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 synopses follow her blog below. Both books are available at Amazon.com by clicking here and here. Her website is: LeeGaleGruen.com
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Throughout the world, folks have been anxious to leave 2020 in our collective dust. We’ve designated 2021 as a year of hope and change. We’ve been through a miserable time for the past year with bad behavior globally by Homo sapiens and microbial wannabes. (There is debate as to whether viruses are actually alive.) As the scene in the 1937 movie, Lost Horizon, so graphically illustrates, now is the time to round that last snow covered, treacherous mountain peak in the Himalayas and enter Shangri-La.
What did you do on January 1, 2021 to start yourself on this new course? Was it special, memorable, or the same old, same old?
I went for a glorious hike in a nearby, regional park covering over 6000 acres of unspoiled wilderness accompanied by my son who that very day marked a half century of living on this earth. We actually counted down on our watches as the time arrived when we first met fifty years earlier. Since then, on the opening day of each year, I have spoken with him to say “Happy Birthday” no matter where in the world he or I happened to be which at times has fallen on opposite sides of the globe. Yes, each January 1st, I remember very well where I was and what I was doing as I welcomed in a new child and a new year at the same time.
During our hike, we happened upon a corral of horses which is allowed by some government machination to be on this public land. A bit more hiking brought us to a few dozen cows, also given permission to reside there as they add to the health of the ecosystem according to a posted sign.
One cow was quite irate over our invasion of her territory, and she mooed us away in no uncertain terms. We did a 180 and skedaddled, but she followed us and continued harping. We bumped up our pace as her lowing faded into the background. I can’t blame her; I’m not thrilled either when others overstep my boundaries without asking permission.
After about two miles, the sun’s angle and our watches notified us it was time to turn around which was going to require another two mile hike. My energy began to flag, and I had to stop and rest more and more.
“Stay here, Mom. I’ll be right back,” said son as he walked off the trail toward a downed tree.
I could see him searching the debris, and he soon returned carrying a thin branch about six feet long and three inches in diameter. Thrusting one end in my direction and instructing me to grab it, he stepped ahead while holding the other end. Then, leaning into his task, he started to walk.
“Hang on, Mom,” commanded my self-appointed puller as he imparted some of his energy to me while remaining socially distanced in this time of Covid 19.
We proceeded like that at a good pace the rest of the way back as other hikers who passed us in the opposite direction glanced in amusement. I may have detected a little envy, too, but I’m not sure. Sometimes, natural resources and a bit of ingenuity are all that’s needed to solve a problem.
We must continue moving forward in these trying times, even when we don’t feel like it. Don’t give up. Be innovative. Seek out ways to improve your situation. Search away from your usual path, and grab your own tree limb to assist you.
SYNOPSES OF LEE GALE GRUEN’S BOOKS:
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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