Road Trippin’

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:

I wanted to attend an event hundreds of miles from my home. When I told my son that I planned to fly there, he freaked out.

“Mom, the planes have circulating air, so they’re not too bad. But, the airport can be a Covid superspreader!”

Somehow, he seemed okay with my driving, so that’s what I decided to do so as not to add further stress to his life. I was a little intimidated about making the trip by myself until I changed my mindset. Instead of thinking about it as a long excursion of hundreds of miles, I approached it as a bunch of short commutes. I would stop frequently to rest, walk around, and eat. Along the way, I would visit lots of family members and friends, staying a few days with each to break up my journey. With my new way of approaching the whole endeaver, it turned out to be a cinch.

Dos Amigos Pumping Plant,
Calif. Aquaduct – San Luis Canal

It was a pleasant drive on a long straight highway. I enjoyed California’s agricultural heartland as I cruised along. The highway seemed to contain more giant trucks than cars. Those big rigs just kept coming, many of their cabs painted in spiffy colors presumably reflecting their drivers’ vibes. Do those bright tones perk up the long-haulers and help them stay alert as they wrangle their transports for thousands of miles? I enjoyed sharing my road with them as they carried fruits and vegetables from the surrounding land or cargo containers recently off-loaded from the ships moored in the ports of San Francisco and Oakland, all to quench our citizens’ appetites of various types. (I’ve written on this topic before in this forum after a similar trip six years ago. Click here and scroll down to read my blog of August 9, 2016, “Driving to My New Life.”)

I whizzed by growing produce. The farmers in the area had erected signs to inform passing motorists of their views about the government’s control over the water they need for their livelihood. A great engineering feat is responsible for that.

I paralleled and crisscrossed the remarkable California Aqueduct through various phases of my journey. It has brought the life-saving liquid to this parched land, allowing it to grow thirsty trees and crops. It’s impressive, and it’s also very political as to how that water is allocated.

The whole show was presided over by enormous electrical towers spaced regularly and stretching for miles. Just as the aqueduct carries the precious water throughout my state, those towers carry the precious electricity that we humans have come to depend on.

I sailed past patches of wild mustard, their perky yellow screaming for attention wherever they grew. As I continued, I also saw mining operations. I observed cattle grazing on hillsides and crowded together in fattening yards. I came upon construction equipment building infrastructure and new houses in recently leveled land developments. All are enterprises to keep our life as we know it going.

When I arrived at Pyramid Lake, I pulled over to rest and eat a sack lunch. People in other cars were doing the same.

After two wonderful weeks, my journey was almost over. I was sad to see it end but anxious to go home. One of the highlights of travel is the anticipation of both the departure and the return.

I’m proud of myself for my accomplishment. I did it and feel more emboldened. It’s a great sensation to conquer something that seems hard.

If an undertaking appears daunting to you, spin it into something doable. Breaking it into baby steps from a huge whole can help. It’s only a matter of interpretation.

***

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.

***

Please forward my blog in its entirety to anyone who might be interested and post it on your Facebook, Twitter and other social media accounts. To reprint any material, contact me for permission at: gowergulch@yahoo.com. If you want to be automatically notified when I post a new blog, click on the “Follow” button in the upper right corner of this page and fill in the information. To read my other blog posts, scroll down on this page or click on “Recent Posts” or “Archives” under the Follow button. To opt out of receiving this blog, contact me at the aforementioned email address, let me know, and I’ll remove you from the list.

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Filed under active seniors, Baby boomers, healthy aging, longevity, reinvention, retirement, senior citizens, successful aging

Jealousy

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:

jealousy-photoAre you jealous of others or of a particular other? That other could be someone with whom you have a long history such as a relative, friend, or neighbor. Or, it could be someone you’ve known for a short time or as an acquaintance such as a classmate, co-worker, or casual contact.

Do you pretend to yourself and the world that it doesn’t bother you although the truth is that it gnaws at you? When these types of involuntary feelings interfere with your life, well-being, and all around comfort, it’s time to admit it, examine it, and work on it.

Most of us experience some jealousy to one degree or another. It occurs in all ages, sexes, and strata of society. You may not even consciously realize that such envy is consuming you. As adults, we get pretty good at masking our feelings, even to ourselves. We offer excuses, explanations, and interpretations for our thoughts and actions. However, those may boil down to just plain old jealousy.

