Hear from our resident: Lisa Beattie
Hear from our resident Lisa, who moved to The Grove eight months ago, and discovered our welcoming community and a vibrant lifestyle.
When did you move into the village?
We moved to The Grove, Ngunnawal eight months ago and it was honestly one of the best decisions we’ve made. We had lived in our house for 30 years and it’s only now that I can look back and realise how isolated we were living there. We switched sides in Canberra, from the South to the North which is unheard of for Canberrans. Our family are on this side and now, with hindsight, I can say that the change was a wonderful thing.
Michael was diagnosed with MS and we realised that there would come a time when he couldn’t cope with the steps at home. So, we actually made the decision to move quite quickly. We visited another place but it just wasn’t quite right, so we changed direction and drove up to Monty Place. It was the wave from a resident as we drove past in the car that felt like a serendipitous moment. I don’t know what it is that makes a place truly a home, but from the moment we moved in to The Grove, we quickly started feeling that this was indeed a true home. I was fully prepared for that sensation of buyer’s remorse, feeling down after a period of time due to having left our familiar surroundings, but it simply never happened.
What’s it like living in the village?
Venerable Robina Courtin recently visited The Grove to discuss with our residents the value of facing ageing with a clear and positive mindset.
The village provides such a sense of community. It’s completely up to each individual as to how involved, or not, they wish to be. Someone commented that it’s like a little Italian village in the mountains – and it is a place you can really connect with others. And human connection is key to an enjoyable life. This is where The Clubhouse comes into its own - it’s just wonderful - a place to go and catch up with others.
I also enjoy going out to the bush and hearing the silence and the birds. We’re lucky around here as we have really beautiful calm spaces. You can get far enough away from traffic noise so it’s really serene and peaceful.
I love that here at the village there are so many things to do - providing new ways of looking at life and giving us a new focus. We’ve also started doing Tai Chi and I have really gotten into it. So much so that we are now doing it more often. My sister-in-law comes up to the village once a week to teach, and then a group of us do our practice in the Clubhouse.
What does a typical day in the village look like for you?
Interestingly, there really isn’t a ‘typical’ day as each day is different. But there is definitely a wonderful rhythm to living here. Some days I get up super early and go for a walk and other days it’s a more leisurely start depending on what I’ve got on.
Craft room at The Grove Clubhouse
I usually go up the Clubhouse after breakfast and check if any notices have gone up regarding what’s taking place and coming up. On Wednesday afternoons, I participate in what I call ‘crafternoon’ which involves a group of women meeting up for coffee, talking and knitting or crocheting. The guys then come in later to meet up, talk and have a drink. Friday afternoons is happy hour and most Saturdays there is a movie or some type of social activity going on.
Lounge area at The Grove Clubhouse to catch up over a drink
We are also establishing a garden and I love to work on this. We actually have a gardening club on Saturday morning. It’s only scheduled to go for 45 mins but gardening is the sort of activity that once you get into it, you really just want to keep going, so we regularly go over time.
My days are full but it’s often hard to put my finger on why I’m so busy. We help out our family and have the grandchildren once a week which is wonderful. A number of residents have grandchildren after school and another amazing couple has them three days a week! It’s so lovely seeing the children in the village, and having these intergenerational relationships and connecting with younger people is great for everyone involved. We’re actually looking at running some play days in the village for grand kids.
Michael and I also plan adventures outside of the village – we go to galleries more often now than we used to and I took myself off to the movies on Monday morning which was spur of the moment and brilliant.
I was a teacher so I forced myself to become an exrovert but I do like my own company and I love to be able to retreat into the garden or into my studio (2nd bedroom). But interestingly, I don’t feel the need to ‘escape’ now that I’m living here. Everyone is really respectful as whilst we are in close proximity to each other we are certainly not on top of each other like it often feels when living in towns and cities.
I also enjoy making sure that new residents feel welcomed and are aware of what’s going on and can join in if they wish. We all know what it’s like to feel intimidated in a new environment and approaching new people – it’s like going to a new school or work place, it literally happens at every stage through life! So I’m really thrilled to be able to help new residents with the settling in process and facilitating introductions.
Friends of ours have said ‘you’ve made the move at the right time - moving in younger’. And this is so true! It enables you to get more involved with activities, to connect with new people and develop wonderful friendships. Combined with the safety of living in a ‘gated’ style community, we couldn’t recommend it more highly.