Day one at the Residences at Thomas Circle
Last night my 3 year old daughter Ashley used her best negotiation skills to try and convince me to take her with me! I was really proud (and surprised) and how well she was able to say farewell to us this morning. She will have a great time with Mommy while we are gone! Children lobbying to move to a retirement community – what a concept!
Getting here and moving in
After a cab, Metro, and a walk we were warmly greeted at the Residences of Thomas Circle and Angell Neish our move-in coordinator escorted us to our apartment. Then we were given an extensive tour of the entire community. As we took the tour we met many residents and staff. Once again, I am reminded at how difficult it is for me to remember new names when I am in a new and different environment!
Meeting people at mealtime
Lunch was a great opportunity to get to know several residents better. I don’t think that Asa has ever been in an environment where he had to meet so many people in a short period of time. Although I am relatively comfortable with meeting new people it’s still overwhelming, but it’s a completely new experience to him! Lots of food! I am confident I will walk out of here 5 pounds heavier!
One interesting element to this immersion was having a newspaper reporter following us (he was at our house at 8 a.m. this morning!). In addition, after lunch we had the NBC4 television crew filming us and the residents (see NBC4 video clip below). This definitely added a bit of additional stress to the day, so I am excited to have this behind us so we can work on trying to experience life here.
The benefit to a downtown location
Asa and I were the only “residents” signed up to see the free evening concert at the Kennedy Center. Considering that we want to do these activities to integrate with the other residents we passed on what would have been a private limo to the Kennedy Center and opted for a walk to The White House. Clearly a benefit to living in downtown DC!
Ending a great day
We ended with another great dinner and conversation with more people. Great stories and everyone is so interested in speaking to Asa. We were able to get a schedule of activities for tomorrow, so we have some key elements of our day planned out. We are both very excited to meet some of the residents at the roof-top pool for swimming!
Just like my first immersion, I am absolutely wiped out. I really want to reiterate how exhausting it is to completely change your lifestyle, even if it is an “experiment”. I reflect back on my recent stay in the hospital (click here for that post), and I imagine making this transition with a health problem or if I wasn’t feeling 100% – it would be extremely hard to make friends and be social which is essential to integrating into the community.
A completely different experience
This immersion is vastly different than the first one. The first time I was travelling alone and I intentionally separated myself from my primary areas of “purpose” which are my work and family. This time I came armed with sense of “purpose” which is taking care of my son. Several of the residents have pets in this community; I see how having something that depends on you can make these difficult transitions a little bit easier. I really think that a great role for family, staff, and loved ones is to help people find creative ways to find “purpose”.
NBC4 Coverage of the 6 year old living in a retirement community and residents at the Residences at Thomas Circle