A memoir combined with a self-help book explores adjusting to life in a retirement community.
This brief work is a noble effort to expose the emotions surrounding a life-changing relocation. In conversational style, Adler (The Way It Was, 2012) relates her experience of deciding with her husband to move from her longtime home to an apartment in a retirement community. An effective technique in the volume is the use of “two voices,” the author’s “everyday voice…declaring this and that with abandon” and “an inner, more sensible, more informed voice which surfaces now and then.” The work is divided into 27 abbreviated “stages of adjustment,” expressed from Adler’s point of view. The stages help reveal her internal conflict about moving, deftly illustrating that making such a choice is neither easy nor uncomplicated. Contrasting statements such as “I don’t want to live with all those old people” and “Some of these people have led amazingly interesting lives” bring out the author’s complex feelings with refreshing candor. Adler’s reflections on her previous life are filled with poignancy. About her relationships, she writes: “But what I really miss are the neighbors. My friends. These new people are perfectly pleasant, but they’re not my real neighbors, my old good friends.” Her account of what life is like at the retirement community is endearing. For example, she had a wonderful experience taking part in a play: “I met some kindred spirits, and the best part was that I felt like I was part of the gang.” Other descriptions are amusing. At one point, she claims, “I am never going to take the bus,” but later she laments, “Why did it take me so long to discover this bus?…I totally love this bus.” The seesaw nature of the author’s tale continues throughout the volume, but she cleverly keeps the story moving toward a positive conclusion. The audience for this book—individuals who are facing the potentially scary prospect of moving to a retirement community—should find solace in Adler’s insightful observations.
A witty, charming, and revealing retirement account that lacks pretenses.