Active Adult Living Del Webb Communities

Will I Fit In?

One of the concerns or questions that people think about when considering a move to a Active Adult Community is will I fit it? Will I be accepted? Will I make friends?

Once person says I am not religious and not too political, so will I fit in with the people at a 55+ community who are generally conservative?

Others wonder about the age differences between themselves and the others in a particular community and would that be a problem?

Others may be coming from a completely different region of the county and wonder if regional differences may keep them from fitting it.

Still some others may have an unrealistic view of life in a 55+ community and think that only old sedate people on walkers who just live out their life in a quite setting live there. These people think they are not ready for this yet and don’t want to be viewed as old.

Wow, that is a lot of concerns to address in one post, but having lived in a Del Community for one year now, here is my take.

In general, just about everyone living in our community seems to be very interesting, engaging and active. Having different backgrounds and experiences makes this a much more interesting place to live than your run of the mill suburban subdivision. People just want to have fun and there is an understanding that we are all in this together.  Just about everybody wants to make new friends and get along.

Culinary Club

People want to get along and there is no where that is more likely to happen, than right here in an Active Adult Community.

Let me take the age concern first. In our community, there is a wide range of ages, all the way from 55 to 95. That’s 40 years. I think we have friends from every one of those decades.

There’s going to be people your own age. But here is the thing: it doesn’t make any difference. People are people and you will learn not to prejudge someone just because they are older (or younger) than you. Some of the most interesting people I have met are in their 80s. Even on the bocce and pickleball courts, several competitors in their 80’s can beat me at my baby age of 68 🙂 (I learned that lesson at the Senior Games too!).

As far as religion and politics, most of the time that is not discussed. In the present election season, just like in society at large, there is more voicing of opinions, but I don’t think you can escape that until after the elections. There are both Democratic and Republican clubs.

I have heard that us older people can be very opinionated, by this time in life, we know what we believe. I think most people just want to have fun and not be hassled. There is always one or two people you will run into that are to be avoided, but that is the exception.

There is going to be differences of opinions. Just let it go. It’s just their truth, not yours. No harm is being done to you and hopefully by this time in life, you don’t have to convert everyone over to your way of thinking.

Tip: If differences in opinion are an insult to you, please stay off Facebook, where people post things they never (thankfully) say in public.

Some of the people who moved from other regions seem to enjoying living here the most. They love to explore surrounding towns and attend local events. It’s like they are on vacation all the time, as everything is new to them.

The people with the unrealistic view of life at an Active Adult Community will probably just have to miss out on improving their lives. They aren’t likely to take your advise about what life in an Active Adult Community is like. Their minds are made up.

They don’t see the whole purpose is to stay younger by being active, socializing, making new friends, having fun things to do.

The bottom line is that you won’t have any trouble fitting it. This is not high school. There are close to 100 clubs plus many more events for socialization if you want. People are probably going to be more interesting and diverse while being more friendly than where you moved from.

Line DancingAnother thing is that people are past the stage of trying to impress you with how much money they have or the size of their house or their personal belongings. Unless they mention it, you have no idea what they did for a living. If you live here, it matters not if it’s in a Villa or the largest home with basement. That is kind of freeing all in itself.


Active Adult Living

Politics and Religion

In an Active Adult Community, we come together from all over the country and from sometimes very different backgrounds, but we have so much in common! Our ages, stage of life, retirement, wanting and needing to be active, new passions, and enjoying life!

But in social settings, some people can really put a damper on things by spouting out their strong opinions on maters of politics and/or religion that is more divisive than they know.

Never Argue Over Politics Or Religion. It’s too controversial.

We have friends we really like, but don’t share their opinions about politics nor religion.  We have other friends who do not go there and we commented to them about that is a good thing we enjoy about them. They replied that everyone has their opinions. It is best not to get defense about opinions and you most certainly are not going to change anyone’s mind about those subjects by arguing with them.

I just wish people would realize that when socializing, many people do not appreciate their strong opinions being spewed out. It just dirties the atmosphere and accomplishes nothing.

There are times and places for those discussions about those important subject of  politics and religions, but a social setting is not the place.

I have seen some pretty awful examples of people saying hateful things, but I will keep those to myself. I am sure you have too.

As far as our retirement community, we are not one religion nor one political party.  When either one is dominant in a community, people feel like they can say whatever they want, usually at the expense of those who are not in their group, several who may be sitting at their table.

I have heard of the idea that when considering the factors about which retirement community to relocate to, that it may be prudent to consider the local area’s dominant religion and/or politics. If you do not fit it with the majority, then you will be freely put upon because you do not enjoy their majority views.  When I heard those concerns, at first I though that maybe this should not be a concern, because every community has quite a variety of people of every background, coming from all over the country, even world. But now I see that some people think that being of the majority group gives them the right to condemn those who don’t think like they do.  They are pretty self righteous about it.

The 63 posts I have written on this blog have been positive about the benefits of living in an Active Adult Community. This one brings up some negatives but it’s not about Retirement Communities per se. People are people.  It’s just that we do a lot of socializing here and that gives more opportunity for these issue to come up.

So, What to Do?

You can’t change other people, you can only change yourself. You can change your own reaction, response and behavior.

I like the role model of our friends who don’t discuss religion or politics in social settings. Keep yourself from being sucked in to an argument. While you cannot control others, you can censor yourself. Allow a person to vent a personal frustration without evaluating their politics.

Stay out of unwanted discussions by steering the conversation away to other topics.Try to bring up a topic you know the other person has an interest in and maybe wants to discuss more.

When in a discussion you can’t avoid, try to see the other person’s side. Ask them questions to find out the reasons they feel that way.

Remember everyone has their opinions. Opposing viewpoints are not a personal attack on you. Be respectful of others and mindful that others have their own opinion.  Yours is not the only one.

If that fails , ignore the topic and do not add to the discussion. I did this at an after dinner discussion and a guy said “you are the only smart one, you are not saying anything”.  Very proud of that.

Robert Fowler

“Yesterday I was clever, so I wanted to change the world. Today I am wise, so I am changing myself.”