La Repetición

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.

Photo credit: pom’. on VisualHunt.com

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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

A Sense of Community

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:

Over the recent holidays, I took a car trip with my son. Wow, I had him all to myself without his family competing for his attention. Our halfway point was going to be a visit to my cousin and her husband where we would stay for a few days. We planned to do our laundry there. Shortly before our arrival, my cell phone rang.

“Bad news, Lee Gale, we both have Covid.”

Whoops, all of our plans had to turn on a dime. That’s an old fashion expression meaning an immediate segue to Plan B, which we hadn’t even formulated. We managed to find a hotel–thank you Internet–near another destination on our itinerary.

The next day, son went to visit friends, while I stayed behind, having volunteered to do our laundry. The hotel clerk directed me to a community laundromat a few blocks away. Dragging my rolling suitcase–thank you to whoever invented that–I pulled our dirty duds behind me.

Upon arrival, I realized I hadn’t used a public laundry facility for decades, and I wasn’t sure how it worked. My last time, I think I put a quarter in a slot. I walked in and found a bustle of humans, all dealing with walls of endless washers and dryers. The noisy machines were sloshing, whirling, or tumbling their contents. I approached an empty one with a puzzled look on my face. It seemed equipped to accept a plastic card, but not my type of credit card.

A thirtyish, hefty man came to my rescue. He explained the difference between the regular and the extra large washing machines, the latter meant for double loads. He showed me how to put my money into a pay slot in the wall to get a “wash card” and how to insert it in my washing machine of choice. He also watched over as I poured in the soap I had brought, advising me when it was enough. Finally, he tutored me on how the dryer worked, and that my wash card must be inserted first before I chose the temperature. With a little practice, I gained confidence and competency, loading my washer and controlling it with my wash card without a second thought. I returned to my benefactor.

“Oh, thank you so much. You’ve been such a big help. What’s your name?”

“It’s Hector, ma’am.”

“It’s nice to meet you Hector. My name is Lee Gale.”

Hector, my sweet bear of an angel, left the premises after retrieving his own laundry from a dryer. I’m sure I’ll never see Hector again, but he sure did make my day. He asked for nothing and only wanted to help a fellow human being. I saw other “regulars” mentoring “newbies” like me, too. This modern laundromat is not so different from when our ancestors washed their clothes at the riverbank, chatting and gossiping as they worked. Lifelong friendships are forged that way.

What had started out as an anticipated, dull chore, turned into an experience of warmth, support, and camaraderie–a real sense of belonging. Yes, a community can be established anywhere over a shared goal. It only takes caring, supportive folks whose aim is to get a foothold, become productive members, and pass their knowledge along to the next guy.

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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

Neon People

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:

Who are neon people? They are humans who do something to stand out. They might wear neon clothing while bicycling to make sure they can be seen easily and therefore avoid being hit by cars. “Neon personhood” can be expanded from that example.

Some people just seem to draw attention. It might be their looks, attractive or not; it might be their clothing, expensive or not; it might be their behavior, proper or not. But there’s something about them that makes others turn and observe.

Are you a neon person? Some people are natural neons. They don’t think twice about it. It’s simply who they are.

There’s just so much attention in the world to go around. Humans compete with each other for it. Winners of those contests get more, losers less. However, we all deserve some. If attracting it is not natural to you, how do you grab a portion? How do you become a neon person?

The best way is to study the natural neons of this world. What is it about them? Perhaps you can incorporate some of those traits into your own behavior. If it feels odd, uncomfortable, or not your style, try it out. The more you practice, the easier it becomes. I’ve written on this topic in this forum before. (Click on these links and scroll down to read my blogs of March 6, 2017: “Strutting Your Stuff,” and October 6, 2015: “Getting Noticed.”)

You don’t have to be the hit of the party; you don’t have to be the most lavishly dressed. However, with some minor alterations and a drizzle of behavior modification, you might share some of that attention with the neons who so often seem to suck it up and hold onto it for themselves.

Try it out at some gatherings you attend during this holiday season. Just like a recipe, start slowly flashing a bit of neon. The next time you have an opportunity, show a little more. Increase gradually and reassess after each time. Soon you will hit your sweet spot–just the right amount of neon that suits you. It’s different for everyone.