Here are a few questions to ponder: Although you may have been very accomplished at your career, did you always experience those envious sensations whenever you were around (fill in the blank) who had a more prestigious job? Did you make a lot of money at your chosen profession, but it just never seemed to hold its weight against (fill in the blank) who earned more, lived in a larger house, had more laudable children, spouse, pets…? Did you stop associating with (fill in the blank) as it was just too unsettling to be around him/her? Probably, they had no idea why you distanced yourself from them, and likely neither did you. These scenarios can be extrapolated to all sorts of circumstances. Think of one in your life.

Humans are always comparing themselves with others and trying to compete. We’re careful not to make it seem like a contest as that would appear too pretentious. Nevertheless, we do it anyway and just cover it over with socially acceptable behavior, speech, or any other tools we can use to flaunt our stuff without making it seem like we’re flaunting our stuff.

Hasn’t that gotten old? Isn’t it just too tiring and energy draining to play that game anymore? What a shame that so many seem driven to continue with such behavior which serves no purpose and doesn’t enhance them. We’re not truly mature until we can be okay with what we have accomplished and happy that another has achieved what they have. It’s time to grow up, people.

Photo credit: Melly Kay via Visual hunt / CC BY-NC-ND

***

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.

***

Please forward my blog in its entirety to anyone who might be interested and post it on your Facebook, Twitter and other social media accounts. To reprint any material, contact me for permission at: gowergulch@yahoo.com. If you want to be automatically notified when I post a new blog, click on the “Follow” button in the upper right corner of this page and fill in the information. To read my other blog posts, scroll down on this page or click on “Recent Posts” or “Archives” under the Follow button. To opt out of receiving this blog, contact me at the aforementioned email address, let me know, and I’ll remove you from the list.

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The Color Purple

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. Synopses of her books 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:

There is something about the color purple in all its hues that is intriguing. It’s rich and rare. The kings of old claimed it as their own, dubbing it “royal purple.”

Purple dye was first used in clothing in the 1200s BCE by the Phoenicians. It was obtained from sea snails found in the Mediterranean Sea. It was difficult to produce which made it expensive, so only the very wealthy could afford it.

Purple’s exclusivity carried down through the centuries and into the Elizabethan era (1558 to 1603). Colors, fabrics and clothing were strictly regulated as to which classes in English society could wear what. Only relatives of the royal family were allowed to wear purple. If it was part of your wardrobe, onlookers knew that not only were you of great means, but also that you were royalty.

Magnificent wisteria vines with their hanging, lavender flower clusters bestow that color upon us briefly in springtime. They surprise us in the most unlikely places such as alleyways, commercial businesses, parks, and residences. Other flowers also weigh in with breathtaking displays of purple.

We tend to use purple sparingly in our clothing, building colors, and everywhere else humans can choose the tints of commodities. It is almost too intense to use on an entire object or item to wear on our bodies.

Nevertheless, some have the audacity and confidence to flash purple in the most unexpected places. I came upon this purple car, a mustang convertible, that stood out in the parking lot of drab, mostly neutral colored automobiles. I can only imagine what the owner looked like. Did he/she/they wear exclusively purple attire and perhaps dye his/her/their hair to match? Or was the driver a milk-toast who blossomed briefly while in such a transport?

Purple of another shade is the color of the nectar of Dionysus (aka: Bacchus in Roman times), the son of Zeus (the big honcho). “Dion” held the enviable position of the Greek god of wine and the vine. He was believed to be responsible for the elixir which today we sip from special glasses with much decorum and ceremony. Wine has also been used historically by many religions and incorporated into their sacred rituals. On that point, I have to hand it to those early influencers of mankind’s spiritual beliefs; they sure knew how to party.

I’ve written in this forum before on the importance of color to the human experience. (To read my blog of 7-26-15: “Dare to Be Colorful,” click here.) Incorporate purple into your life. It brings boldness and excitement to its devotees.

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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.

***

Please forward my blog in its entirety to anyone who might be interested and post it on your Facebook, Twitter and other social media accounts. To reprint any material, contact me for permission at: gowergulch@yahoo.com. If you want to be automatically notified when I post a new blog, click on the “Follow” button in the upper right corner of this page and fill in the information. To read my other blog posts, scroll down on this page or click on “Recent Posts” or “Archives” under the Follow button. To opt out of receiving this blog, contact me at the aforementioned email address, let me know, and I’ll remove you from the list.

