Songbird Story Profile: The stock broker turned pastor: Jane

I'm delighted to share with you another delightful Songbird Story profile. In this series of interviews and profiles we feature a few of the many amazing humans we have had the good fortune of getting to know better while helping them to transition into their new downsized home. It's an honor to share a few of their career highlights alongside some of their insights when embracing the next chapter of life with grace and gratitude.  

It's a joy to introduce you to Jane. 

From the hustle and bustle of stock trading floors in New York City to tranquil church sanctuaries in Central Ohio, Jane's career spanned the spectrum of both finance and faith.

Born and raised in Upper Arlington, Jane graduated from Columbus School for Girls before going on to Wellesley. After college, she landed in New York and worked as a stock broker at a time and place where there were few other women in the field. After the birth of her son, she stepped away from her career, because, as she explained,"in those days, nothing was remote and I couldn’t do both, so I was happy to be a full time mom for a while." 

After contemplating a career change, Jane enrolled in synnod school and went to the Methodist Theological School, because, as she noted, "Lutherans weren't accepting women at that time!" She was on track to be ordained when she got a call from a Presbyterian church to serve as their pastor. "There were some that didn’t want a woman pastor, but after being a stock broker I was used to that!" she shared with a laugh. 

Her work as a pastor in Worthington and Granville took her into virtually every skilled nursing and senior living community in Columbus, where, she says she "saw it all." When it came time to downsize and move to a senior living community, her choice was clear, "I knew I wanted to be at Otterbein Granville." 

No stranger to downsizing, Jane had previously moved from her large home of 50 years into a 1-floor condo before downsizing again to an independent living apartment at Otterbein.  

"Downsizing was easy. Once you give something away, you give it away. You learn how to do that with grace." 


Moved from: 1,800 square foot, 2 bedroom, 2 bath condominium

Moved to: ~1,100 square foot, 2 bedroom, 2 bath senior living apartment

Number of years lived in previous home:  6 years living in condo. 50 years in previous home

What were your initial concerns or challenges with downsizing before seeking assistance from Songbird? 

I just wanted help to make it as easy as possible. Songbird was a great fit and helped to get me moved quickly and easily. They were great at moving, packing and unpacking and interior redesign of my space.  Everything was very simple. They came when they said and did what they said they'd do. It was great. 

What possessions were you happy to donate or get rid of? 

I actually didn't have to get rid of many things, as I had downsized once before. 

What possessions were the hardest to part with? 

Artwork. Thankfully, most of it went to family. I was happy to live with the art for the many years I did. 

What was the hardest part of downsizing? 

The hardest thing was doing the change of address. That's a real pain in the drain! I didn't enjoy making the list of all the people you have to notify.

What has been the best part of the downsize? 

Best part was the ease of it all. I could dive right in and meet people and enjoy the community instead of spend a lot of time unpacking. 

Songbird came in a swarm and didn’t have to ask a million questions. They knew what to do and they did it. It was pretty comforting. 

When I got here, the kitchen was put away. I looked at the closet and I just gasped. Everything was where it was supposed to be. It was great. What a blessing that was…because you’re dead tired. But in just two days it was over. It was wonderful!

It was also good to have Sam tell me, “you can’t keep it all, so don’t bring everything!"  Plus, Sam was really good at displaying my keepsakes.  

What advice or insights would you offer to others considering downsizing?

Songbird is an enormous help. Sam's very compassionate about getting rid of things, but really firm about letting some things go.

I love Sam's advice to save voicemails. That's one regret I have. I wish I had my husband's voice mails saved. It's such a lovely thing to have. Furniture can be replaced easily. 

But I'm filled with gratitude for having someone to love. I feel so privileged. So many wonderful families, friendships, relationships. What a rich life. So grateful. Being here is such a blessing.  

Songbird Transitions specializes in helping older adults downsize and move into senior living communities and smaller homes. Our goal is to make the transition into your new space as smooth and stress-free as possible. If you are in Central Ohio, contact us for a free consultation

If you live elsewhere in the country, consider Downsizing Done Right, our comprehensive toolkit that includes step-by-step downsizing videos, a resource book plus a Q&A session with Songbird.

For personalized downsizing consulting and coaching services, please book a Songbird Support session.

Read more Songbird Stories and downsizing resources from Songbird Transitions.  


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