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.”


Active Adult Living Retirement

How Happy Are You?

I have been reading a good book “Thinking, Fast and Slow” and it got me thinking.

The author discusses how people think and how they usually jump to a biased opinion, based on their intuition, without really thinking about it in a rational way.

He says we can’t even rely on our experiences, because our “remembering self is different than our our “experiencing self”. It is difficult to distinguish memories from experiences.

All of that is quite interesting bits of theory, but near the end of the book, which I just finished, he hits on what in his opinion makes people happy.

Love and Marriage










First he showed a chart showing what effect marriage has on well being and being happy.  It seems most people were most happy around the time that got married.  Five years later it really started to take a dip.

On their wedding day, the bride and groom know that the rate of divorce is high and marital disappointment is even higher, but they do not believe that these statistics apply to them.  The author has several explanations for this; which I will leave for him to explain in the book.

He also cites a study that says there is no overall difference in experienced well being between women who lived with a mate and women who did not. The details of how the women spend their time explained the finding. Women who have a mate spend less time alone, but also much less time with friends. He says they spend more time making love, which is wonderful, but also more time doing housework, preparing food, and managing things, all relatively unpopular activities. Experienced well being is on average unaffected by marriage, because it changes some aspects of life for the better and others for the worse.

So What Does Affect One’s Satisfaction With Life?

The author says the genetics of temperament. A disposition for well being is as heritable as height or intelligence, as demonstrated by studies of twins separated at birth.

People who appear equally fortunate vary greatly in how happy they are.

Goals make a large difference in framing what makes you happy. The goals people set for themselves are so important to what they do and how they feel about it.

The author says people can’t even answer the question “Are you happy with your life?” correctly. If people were feeling good at the time of the survey, they were happy with their life.  They even planted money so they could find it before taking the survey and those people were far more likely to reply as being happy with their life. On the other hand, if you are sick, getting a divorce or have set backs, you tend to feel your whole life has not been good. It’s called focusing bias.

Nothing in life is as important as you think it is when you are thinking about it.

Making Memories

Memories can make us happy.  Why take so many photos on the vacation, rather than just experience the vacation. Maybe because we are building memories and that is what we will cherish about the vacation for some time to come.

Do you want to go back to the beach to the same place and routine you did last year? Or do you want to try an adventure, some place exciting you have never been to before. What memories will you have of these two type vacations. Is a memorable vacation better than one that is not?

You seem to be devoting your entire vacation to the construction of memories. Perhaps you should put away the camera and enjoy the moment,  even if it is not very memorable.

All Things Considered

All things considered, how happy are you with your life these days?

Do you spend most of your time engaged in activities that you would rather continue than stop and little time in situations you wish to escape. And not too much time in a neutral state in which you don’t care either way. Very important because life is short.

Have you ever been totally absorbed in a task, in a flow – a state you achieve when enthralled by a book, a puzzle, golf, a pickleball or bocceball game, card game, dancing or another activity?  You don’t want to be interrupted, do you. You are having a good time!

The use of time is one of the areas of life over which people have some control. Few individuals can “will” themselves to have a sunnier disposition, but some may be able to arrange their lives to spend less of their day idle, and more of their time doing the things they enjoy with people they like. The feelings associated with different activities suggest that another way to improve experience is to switch time from passive leisure, such as TV watching and Facebook browsing, to more active forms of leisure, including socializing and exercise.

Here at Village at Deaton Creek, our active adult community was made for socializing and exercise. We are all intentionally here for a purpose, in a place made for happiness.

Robert Fowler

busy my way
busy my way