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Filed under active seniors, Baby boomers, healthy aging, longevity, reinvention, retirement, senior citizens, successful aging

Bucolicity

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. Synopses of her books follow her blog below. Both books are available at Amazon.com by clicking here and here. Her website is: LeeGaleGruen.com

CHITCHAT: Click on this link to view a new video of my author talk discussing my most recent book, “Reinventing Yourself in Your Retirement Years: Find Joy Excitement, and Purpose After You Retire”: https://youtu.be/oWkD6rEUqfY

Now, on to my blog:

My title today is taken from the adjective: bucolic, meaning pastoral (relating to herdsmen) or more generically: idyllic. Yes, my word doesn’t technically exist. However, I periodically make up my own words when the English language fails me.

I frequently walk around my retirement community where I often encounter the resident animals. It’s particularly neat when different species hang out together, each doing their thing and not bothering their neighbor. I like to imagine it as my own little Garden of Eden. Adam and Eve couldn’t have had it better.

I also get a regular hit of bucolicity from a spit of undeveloped hillside off a freeway that I travel frequently. Someone, I don’t know who, has placed an array of herbivores on that land to graze on the wild grasses that grow there. Some are common: horses and cows, and some are exotic: several llamas; one camel, of the dromedary persuasion; and two zebras, a baby and an adult, obviously not kin as their stripes are completely different renderings. Although of various tribes, all of these creatures seem to get along as they chomp away in close proximity to each other. It’s certainly a lesson for humans.

Whenever I am driving near that area, I pull my car into the far right-hand lane and slow down as much as I can get away with, ignoring the honking horns behind me. Then, at just the exact right opening in the foliage, I look uphill to spy what awaits at that moment. I have to be quick, because in two seconds–three max, I’ve sailed past that magical place.

I shared my secret with a friend who also transits that route. She got as excited as I did. We decided to go exploring to see if we could get closer to the animals and just hang out as observers. A short time after we started on our quest, we sighted our beasts and exited the closest off-ramp to “the spot.” We wove through residential neighborhoods and up a canyon road to the top. Try as we might, we were never able to find them, elusive beings that they are. It didn’t matter really, because we had so much fun bonding over our shared experience.

Be kind to others from different herds; we all graze the same. Put your energy into finding simple joys as you go out and about. Survey your surroundings, not just the road ahead of you as you drive or your feet as you walk. Share your discoveries with friends. Grab a little bucolicity.

***

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.

***

Please forward my blog in its entirety to anyone who might be interested and post it on your Facebook, Twitter and other social media accounts. To reprint any material, contact me for permission at: gowergulch@yahoo.com. If you want to be automatically notified when I post a new blog, click on the “Follow” button in the upper right corner of this page and fill in the information. To read my other blog posts, scroll down on this page or click on “Recent Posts” or “Archives” under the Follow button. To opt out of receiving this blog, contact me at the aforementioned email address, let me know, and I’ll remove you from the list.

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Filed under active seniors, Baby boomers, healthy aging, longevity, reinvention, retirement, senior citizens, successful aging

Pet Etiquette

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. Synopses of her books follow her blog below. Both books are available at Amazon.com by clicking here and here. Her website is: LeeGaleGruen.com

CHITCHAT: Click on this link to view a new video of my author talk discussing my most recent book, “Reinventing Yourself in Your Retirement Years: Find Joy Excitement, and Purpose After You Retire”: https://youtu.be/oWkD6rEUqfY

Now, on to my blog:

I’ve written often in this forum about animals. To read those blog posts, click on the following links, and scroll down if necessary:

8-6-20: “Minis and Me
10-1-19: “Touching a Giraffe
5-27-19: “Watson
1-7-19: “Armful of Dogs
12-23-18: “Snowball
10-13-18: “What’s in the Stroller
11-3-15: “People Whisperer
5-28-15: “Unstressing at the Airport, One Dog at a Time
4-29-14: “Learning from Animals
1-18-14: “The Therapy of Pets

However, this is a different take.

We all love our pets whether they be dogs, cats, birds, horses, fish, or in my granddaughter’s case, a gecko named “Soy Sauce.” She and her father, my adorable son, make the periodic trek to the pet store to purchase live crickets for her cherished reptile. When I visit, she drags me into her room so I can watch “SS” stalk and capture its insect dinner.

