This blog is written by Lee Gale Gruen to help retirees, those soon to retire, baby boomers, and seniors reinvent themselves in this new stage of their lives called retirement. Her blog, public lecture, and new self-help book on senior reinvention are titled: Reinventing Yourself in Your Retirement Years: Find Joy Excitement, and Purpose After You Retire. Her memoir is: Adventures with Dad: A Father and Daughter’s Journey Through a Senior Acting Class. Books descriptions follow her blog below. Both books are available at Amazon.com by clicking here and here. Her website is: LeeGaleGruen.com
Now, on to my blog:
An American flag flies at the entrance to the community where I live. These days, it seems to be perpetually at half-mast. The practice started several centuries ago and referred to such an action on a ship. When done on land, the term is: half-staff. Currently, both terms are used interchangeably. There is also strict protocol on the raising and lowering of a flag to this position.
The half-mast tradition is to show respect, distress, or mourning. Many years ago, I remember it only being used following the death of someone of great importance such as the president of the United States. Nowadays, more and more it is to honor those killed in local mass violence incidents.
In recent times, such occurrences seem to be a daily happening in our nation. I no longer even ask why the flag is flying at half-mast. Too many people have become angry, disenchanted with the life in this country, and are looking to take out as many people as they can, often committing suicide as an encore to their finale.
I’ve never understood why such an act seems so compelling. What is it about murdering a bunch of humans before doing yourself in rather than just the latter alone that motivates these mass murderers? Perhaps what I should be asking is why such behavior has become so commonplace? Is it the ease in obtaining weapons that makes it quick and effective? Is it the trendy “way to go” which rubs off from one to another? Is it the making of some grand statement before exiting with a flourish? We can’t just chalk it up to mental illness as some propose. There are a lot of mentally ill individuals who do not commit mass murder. Conversely, there are numerous mass murderers who are not mentally ill.
Of course, it’s impossible to know why any one individual stockpiles weapons and ammunition, singles out their Homo sapiens of choice, and goes at it. Sometimes, we can surmise the reason when their prey consists of significant others, or the deed is carried out at a workplace where the assassin had been castigated or dismissed from their job and is looking for payback to targeted victims. However, so often the crime is executed against total strangers. Perhaps they represent something in the perpetrator’s mind as ideal for a symbolic act of revenge.
Whether or not we figure out the motive, the fact remains that the scourge is increasing. Domestic murder has grown to epidemic proportions right along with COVID-19. No longer can children just go out and play in the streets as they did when I was a child. Today, it’s supervised play dates with friends or being accompanied by parents wherever they go.
Grab life while you can, folks. You never know who’s going to go off when you or your loved ones randomly happen to be at the wrong place at the wrong time.
SYNOPSES OF BOOKS BY: LEE GALE GRUEN
Reinventing Yourself in Your Retirement Years: Find Joy, Excitement, and Purpose After You Retire (self-help): Not a one-size-fits-all approach, this self-help book for retirees, those soon to retire, baby boomers, and seniors offers an individualized, detailed guide to assist readers in discovering activities and pursuits in this new stage of their lives called retirement, based on their own likes and comfort level. I learned the secret the hard way transitioning from retired probation officer to actress, author, public speaker, and blogger. Audience members at my lectures on senior reinvention requested a book on the subject. This is the result, and it contains the content of those talks and six years of posts from this blog. CLICK here TO PURCHASE FROM AMAZON.COM.
Adventures with Dad: A Father and Daughter’s Journey Through a Senior Acting Class (memoir): After retiring at age 60 from my 37-year career as a probation officer, I mistakenly enrolled in an acting class for seniors. A few weeks later, my mother died, and I invited my grieving, 85-year-old father to come to class with me. This is the true story of our magical journey attending that class together for three years, bonding more than ever. I wrote the comedy scenes we performed onstage twice a year in the acting class showcases, and all six scenes are included in the book. I eventually transitioned into the world of professional acting. As my fledgling, second career started going uphill, my dad’s health started going downhill. I would recount to him each of my new experiences while I sat beside his bed at the nursing home where he resided in his final years. CLICK here TO PURCHASE FROM AMAZON.COM.
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