Have a happy holiday season! I’ll connect with you again next year.

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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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Churners

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

CHITCHAT: I was recently interviewed for an online article sponsored by CVS Drug Stores. It includes a few personal photographs you might enjoy. Click here to read the interview.

Now, on to my blog:

What is a churner? It is one who operates a device used to convert cream into butter by manipulating a rotating mechanism inside a churn (container). Work the churn long enough and, abracadabra, you have a rich, flavorful toast topper.

Some people are also churners but without the need of a churn. What do such churners do, you might ask? Well, they churn (agitate), of course. Bring a churner into a compatible group, and suddenly things become chaotic. What was once calm and stable changes to disruptive, divisive, and even combative. Certain personality types always seems to interject discord wherever they go.

Do you know anyone who is a churner? Possibly you are a churner yourself. As you’ve ascertained by now, I’m not talking about the guy/gal at the helm of a butter churn. What I’m talking about is the type who is always “churning up the waters” as the expression goes.

Why do churners behave like that? They probably don’t even know themselves. Some of it may have to do with attention seeking, but I suspect it’s deeper than that. It’s as basic as wanting to be in control. Churners like to disturb the calm and foment constant controversy and worry on the part of their victims. If you push everyone else off kilter, then you can swoop in and take over. It’s a power grab technique! Churner types manage to get themselves into advantageous positions so they can wreak havoc on those over whom they wield such power.

Some in leadership roles use churning techniques as a management style. Politicians are often particularly adept churners. Churners can also be found much closer to home in the form of spouses, significant others, children, family members, teachers, employers, and the like. Whenever life seems to be going smoothly, you can bet your last shekel that they will be the ones to disrupt it.

How do you withstand a churner who has power over aspects of your life? How do you cope with his/her never ending threats, innuendos, loud asides, snide remarks, cruel nicknames, dismissals, put-downs, etc? There is only one way to survive anyone of this type, and that is to take away their power. Yes, I am aware of how difficult that is. Here’s a mantra you might use: Never want or need anything he/she has the power to give or take away. That’s pretty hard to do when the leverage they have over you is something like your employment, your school grades, or your private life. However, it is the only way to slither out from under their control.

One technique when the craziness starts is to back away, decamp, get the hell out of there. Another option is confrontation which may sound something like this: “Oh, I see you’re churning again, so I’ll just leave.” Then, most importantly, follow through. When you do, they’ll stop because it’s not much fun to churn alone. After all, they need ingredients (aka: you) to create the butter they crave.

If the situation becomes intolerable, make your plans to escape. If the relentless churner in your life is a boss, start thinking about transferring out of his/her department or looking for another job. If it is a spouse, start making your plans to wiggle out of the situation. If the churner has financial power over you, you may need to get a job if you don’t have one. If you lack skills, go to school or to a training program to acquire the expertise which will enable you to find employment and become financially independent.

I first heard that strategy discussed by a co-worker many years ago. She told me that soon after her young marriage, she realized she had made a terrible mistake in her choice of a husband who proved to be a controlling alcoholic. By that time, she was pregnant and dependent on him. So, she started making her plans. She went to college part-time which took many years before she graduated and was able to find a decent paying job. By the time she did so and left her husband, she had two children.

If you are burned out from forever being agitated by a churner in your life, do something about it. Map out your tactics, put them into effect, and stick to them no matter how long it takes, which could be years. You must be farsighted and forge a course of action for yourself. Only then can you work toward achieving your independence.

Photo credit: quinet via Visual hunt / CC BY

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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

Wearing a Dog

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:

This is the third time I’ve used Pepe, delicious Pepe, in this forum as the star of one of my blogs. (To read my blog of 1-7-19, “Armful of Dogs,” click here and scroll down. To read my blog of 6-11-20, “Under the Covers,” click here and scroll down.)

Pepe is a tiny Chihuahua mix canine that shares a domicile with my friend, Janet. I make no property designations here since Pepe definitely owns Janet as much as the other way around. Another mighty mini-dog shares their abode, but it is more of the standoffish, barking persuasion. Nope, it’s Pepe for me.

I visited Janet several months ago for the first time since the Covid pandemic lockdown. I couldn’t get enough of Pepe and vice versa. In this photo, I’m wearing Pepe like a necklace—his idea.