Being subjected to an animal hunting its prey may not be to everyone’s liking. Why do pet owners expect others to be as fascinated with their darling critter as they are? Surely there should be some form of etiquette or sensitivity when sharing Fluffy, Fido, or SS with others. Here are some situations that I’ve encountered ranging from annoying to distressing:

Example 1: I was walking and came upon an acquaintance with her dog. The pooch was off leash and running unobstructed, often 25 to 30 feet from its human. I commented that the situation could pose problems, and that some people were afraid of dogs. What I got in return was a lengthy discourse on the wonderfulness of this particular hound including details of its delightful antics. In fact, the rest of the conversation was only about her treasure. She apparently had nothing else to talk about.

Example 2: I have a friend who has two cats. More than once when I’ve been talking to her on the phone, she has suddenly started screaming at one of the felines: “leave her alone.” In between her scolding, she’ll explain to me, as an aside, that one cat frequently attacks the other. Without taking a breath, she then returns to her verbal discipline of the offender. That leaves me sitting through her diatribe, a place where I definitely don’t want to be.

Example 3: Then there was a time when a woman who was the host of a zoom meeting cut all of the participants off. When everyone was able to re-gather online, she apologized explaining that her cat had walked across her computer keyboard. The host herself purred when other members joked that the cat was in charge in her household. She loved that, thinking it was a compliment. Honey, it was just the opposite. You wasted the time we had all allotted for the meeting simply because you thought giving your pet the run of your office was just so sweet.

Example 4: I can’t fail to add the time I was accosted two weeks in a row by a pair of vicious, unleashed Chihuahuas. They ran full speed toward me, stopping only a few feet before they reached me. Then, they held me at bay, barking and snarling so intensely that their bodies shook from the effort. I was terrified, fearing they would attack and do some significant injury to my lower extremities. Their owner loved to let his pets run free, and I suspect he got off when they frightened their victims. They were his avatars, paying back all the injustices he felt the world had done to him. FYI: I am allergic to all antibiotics but one, and I certainly didn’t want to test the efficacy of my ace-in-the-hole on dog bites.

I’m sure most people have encountered similar situations. I love animals, but my patience is limited to the amount of time I’m willing to devote to the topic of someone’s pet or being subjected to its bad behavior. It’s right up there with my feelings about being regaled by your travel pictures. I might be willing to glance at a shot or three of a monkey or even a flower. Amazing as it may seem, however, I’m not interested in a camera rendering complete with your accompanying comments about that darling couple from Cincinnati you met on your group safari in Africa, and that they have three kids, and he’s a doctor, and she’s a therapist, and…, and…, and…

Have a little common sense, folks, and practice the golden rule: “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” Remember, I, too, can bore you with my pet stories or zap you with my travel photos.

Photo credit: Tobyotter on Visualhunt

***

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.

***

Please forward my blog in its entirety to anyone who might be interested and post it on your Facebook, Twitter and other social media accounts. To reprint any material, contact me for permission at: gowergulch@yahoo.com. If you want to be automatically notified when I post a new blog, click on the “Follow” button in the upper right corner of this page and fill in the information. To read my other blog posts, scroll down on this page or click on “Recent Posts” or “Archives” under the Follow button. To opt out of receiving this blog, contact me at the aforementioned email address, let me know, and I’ll remove you from the list.

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Filed under active seniors, Baby boomers, healthy aging, longevity, reinvention, retirement, senior citizens, successful aging

Ace That Landing

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. Synopses of her books follow her blog below. Both books are available at Amazon.com by clicking here and here. Her website is: LeeGaleGruen.com

CHITCHAT: Recently, I was profiled on the podcast, “Happiness between Tails,” about my self-help book, Reinventing Yourself in Your Retirement Years: Find Joy Excitement, and Purpose After You Retire. You can access it by clicking on https://anchor.fm/depe9 and scrolling to the podcast on March 3, 2022. My review starts at 2:40 minutes into the podcast.

Now, on to my blog:

Landing means we start off in one location and then arrive somewhere else. It is often used when our feet leave earth and reconnect at a later time: air flights, ship cruises, jumping off a cliff (preferably with a parachute), and even many athletic events.

Terra firma is where we are anchored and where we feel the safest and steadiest. Gravitational pull is behind it all. When we move further from that force of nature, we become unbalanced and off-kilter. The act of falling creates such a sensation.

