Annie is a wife, a mother and a grandmother.

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