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: I was interviewed recently on the podcast: “Feminine Roadmap.” Click here and scroll down to listen.
Now, on to my blog:
We were a group of adults at a community Spanish class. We had come to know each other well–kind of like a club–as we continued to attend semester after semester. There was a great deal of camaraderie among the students.
We referred to each other by a Spanish version of our name. Rose was Rosa; Ernest was Ernesto; Charles was Carlos; and Roberta was the same but with a Spanish accent. Then there was me: Lee Gale. No Spanish equivalent worked for my oxymoronish name, so I remained simply: Lee Gale. Oh, well.
Studying a language requires memorization of a seemingly endless list of vocabulary words. Our patient, steadfast teacher, Carol Betti, would always listen to our whines and bellyaches that went something like: It’s so hard; how do you remember all those words? She always responded patiently with her secret sauce: “la repetición.”
Yes, if you want to learn something well, the only way to do it is to repeat it and repeat it. In Spanish, it’s called: repetición. Here in the homeland, we call it practice, which is just repetition on steroids. Skill comes from doing the same thing over and over until it becomes automatic and effortless.
Our role models are those at the apex of their fields whether it be ballet dancers, computer techies, athletes, or construction workers. No one starts out at the top of their game. The ones who excel and rise to that level are the ones who review continually.
I’ve recently been cast in an amazing play! I feel very fortunate to have been chosen. However, one of my monologues is exceptionally challenging. Although we do have open scripts for part of the play, I’m required to memorize this particular passage. It’s been a real test, often frustrating and agonizing. I’ve thought frequently of la repetición as I slog my way through. It has helped me persevere. For weeks, each night after I crawl in bed, I have gone over the lines in my mind before falling asleep. Each morning after I wake up, I have done the same. Eureka! I have finally mastered that beast, and it feels great!
Do you strive to become proficient at a particular pursuit? If so, you must put in the time, energy, and effort towards that goal. There is no work around–no free lunch. However, if it’s something you really, really want, the satisfaction, accolades, or financial gain will make it worthwhile. Just remember to use the technique recommended decades ago by my very wise, Spanish teacher: la repetición.
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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