Landing can also be used in another sense to indicate mental, emotional, or behavioral progression from one lifestyle to another. That is the aim of everyone who strives for improvement or is dissatisfied with their current state of affairs. We have expressions to describe various types of landings: he landed on his feet; have a safe landing.

Do you strive to land on a lofty mark? Knowing where you want to alight, be it physically or metaphorically, will help ensure that the outcome is on target and to your satisfaction. Therefore, folks must plan in advance where they hope to end up. This is called: a goal.

Prior to takeoff, careful consideration of all factors that may thwart reaching the coveted endgame will help insure its success. Caveat: Life never has any guarantees; we can only do our best.

Some people just dive in without much prior deliberation about potential roadblocks to their plans. They are called impulsive. That’s not necessarily wrong; there is no right or wrong here. However, those who act with aforethought usually have a higher rate of success.

Why would you expend time, energy, effort, and money toward a project important to you on a whim? For example, why write a book only to find out after it’s published that everyone and his third cousin twice removed has written on the same subject, thereby diluting the impact of your masterpiece? If that works for you, of course, go for it. Maybe your goal is something other than fame and fortune, and it doesn’t matter if others have already invented that particular wheel.

On the other hand, if you really want your efforts to pay dividends, put a governor on your impulsive behavior. Allot some time to do your research, network with others, read books and articles on the subject, and seek mentors. Efforts such as these will assist you in considering obstacles that you might encounter along the way and making wise decisions to help ensure a successful conclusion.

***

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.

***

Please forward my blog in its entirety to anyone who might be interested and post it on your Facebook, Twitter and other social media accounts. To reprint any material, contact me for permission at: gowergulch@yahoo.com. If you want to be automatically notified when I post a new blog, click on the “Follow” button in the upper right corner of this page and fill in the information. To read my other blog posts, scroll down on this page or click on “Recent Posts” or “Archives” under the Follow button. To opt out of receiving this blog, contact me at the aforementioned email address, let me know, and I’ll remove you from the list.

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When Caretakers Fall Short

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. Synopses of her books 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:

When a family member, friend, or even an acquaintance has become infirm either gradually or suddenly, it is frustrating not to be able to contact them. We want to communicate with him or her; we want them to know we care; we want to offer our assistance; we want a status update.

If a caretaker is involved whether it be a spouse, other relative, or hired worker, they may become the gatekeeper with power to grant or deny us access to their charge. We become annoyed when that caretaker doesn’t answer our phone calls (the line is always busy or the answering machine is disabled), doesn’t respond to our emails or voicemails, or fails to open the door if we make a personal visit and ring the bell repeatedly followed by pounding on the unyielding entrance.

We must remember to be gentle with the caretaker, too. That person probably has their own personal issues (we all have them) whether they be health, financial, interpersonal, or whatever. If the caretaker has a close relationship with the patient, they are probably overwhelmed with the trauma of their loved one’s serious disability, becoming a full-time caretaker, and having to assume all the responsibilities for them both.

If friends and interested parties are barraging the caretaker trying to reach the sick one or find out about their status, the caretaker may be setting boundaries to protect their own fragile state. (I’ve written on this subject previously in this forum. Click here and scroll down to read my blog of 10-12-17: “Taking Care of the Caretaker.”)

I have a good friend who was active and vibrant up to the day she recently had a stroke and became unable to talk or walk. One of her children instantly became her full-time caretaker. Friends trying to contact her have become annoyed and even angry at the daughter for her limited response.

Be understanding. Keeping outsiders up-to-date is very low on the list of priorities when looking after a seriously ill person. If you are concerned about whether the patient is not being cared for properly or is even in danger, a call to your local, social welfare agency might be in order. If you believe the caretaker is truly acting in the patient’s best interests, you may have to put your own needs on hold. If you want to help in some way, consider leaving a care package (food, clothing, flowers, etc.) at the front door or sending something similar through the mail.

Try to be sensitive to a very difficult situation. Remember, it’s not all about you and your needs.

Photo credit: faungg’s photos on VisualHunt.com

***

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.

***

Please forward my blog in its entirety to anyone who might be interested and post it on your Facebook, Twitter and other social media accounts. To reprint any material, contact me for permission at: gowergulch@yahoo.com. If you want to be automatically notified when I post a new blog, click on the “Follow” button in the upper right corner of this page and fill in the information. To read my other blog posts, scroll down on this page or click on “Recent Posts” or “Archives” under the Follow button. To opt out of receiving this blog, contact me at the aforementioned email address, let me know, and I’ll remove you from the list.