Pepe is a lover, not a fighter—if you happen to be a human. If you are a dog, it’s another matter entirely. In that case, Pepe adheres to the old adage, “The best defense is a good offense.” Since I am in Pepe’s acceptable category, he and I got along famously. We hung out together. We took long walks on a leash, one of us at either end. And, as you can see in this photo, he commandeered my bed. Pepe is a delectable piece of candy that I can’t get enough of.

People are so often like Pepe. We are sweet and wonderful with dogs and other pets, but our interpersonal relationships with those of our own kind, namely Homo sapiens, are lacking. We spit and snarl; we posture and threaten. Why do we do that? Why do we exercise such hyper-vigilance, always on the defensive, always worried that someone is going to attack us?

It’s probably because we’ve been hurt in the past by those in our own species. Also, it might be a matter of competition, the nature inherent in us all. You know, “Kill before being killed,” or the modern version, “Grab everything that you can before someone else grabs it.”

What a burden we top level hominids carry around. That attitude and attendant behavior usually invite the very reaction in others that we so fear. Try out on your fellow man the approach you use with animals. See if it yields greater success in getting along than your previous method.

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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

Cherish Old Things

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: 

We cherish old objects. We put them in a special category: “antiques.” We treasure them and assign them special places in our homes: the living room, the mantle, a dedicated wall. But what is the good of this old junk?

Antiques remind us of our ancestors. They give us a connection to history. They are beautiful, even when technically ugly. Even the creaky joints and out-of-date functions of some are tolerated due to their age.

What about old people? Do they have the same attributes? Do they command the same respect? They should! They are our tribal elders. They are the living recallers of the past who connect us with what went before. They hold and preserve our heritage. I have written on this topic before in this forum. (Click here to read my blog of 2-17-20: “Tribal Elders.”)

Several years ago, I had a classmate in a community Spanish class, Rose Freedman, who was 100 years old, vivacious, and full of personality. She always arrived well decked out with her homework completed. Rosa, as we called her in class, was the last survivor of the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire which had occurred in New York City in 1911. It caused the death of 146 garment workers, mostly young immigrant women and girls. One day, Rose held us spellbound as she recounted how she had survived by following the supervisors upstairs to the roof and over the catwalk to the next building instead of trying to go down the smoke filled staircases. BTW Rose lived to the age of 107. She was fascinating, vibrant, and engaging until she died. (I have written about this remarkable women before in this forum. Click here to read my blog of 12-24-17 “The Time We Have Left.”)

As we enter old age ourselves, are we cherished? Do younger generations realize the value that we offer? Not always. Often, the realization does not come upon people until they themselves are entering old age as to how special a place it is. It’s a club with exclusive membership and certainly not for lightweights.

If you are in your dotage, set an example of that demographic. Show the world that you are proud, positive, and have worth. Flex those senior muscles by demonstrating your smarts and your savvy. Instead of whining about your latest ache or pain, drop a nugget of knowledge about the current political scene or the winning sports team. A line or two about the (fill in the blank), how to repair a (fill in the blank), or what to do in case of an (fill in the blank) wouldn’t hurt, either.

Be a role model instead of someone to be avoided. You hold an important place in society that only you and your peers can fill.

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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

There’s More to Life than Just Getting Through It

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: 

Some people seem to slog their way through life as though pulling an invisible ball and chain along with them. Their waking hours consist of dragging themselves from one necessary-for-survival function to another. Many of these folks may be depressed, discouraged, or just have an overall pessimistic view about most things. Others are on two speeds:  breakneck or catatonic. Those are also avoidance techniques.

Being alive is indeed frightening and anxiety provoking. However, it’s sad when life’s only purpose is just to get through it. That, of course, is one component of “we all are born and must die.” However, along that journey from Point A to Point B, what else is going on? Is there anything worthwhile about the getting-through-it part?

The truth is that it’s all around us hiding in plain sight. Upbeat feelings don’t have to cost money. They don’t have to come from one more expensive toy. They can emanate from a stroll in your neighborhood, taking any opportunities that come along.

