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It’s Like We’re Back in College

I’m Eileen. I’m 64 years young, retired and a budding entrepreneur. We were looking for a home and community we could retire in. Part of our criteria was a community with a social life, golf available and access to a gym and other activities. After looking at several developments we decided this was the place. We made the decision to purchase this house in a short period of time… It was a wonderful choice – to live in Surprise, AZ.

I don’t think about demarcations in life such as age. I am a believer in “seize the day” I think living has taught me how precious time with loved ones and friends is and how important learning, laughing and doing are. I am married to the love of my life, Gary.

We live in a planned community in Surprise. It has so many wonderful amenities; gyms, pools, golf, a learning center, too many clubs to name and best of all so many wonderful talented people. It’s like living on a campus/resort. I feel very blessed. Our community is a wonderful place to enjoy and express your life. 

I have retired since moving here and have made wonderful friends .It has given me the opportunity to do so many things. I think the environment has been conducive to try new things. I’m not sure I would have designed jewelry and started my little venture, “Wow Where’d You Get That” or acted in plays had I not lived here. It is fun to exercise the child in us. I’m having a great time. Surprise is like college since our community is like a campus.

Since moving here I’ve joined the drama comedy club and have done sound tech for shows and have acted. I’ve tried my hand at pickle ball, basic sky diving. My husband and I love to dance and do it more than ever before. I now make jewelry and I am in the process of launching a business, with a lot of encouragement from my friends. I’ve entered the Ms. Senior Arizona contest so I am learning a bit of jazz dance, which I probably will continue. I’m starting golf lessons. I am going to try to take Italian next September.

Our children and relatives think it’s great for us to be living here. They laugh about how busy we are. Sometimes we all would like to live closer. They come when they can; you have limited time when you work. My sister visits often and we love having her here. I love when family and friends come to visit. I love to entertain and cook.

Right now I’m in the Drama and Comedy club. I have volunteered and also use my jewelry to raise money for various charities. You don’t retire from life here; it’s a chance to do all those things you never had time to do, including relaxing, because you had other responsibilities and obligations. I don’t know anyone who is sitting in a rocker waiting for the final sunset.

I try and live in the moment, so I don’t think about what it was like to be younger much. But probably I miss the physicality the most – I used to work 12-16 hours and go play and there was no sagging…Gravity!

What I like most about being older is being really comfortable in my own skin, having time to explore and learn and reflect… Life is about choices and attitude. Time is finite, and as you get older I think you appreciate the grains of sand in the glass and you want them to count.

I try not to sweat the small stuff. I try to choose to be in a good mood and spend my time with positive people. I want to learn from experiences, be more forgiving of myself and others. It’s important to “Dance while you can.”

Being part of the Sunset Daze project has been an exciting adventure and a learning experience. I hope it continues. It has been an impetus to do some things sooner than later. I’ve met some really talented and nice people. One of the perks has been to involve some friends and neighbors, so they could share the experience and tell their stories.

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