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Life Begins After Retirement

Sandy
Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Life Begins After Retirement

My name is Sandy, I’m 68 years old and retired. My husband and I visited his sister and brother-in-law in Arizona February of 2003 while on vacation from Portland, OR. We absolutely fell in love with the Sun City Grand Retirement community. Since I knew I was going to retire in December of that year, we decided to buy a home. My husband was 8 years younger and still working, so he presented a proposal to his company that allowed him to telecommute when we moved. It was approved and the rest was history. Moving to AZ was the best thing we did. We both loved the sunny days which allowed us to play golf with “NO RAIN GEAR.” I think the sun has such great affect on one’s life in a positive way. I was able to walk in shorts and play golf in shorts, what’s not to like about that, especially in the winter and spring time months of the year. The move gave me another perspective on life. I have never regretted the move.

My life has changed a lot since I moved to Surprise, AZ. Two months after I moved into my new home, my husband was diagnosed with a malignant brain tumor. After 18 months, he lost his battle to this disease. To say I was devastated is an understatement.

There isn’t a day that I don’t think about him. He was a treasure and the joy of my life. After my husband’s death in February of 2006, I went back to Portland to heal and be close to my family and friends. It was a very good decision on my part. A year after my husband’s death, I met a man and we saw each other for about 2 years. Then the magic was gone and now I’m in the “single” world again. Lately I have stated that I’m really not looking for a man, but if one falls in my lap then we shall see. I love to flirt, so who knows what the future has in store for me in the dating world. After my husband’s death, I had to begin a new life. I have met some life-long girlfriends. They are my best therapy and we all love to laugh, meet for “double pinot grigios,” go out to dinner and movies, and are constantly there for each other when times are good and bad. I am truly blessed. 

Sun City Grand in Surprise, AZ is a little oasis in the valley. Some of the perks living in Surprise is there is so much a person can do. I have always said that if a person is bored living here, then it is their fault for not getting out and doing something about it. Where I live, there are so many clubs and organizations to join. From language clubs, golfing clubs, billiards clubs, tennis and pickle ball clubs, softball, to the Blue Thong Society, you get the picture. Some of the clubs I belong to are the Ladie’s Grand Niners Golf Club, The American Singles Golf Association, and The Blue Thong Society. As far as learning new skills, there are so many opportunities open for just about anything. One of my goals (when I have time and get really, really, old) is to learn Spanish. Sun City Grand has some likeness to high school. There can be little clicks, some harmless gossiping, and of course some dating along the way. It’s a gas to sometimes compare it to high school days.

When I first announced that I was moving to AZ, I thought my older daughter would keel over and die. Her Mother was abandoning her. I know she was shocked as well as my other family members and friends. I had lived in the Portland, OR area for about 30 years, so this was a huge move. Since my move, I have many family members and friends visit. We have a blast when they are here. We go places and see lots of beautiful AZ country. I love to show off Sun City Grand with all its beauty.

There’s not much I miss about being younger. Maybe less wrinkles and being more flexible and bendy. Being older has its benefits. I love my independence, I am blessed that I am financially OK (not rich, but not poor either), I love the ability to be spontaneous, I love being my own BOSS. I think that most people (younger) think that retired people have one foot in the grave just waiting to die. What a lark!!! Life truly begins after retirement.

My Sunset Daze experience has been a hoot. I have had the opportunity to do some outrageous things. Target shooting and hot air ballooning for example and it’s not over yet :) My family and friends can’t wait for the series; I have kept them up to date via Facebook and email. They all are very supportive in this adventure for me and it has been a fun adventure and journey. Who knows where this will take me (if anywhere) but I’m ready for anything. When the doors to life and opportunity open, then why not open it with open arms, you never know what’s behind it. So watch out world, here I come.

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