My name is Ann and I’m 61 years young. I am a former elementary school teacher with public and parochial teaching experience in Ireland, England, Belgium and Canada. I am now a happy housewife.
I had never lived in the U.S before and was looking for a place with a sense of community. We chose Surprise when we visited a friend and just fell in love with the place. The feedback from the people we met was so positive about social interaction and the facilities available to do just about anything we wanted to do.
My perception of the aging process since I moved here has become more positive. I now see the aging process as a time to revisit my dreams and make them happen.
I believe the number of experiences ahead of me may just be as many as I’ve had before coming to live here. I am very appreciative of the strong bond I have with my neighbors who are sharing the final trimester of life with me.
I am married to John, the love of my life.
The advantages of living in Surprise are many. Great friends. Great weather and at my age, sunrises are more important than sunsets. We are close to the city of Phoenix for the arts as well as the nation’s eight busiest airport. Surprise is located in a region great for visiting geological and manmade attractions in the SW of the United States. There are many opportunities to be creative and productive by joining the many clubs available. Surprise is a warm haven of opportunities and possibilities for retirees.
I have more time to spend with my husband, I have time to decorate and enjoy our beautiful home, I have more time to exercise and take care of my health, I have more time to be reflective on the meaning of life. I have more time to develop my interest in photography. I have more time to travel and in general I have more of everything.
I can compare Surprise, AZ, high school and college in two ways; how they are similar and how they are different.
All are academies of learning in their own way. People in Surprise have expertise in an amazing number of disciplines. This expertise is there for the asking. For single people this can be a return to the dating scene. Extra curricular activities provided in high school and college are duplicated in Surprise through clubs, sports and the adult learning classes.
A very important difference is that we are not influenced by peer pressure. Rather, we choose the people who embellish our lives. I am now mature enough to be in the moment, to live in the moment and recognize that it is my journey and not a journey to please anyone else.
I have learned a lot about photography, computers and relaxing. In the photo club, help is given to me on a one to one basis by other members . Field trips afford me the opportunity to travel and see the world with new eyes. Ongoing classes and competitions challenge me to new levels. I have learned new computer skills which have helped me to be creative with my photos. These activities help me to relax and enjoy the gift of giving through my photos.
My family members are all amazed at the active living in Surprise . They are astounded at how easily I have adjusted to living in the United States. Their initial reaction to hearing of my living in a retirement community was one of horror as they visualized me living with old people waiting to die. They visit on a yearly basis and are now encouraging their friends to spend time with us in the sun. I LOVE when they visit as it gives me so much bonding time with them to catch up and show them how happy I am here surrounded by wonderful neighbors.
I am a happy fulfilled housewife and I would like to dispel the misconception that life in Surprise is boring, and a waiting game for death. It is active, alive, healthy, full of opportunities, new adventures, rebirth and contentment.
What I miss the most about being young is full health and the energy of youth. What I enjoy most about being older is knowing who I am and having the time to enjoy my life without having to waste time on imaginary insecurities.
Through the “Sunset Daze” experience I have found a new confidence within myself. I have met new, interesting people who give the world of television to us. I appreciate their help negotiating me through this new experience in my life. They taught me the importance of accepting their advice as professionals in the industry so that I would look my best in front of the camera. I now know all about a “green screen” and I am much more particular about applying my make up!!!!!!