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The Ultimate Recycling

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. Synopses of her books 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:

Where do we go when we die? Philosophers, theologians, and just ordinary folks have been pondering that question for centuries. Religions create elaborate stories about what becomes of us after we are deceased. Rewards and punishments may be attached to those beliefs, and they are usually dependent on what type of life one has led when they were still living.

Science also weighs in on the matter. The Laws of Physics, especially “The Law of Conservation of Mass,” says that matter cannot be created or destroyed; it just changes form. Think about water (H2O in chemical terms). It alters its configuration according to the temperature where it is located. If the weather is very cold, it may freeze into ice. If the climate is mild or moderate, it will be a liquid. If it becomes very hot, it morphs into a gas.

We are like water. Eventually, after we die, we will change form at the atomic level. Maybe one day we’ll combine with other atoms and become part of a tree or anything else you might think of. Being a component of a tree actually doesn’t sound so bad. As a tree, we will get to enjoy the sweet things of life: wind whipping through our hair–ah, branches; our beautiful attire (aka foliage); birds alighting on our boughs and setting up household; people admiring us and sheltering in our shade; or kids hanging a swing from our limbs and cavorting under us–maybe even our own progeny.

Prior to your body disintegrating and joining the great universe, there is another use you can choose for it. It is accessed through the “Willed Body Program.” My parents donated their bodies to a medical school to help advance scientific research for the betterment of those still alive or not yet born. I have chosen to do the same.

If that is something that appeals to you, just contact a local university that has a medical school, and inquire about their Willed Body Program. They probably have details on their website, or they will mail you literature about it along with a form to fill out and return. Once they receive your signed authorization, you will be sent a card with their contact information to keep in your wallet stating that you are enrolled in their program and instructing whomever has custody of your corpus when you pass away to get in touch with them. Once they are notified, they will dispatch someone to pick up your remains.

We must be grateful to those who came before us and made the decision to recycle themselves for the good of mankind; we are among their beneficiaries. Such an act is true altruism, and it can have a secondary effect of making the donor feel good about themselves while they’re still living.

Life is a cycle; we move through it in various forms. Maybe such a realization can make our looming human death a little less frightening.

Photo credit: clurr on VisualHunt.com

***

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.

***

Please forward my blog in its entirety to anyone who might be interested and post it on your Facebook, Twitter and other social media accounts. To reprint any material, contact me for permission at: gowergulch@yahoo.com. If you want to be automatically notified when I post a new blog, click on the “Follow” button in the upper right corner of this page and fill in the information. To read my other blog posts, scroll down on this page or click on “Recent Posts” or “Archives” under the Follow button. To opt out of receiving this blog, contact me at the aforementioned email address, let me know, and I’ll remove you from the list.

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Schlepping

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. Synopses of her books 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:

Most of us schlep (Yiddish for drag or carry) lots of stuff to sustain us when we go out and about. The majority of animals simply forage for what they need. However, we humans, the highest form of animal life, must have our necessities immediately at hand. To that end, we have devised portable personal containers: purses, pockets, backpacks, briefcases, and the like as well as devices that strap to bodily appendages or hang from other appropriate parts.

This construction worker is hauling his own porta-potty lest he find himself on a job with nowhere to do his thing. It reminds me of when one of my grandchildren was a toddler and used to tow her potty chair from room to room. She would proceed to sit astride it in front of her audience so they could observe her wondrous deed and heap praise upon her.

Some years ago, a friend remarked that as she has aged, her makeup bag has gotten heavier and heavier. Each has their own priority of schlepables. If you ever visit an airport, you will see travelers carrying, pushing, or pulling numerous suitcases, all containing the urgent gear they can’t live without.

How the heartbeat quickens when you realize you’ve left your cell phone home, or worse, lost it. OTOH what a lovely vacation from the bondage imposed upon us by that infernal device.

How can we ease our lives and break the umbilical cord which binds us to our belongings? How do we divest rather than invest? In the olden days (ah, the glorious–or not-so-glorious–olden days), there just wasn’t as much stuff around, so folks did with less. Today, our stress level is accelerated just wrangling our material possessions.

What about the thought of actually taking a vacation not only from your job and home, but also from your paraphernalia? Are you man/woman enough to do it?

