Time's up! What happens when you hit the back half of your life? You look around and decide that either:
A. You love the way you live
B. You are on a lifestyle path that isn't quite right for you
This stunning awareness predates "retirement," because you still have earning ages, health and energy to spare. Your parents may have stuck it out for the pension but will you?
I spent the weekend at Cobble Beach Golf resort in Owen Sound posing those questions to myself (while looking over stunning Georgian Bay, dining on exquisite, honest, beautiful food, spa-ing and hiking the nearby trails to countless waterfalls). The homes here are being built just for people like me, who are ready for a change but not quite ready to settle down. By Toronto standards, the price of admission is quite reasonable with a golf membership, access to dining, a stunning lakefront life and a brand new detached home with two car garage for about half a mil.
OK, so it was just it weekend at the very handsome Cobble Beach Inn but it got me to thinking...if money were no object, how would I choose to live my 50s, 60s and 70s? (I shall work backward from there and find a plan I can afford.)
Want to play with me? I fashioned this ridiculous but fun quickie quiz completely unscientifically to see which of four general lifestyles suit me best...Can we live the way we love?
1. In a perfect world, I would get to work...
a. On a golf cart
b. In rubber boots
c. On foot
d. In an SUV with outstanding stereo sound
2. Ideally, exercise joins my day...
a. Early, while walking with purpose and listening to birds
b. Naturally, as I slash and burn overgrown weeds and sumac trees
c. At the end of the day in a rooftop gym overlooking the skyline
d. At the community centre in classes
3. In the morning, I enjoy the smell of...
a. Fresh cut grass
b. Chicken dung soaked hay
c. Urine wafting from the bus stop
d. SUV exhaust backing out of the garage
4. My treasured next door neighbours are...
a. The loons on the bay
b. Coyotes stalking the chickens
c. Squirrels dodging traffic
d. Masked bandits in my garbage bins
5. When it comes to dinner I prefer...
a. Charcuterie by the fire
b. Farm fresh batch cooking
c. Waiting an hour for my reservation at the hot new restaurant
d. Crashing my neighbour's BBQ
6. In the evening I adore...
a. A guitar playing crooner ending my day in the lounge
b. Watching the chicken's flock
c. A symphony
d. Scooping my neighbor's doggy doo...again
7. When I want to relax, I love to...
a. Snore during a massage at the spa
b. Perform even more physical labour
c. Lay on my bed and count the sirens
d. Sip a six pack in front of the big screen
8. On vacation I...
a. All of the below
9. When I entertain beloved friends and family it is...
a. On my account at the club
b. What? Who even does that?
c. Catered and in the party room in the condo
d. On the street eating hot dogs and watching a road hockey tourney
Mostly A: Yay! You are with me at a golf resort community. Mine has hiking trails, farm to table culture, access to water, a dining room and spa. It is close enough to the big city for me to go to the symphony, check out a new chef and see family.
Mostly B: You really do want to buy the farm, hey? I think I do too but the work involved may not allow me to enjoy all the other things that bring me joy like entertaining, being out on the water or a facial.
Mostly C: You are living my city life! Which I do love, with all my heart but it does become overwhelming at times and may not be tenable into my 70s. I need a little more peacefulness to be able to breathe deeply and feel a part of the whole universe (rather than the whole streetcar and its smells).
Mostly D: Wow, there really are people who love the suburbs. I have to admit, this has never been for me so my cray cray answers may have been slightly coloured. The truth is that resort living is a lot like suburban life with the community pulled together but in more space, and without the commute. The resort is for those of us who can work wherever there is wifi and we no longer choose to sit behind the wheel behind thousands of others.
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