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Developing a Mindset for Moving Forward: A Conversation With a Melrose Meadows Resident

One of the things we’ve seen firsthand is that getting older doesn’t mean slowing down and giving up. Far from it. In fact, if you ask Marilyn Woodin–one of our Melrose Meadows residents–getting older can mean a journey forward to new and exciting opportunities.

Resident Marilyn Woodin (left) smiles with friend and fellow Melrose resident Virginia Grady.

“You can either make a life for yourself and enjoy it, or you can decide to be unhappy,” she states confidently. “I think the best way to go through life is to have the mindset of moving forward at all times. Every time I’ve experienced a change in my life, whether retiring from our church or selling my store or moving to Melrose Meadows, I’ve just kept looking forward. I’m a big believer in the mantra that ‘you can’t go home again,’ which can be either a negative or a positive thing! It’s all up to you!”

Marilyn is a shining example of taking control to live life to its fullest. Before she moved to Melrose Meadows, she was a pastor’s wife, a shop owner of the largest quilt dealer in the Midwest, and a driving force in the development of an historical village in her hometown of Kalona, IA. And she hasn’t slowed down since moving to our community four years ago! She’s taken Melrose Meadows by storm, founding a writing club and a coloring group, volunteering to decorate our display cases on a regular basis and even directing the handbell choir at First Christian Church.

“I moved to Melrose Meadows when my health declined and needed that little extra help and access to health care,” she says. “Of course I had concerns before I moved. I was concerned about leaving my home and everything that came with it. But I knew it was time, and so I moved forward and I’ve never looked back. I have just been so happy here. It’s a really great place and I’m so content with my life.”

Many seniors have concerns about moving to a senior living community for a number of reasons. Some people don’t want to give up their homes and the memories that go with it. Some people may not want to live in a community and prefer solitude. Others may worry that they won’t end up liking where they live. To those people, Marilyn says: “You’re always going to find problems wherever you are if you’re looking for them.”

According to her, it’s freeing to be able to “just have your own thing” and do what you want, whether that’s sitting in your apartment being quiet or joining in one of the community’s many activities. And, of course, she absolutely loves every one of the staff members, especially Mike and Josh of the maintenance crew. “They are just so helpful in fixing things, and if they can’t fix it, they’ll replace it!” she raves. “I couldn’t ask for a better place.”

Marilyn has some final advice for people who are considering Melrose Meadows but may be anxious about whether this is the right time: “I know that it can be hard to leave your house with all its space and move to something new and smaller. But you’ll find that you can really make a place your own, and you’ll love it as you get older. I had a wonderful, full life in my old home, but you pass through life and you have to keep moving…and along the way, you should stop at Melrose!”

We’d like to add one last thing from our point of view: if you’re interested in touring Melrose Meadows, be sure to visit Marilyn while you’re there…because you’ll see first-hand why life at our community is so vibrant.

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