Plan a trip somewhere be it a few miles away or another country. Leave your technology behind: computer, cell phone, camera, and all the chargers, adaptors, and cords that must accompany them. Live for a while without being connected to everyone and everything. Take photos only in your mind. Pack the bare minimum. You don’t need numerous outfits for every occasion with the jewelry and shoes to go with them. Although hard to fathom, the world will carry on just fine without your input, and you can jump right back into the craziness upon your return.

Work toward simplification; stop buying new things; make do with what you have. Get rid of items which you rarely or never use whose only function is to occupy space. Ramp down that stress level. Take back your life!

***

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.

***

Please forward my blog in its entirety to anyone who might be interested and post it on your Facebook, Twitter and other social media accounts. To reprint any material, contact me for permission at: gowergulch@yahoo.com. If you want to be automatically notified when I post a new blog, click on the “Follow” button in the upper right corner of this page and fill in the information. To read my other blog posts, scroll down on this page or click on “Recent Posts” or “Archives” under the Follow button. To opt out of receiving this blog, contact me at the aforementioned email address, let me know, and I’ll remove you from the list.

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Beware of Leg Lifts

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. Synopses of her books 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:

As I’ve written in this forum before, I hate it when my body doesn’t cooperate with my lifestyle. For the past five months, my lower back has been giving me grief. The worst part is that it’s my own fault. I keep forgetting I’m a senior. Pre-pandemic, I used to frequent the gym several times a week. However, I hadn’t done so for the previous 1.5+ years since the beginning of the Covid lockdown.

My motivation to exercise alone at home is limited; my workout mode functions best when surrounded by fellow sufferers. So, my former physical agility is a tad less agile.

After receiving science’s gift to mankind, the Covid vaccine, I allowed myself a little less caution. With trepidation, I returned to the gym albeit fully masked. While on the treadmill, someone mentioned that a Pilates class was starting soon. I had never attended Pilates before, so I figured, Why not?

I followed the others into an exercise room, grabbed a mat, and secured myself a spot on the floor. The revered instructor soon arrived, a tall, thin man with no visible body fat who appeared to be one-third my age and in great physical shape. He proceeded to maneuver his limbs into various positions. I, along with everyone else, mimicked him.

I was doing pretty well, I felt. I noticed that the woman next to me, who seemed closer to my age, was a real superstar. She had mentioned earlier that she did Pilates faithfully throughout the lockdown to keep herself from going insane. What can I say? Some practice Pilates and some write blogs.

After several exercises, Revered Instructor was soon supine (down on his mat lying on his back). Instantly, all class members assumed that position. After a variety of stretching machinations, R.I. lifted both his outstretched legs to a 45° angle and held them there. Superstar did the same followed by the others and, of course, by me. R.I. held that position while opening and closing his legs scissors-like. Superstar performed the same effortlessly. I, on the other hand, was groaning but determined. Finally, that particular torture ended, and I had survived. I was proud of myself.

Hey, I’ve still got what it takes, I thought smugly.

That night, I could barely move. My back was having none of my smugness. Its pain controlled me for the next five months, only releasing its grip gradually in minuscule increments.

Today, for the first time, I went on a hike in my favorite wilderness area near my retirement community. I have written about hiking in this area before. (Click here to read my blog of 3-31-20, “Out and About in the Time of Covid 19.”)

I have learned my lesson. As I’ve also said in this forum previously, not everything is for everyone. (Click here to read my blog of 10-18-21, “Not Everything is Everyone’s Thing.”) The “Supine Leg Raise”/hold at 45° is definitely not for me! Fortunately, my brain and fingers still work, so at least I can write, which I love. When one passion goes sideways, what is your “at least” option? We all have one. You may have to dig deep to find it, but it’s there.

Photo credit: mikecogh on VisualHunt

***

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.

***

Please forward my blog in its entirety to anyone who might be interested and post it on your Facebook, Twitter and other social media accounts. To reprint any material, contact me for permission at: gowergulch@yahoo.com. If you want to be automatically notified when I post a new blog, click on the “Follow” button in the upper right corner of this page and fill in the information. To read my other blog posts, scroll down on this page or click on “Recent Posts” or “Archives” under the Follow button. To opt out of receiving this blog, contact me at the aforementioned email address, let me know, and I’ll remove you from the list.

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Filed under active seniors, Baby boomers, healthy aging, longevity, reinvention, retirement, senior citizens, successful aging