Issue 3: Friends
We had both lived in the Denver area for more than 25 years, so we were leaving many friends (& my clients), at least for the winter. We basically had no friends in Tucson — our original friends there had moved. I hated the first winter in 2012 (it even snowed that year for the nationally televised golf tournament). It was so much colder than I had expected (so gardening was out), Alan just wanted to sit around and enjoy his retirement, we didn’t know the area at all, and we had no friends to do anything with.
I was bored, lonely, restless, and even somewhat depressed. I was used to being active and busy and it had all come to a screeching halt. I was eager to come back to Colorado by the spring. But I am a therapist, so before I left Tucson, I sat down and had a chat with myself. I asked myself what I would tell a client to do under these circumstances. I made a list of 10 things to try when I came back the next winter like join a zumba class, try to find women who are smart to connect to, teach a class at the college, have a neighborhood party, join a singing group, etc.
When I got back, I started down the list and joined a gym for zumba (enjoyed it, but didn’t really make any new friends), had a neighborhood party (very few showed up), went to the internet to find women in business and found the meetup site. I joined meetups for ladies who lunch, ladies who like to glitz up, hiking groups, wine clubs, dining out, etc. I hit the jackpot with the meetup groups. I’ve met wonderful women and Alan has met their husbands and they now play golf together and we now have quite a few friends and lots of options of things to do. I also now have several girlfriends that sing karaoke with me at least once a week (in both cities).
We are now officially Snowbirds splitting our time between the mountain house outside of Denver and our Tucson house. Alan and I have worked out our financial issues, as I no longer overspend and he is comfortable sharing money with me. I have a fabulous garden and can’t believe what I can grow there that I can’t grow in Colorado. And we now have quite a few friends and plenty of activities that Alan and I both enjoy. See, opposites really can work through their issues and have a great life, even in retirement.