Not long ago, while walking around my community, I saw a garage door open and a man sitting inside near the entrance working with a block of stone on a table. I stopped and asked him about it. He was more than happy to share. He was carving a piece of alabaster into an interesting shape. He showed me a picture of what he was trying to make. He had tools such as a long, round file to get into small places. He mentioned that he had been making such sculptures for the past twenty years. Both he and I enjoyed our exchange.

scarlet pimpernel

I continued walking and got delight from looking at the tiny Scarlet Pimpernel flowers growing near the curb. I felt satisfaction from feeling my body strain against the incline of the sidewalk. A stand of giant redwood trees brought joy. A hummingbird visiting a plant outside my window to harvest the nectar from its blossoms gives me pleasure completely out of proportion to its tiny size. Such experiences exist all around you. Don’t waste them.

During the pandemic lockdown, I got a phone call from a very casual acquaintance–a classmate from a Zoom class I was attending. I opened with the standard, “Hi, how are you?”

Wrong!

“Terrible!” she answered.

Late for an appointment and not wanting to get embroiled in a long discussion of the “terrible” of someone I barely knew, I responded, “So, what brings you to call?

Fortunately, she stated her business, and we discussed it briefly. However, as I’ve learned, when someone throws out bait like “terrible” and it isn’t picked up, they are going to segue back to it. And, so she did.

She proceeded to discuss the details of something that had occurred to her earlier that day which to my mind was a minor inconvenience. She still had food, shelter, and comfort in those early days of Covid 19.  The whole story just made me weary. Yes, it’s all relative, and each person’s dissatisfactions are valid. I don’t mean to minimize them; I have mine, too. But, let’s have some perspective here.

There are many things that, although fleeting, make the trip of life meaningful. Aren’t they in and of themselves worthwhile? It’s true that they don’t stay around long, but a taste of them compels us to keep seeking more. Good feelings are like a drug, addicting us to crave them again and again.

There’s nothing wrong with that; they are our motivators. Without such payback, life would indeed be glum. How lucky we humans are to have the capacity to experience those various hits of positivity. That’s what keeps us going.

***

Please forward my blog to anyone who might be interested and post it on your Facebook, Twitter and other social media. 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.

Photo credit: Henry R. Baker on Visual hunt / CC BY

***

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

Constant Motion

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 forever seem to be in constant motion, like a spinning top. I’m always doing something. Even when I’m home, I never just sit and look out the window. I’m on my computer; I’m preparing food; I’m cleaning, putting in a load of wash, going through a script for a play I want to audition for, reading material or writing material for an upcoming class, talking on the phone…

Even my vacations are the active type. Lying on the beach under a palm tree reading a book in some tropical location doesn’t cut it. I want to check out the wildlife, forests, museums, or native peoples and their culture. If sports are involved, I want to go skiing, on a zip line, horseback riding (or, in my case, horseback walking—but hey, I’m up; I’m moving forward; and I’m not bleeding). I loved it when I was on a small boat in Mexico touching whales. Any place with some excitement or stimulation attached to it is for me!

I’m a Type A personality, and pure, uninterrupted relaxation is a foreign concept. My fellow Type A-ers know what I’m talking about.

I’m trying to do better, because I know it’s beneficial for me to slow down. My slowing down in recent years has come in the form of staying home more often–cutting down on the running around. However, even being at home seems like a marathon as I mentioned above. I barely know what my backyard looks like. Occasionally, during my at home time, I’ll glance out of the window.

Gee, it’s beautiful out there. Okay, enough of that; now, I have a blog to write.

People like me and maybe like you or someone you know have to schedule downtime, because we forget to do it. Left to our own devices, we’re a gerbil running on an exercise wheel in its cage. I’ve written on this subject before. (Click here to read my blog of 4-29-2016: “Slowing Down, and here to read my blog of 8-29-2017, “Rest and Regenerate.”)

Don’t forget to relax, folks—really rest. And, when you do, remind me to do the same.

Top Photo credit: Max_G6 on VisualHunt.com
Bottom Photo credit: benmckune on Visualhunt

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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

The Hunt Vs. the Capture

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:

There are some people who will pursue another with vigorous means to entice their object of attention. This might include things such as seductive behavior, expensive gifts, abundant attention, and the like. However, once their prey becomes interested (on a scale from a small amount to full-out falling in love with them), the predator’s interest wanes. The latter may then start retreating by acting poorly toward the former: ignoring them, berating them, severing ties with them.

