Ours was a large Continuing Care Retirement Community with hundreds of residents. Within the 3-story independent living building alone, we had well over one hundred apartments. And, as is common in such arrangements, the mailman brought all of the mail to a common postal area for the residents.
Her apartment, however, was on the far side of the building. On an upper floor. And she was quite old. Just to get the mail every day, she would have to get up, get dressed, leave her apartment, get on the elevator and walk down the hallway some distance. And then there might not even be any mail for her that day.
As I was in charge of leasing the apartments, she wanted to know if I could let her know when another apartment, closer to the mailboxes came available so she could move into it, instead. “Certainly! No problem,” I told her. I would be happy to let her know.
Time passed and the perfect apartment came available. It wasn’t just closer to the mailboxes. It was right next to them. She wouldn’t have to walk more than twenty feet from her front door to check the mail. She might even be able to slip out in her housecoat quickly if she wanted! As any move would be a big decision, I wasn’t surprised when she asked to think it over for a day or two.
I was surprised, however, when she turned it down. And it wasn’t because moving her things would have been all that big of an ordeal. She had family that could help with that. She just figured that it was probably better for her health that she did make that trek every day. As she was of some advanced years and in pretty good health it was probably a pattern of thought that had guided her well over many years.
As you make your own journey along the gray mile, you just may find that the shortest route isn’t always the best one. Take the time to enjoy the scenery. Talk with others along the way. And think about the choices you make. You just may be healthier and happier for doing so.