RetComLife #9 – Privacy & Trade-offs

I continue to try to find my way through this new life I have chosen for myself. As usual, I want it to happen NOW, but realize that it is more of a journey than a short stop. Some of the things I am struggling with now are about privacy and trade-offs. That’s what this post is about.


After twenty-one years of living in a forested area where my nearest neighbor was a quarter-mile away, it is kind of disturbing to realize that I am no more than a dozen step away from a mass of humanity. If I were to take one step outside my apartment and yell “FIRE” dozens of people would immediately rush into the hallways. (I wouldn’t do that, but …😳)

But, it is for that very reason that I am here. At my soon-to-be-sold homestead, if I were to scream for help at the top of my lungs, no one would hear me. It’s kinda like a tree falling in the forest that were all around me and not making a sound. πŸ˜‰ I don’t really care to die and not be found until a week later. I know when I die it wouldn’t matter to me, but just the thought of it is too messy!

I expect some level of privacy here in my retirement community, at least when I lock my door at night, but even then, dozens of people with master keys could walk in. That is a good thing, but still a little disturbing for me to think about right now.

When I looked out my window at the homestead, all I could see was my neighbor’s iconic barn and his two horses in the pasture in front of it, and at certain times of the year the flowering crab apple tree. Now, when I look out my window, I see the assisted-living wing of our community thirty feet away.

It’s all about trade-offs.

Life here, and everywhere for that matter, is all about trade-offs. To get one thing, we often have to give up another. When, after 15 years of living on my own, way back in 1986, I got married and my privacy was invaded πŸ˜‰. It was a good invasion, but something I still had to cope with it.


I want to close this post off with a personal story related to this topic.

As I mentioned before, as my wife’s health continued to decline, she became a serious recluse, and I followed her. That would be a ten-year period when about the only people who came to our house are people such as repairmen who were paid to do so. I thank the Lord that there was one exception. I became friends with one of the workers at the soup kitchen where I volunteered eleven years ago. He, like so many before him, was doing court-mandated community service there. Over the years, we have become good friends. He embarrassingly says that I was a primary reason that he turned his life around. He is now a good friend who I hope to keep even though I am no longer “right down the road”. I know people always say they will keep in touch, but that rarely really happens. I am really going to try to make that the “exception” in this case. Losing his friendship is something I am not willing to be a trade-off.