However, the scenario doesn’t end there. When the prey starts to distance his/herself, the predator is suddenly interested and switches to wooing mode once again. It’s a crazy making game that can go on for years. Obviously, the only way for the prey to avoid such a seesaw is to always act hard to get in order to continuously stimulate the predator’s interest and keep them in constant pursuit. What an exhausting way to live!

I once had such a relationship–short term fortunately. I was baffled and couldn’t get a grasp on what was going on. After a few months of this back and forth, I walked away to healthier grounds. When I discussed the matter with a friend, he said that some people get off on the hunt but become bored once they have captured their prey.

Why do predators behave this way? I’ll venture a guess: it has to do with basic insecurity on their part. Oh, they might not act insecure as they’ve spent decades covering up those feelings and presenting a façade of confidence and power to the world and to themselves. Nevertheless, those lack-of-worth seeds still survive within them and distort their behavior.

Once they’ve bagged their prey, the predator’s subconscious feelings of insecurity kick in to the tune of: I’m nothing, so if you care about me, you must be nothing, too. Therefore, I’m no longer interested in you because you are a low-value person. I’ve written on this topic before in this forum. (Click here to read my blog of 1-21-18, “Why Does He/She Treat Me So Badly?”)

Have you experienced such a relationship or relationships in your life as either the predator or the prey? It’s a sad situation to find yourself in and usually leads to one failed relationship after another.

If you are the predator, the first step in changing yourself, if you are so inclined, is to realize what you are doing and why. Then, when you enter the rejecting phase in a relationship, you can view it through your new lens of understanding. This may help you in choosing some behavior modification techniques to preserve your relationship. However, since you’ve spent years honing your hunt versus capture technique, it may require professional help for you to give it up.

If you are or have been prey to such behavior, acknowledge the dynamics in the relationship. Refuse to play the rejected role. Don’t expect your predator to change; it’s you who must change. If you have a history of such relationships, think about what attracts you to such a predator. If it is chronic, you, too, may require professional help to change.

To Predators: Others are not on this planet to help you play out your insecurities. Knock it off!
To Prey: Don’t waste your time and energy being played like a yo-yo. Realize your value and don’t let anyone take it from you.

Photo credit: Huron County Museum & Historic Gaol on VisualHunt.com

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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

Life Is a Math Problem

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:

Recently, I came upon an intriguing mathematics problem, author unknown, making its way around the internet: If you’re going down a river at 2 MPH and your canoe loses a wheel, how much pancake mix would you need to re-shingle your roof? I hope none of my readers is actually trying to answer this question; it’s just nonsensical fun.

In this world of fake news, endemic confusion, and inability or unwillingness to figure out and accept reality, we are suspicious of everything. We can’t even take a joke. The aforementioned math puzzler is a spoof on our times.

Must we doubt everything? Must we question everything? How tiresome it’s all becoming. Even truths we once considered carved in granite are now open for reinterpretation. It feels as if our bedrock is crumbling.

How do we survive such a shaky foundation? I’ve encountered many depressed people lately. They’re overwhelmed by the current state of affairs: politics, the pandemic, wars, inflation, the effects of climate change, their personal lives, and on and on. They don’t know how to cope.

I think the Alcoholics Anonymous creed of One day at a time is about as good as any to navigate our turbulent times. It teaches survival in small, manageable steps. If you adapt the goal of making it just from when you wake up in the morning to when you fall asleep at night, that might help steady you. It’s not a solution to our great global problems, but it could be a balm to your distress caused by them.

Another worthwhile technique is the ancient adage: This, too, shall pass. Look back on your life. Lots of unbearable things finally ended or at least diminished in intensity. Nothing lasts forever.

These approaches don’t work every time; they might work only sometimes. On the other hand, what’s wrong with sometimes? It’s certainly better than the alternative which is constant upset, anxiety, and angst.

Try it. See if you can compartmentalize. Give yourself a mental vacation from the considerations that are pulling you down. Allow yourself to postpone some of that pressing weight until tomorrow, or the next day, or next week, or…

Photo credit: wuestenigel on Visualhunt.com

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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.

3 Comments

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