Monthly Archives: February 2014

Decompressing in a Compression Age

Adv with Dad  Thumbnail IIFirst, before my blog below, I want to tell you that I’m going to be on television tomorrow night, March 1, 10:00PM, IFC cable channel (if I don’t end up on the cutting room floor). I will be in a comedy video clip playing the mother of the host, Patton Oswalt.  I hope you can watch.  Here’s my photo so you’ll know what I look like.

Now, on to my blog:

In my last blog, I wrote about the benefits of solitude.  This post piggybacks on those thoughts.  Life is so tumultuous and becomes more so with each so-called advance.  What looks like something that will benefit mankind often turns out to just put more stress on we humble humans that fill it.  For example, the automobile has proliferated to the point of almost constant gridlock.  Our commute by car now seems as long as by the horse carriage it replaced.  Today’s modern technology makes us more connected, able to work 24/7, able to access more and more data, and on and on.  What happens to our slower evolving bodies in the meantime?  I like the saying, “take care of your body, it’s the only home you have.”  So, what do we do with everything bombarding us for our valuable and finite time and attention.  We decompress!  We must put up a mental gate–a barrier to protect ourselves from the ravages of that bombardment campaign.  It’s hard to do; it takes willpower.  How do we turn off that cell phone, computer, or TV which have become addictive and so much a part of our lives?  Here are a few ideas:  You can make a schedule and allot some quiet time during the day.  You can take a vacation to a place off the grid.  There aren’t many anymore, but seek them out and remember to leave your technology toys behind.  I have a friend who refuses to get a cell phone or computer as she wants to enjoy life without the barrage of technology–smart woman.  Do we really need hundreds of virtual friends on Facebook?  Can we give ourselves permission to stop and smell the proverbial roses?  Maybe.               NOTE:  Please forward this blog to anyone who might be interested.  To read my previous blogs, click on the entries under “Recent Posts” and “Archives” on the right side of this page.  If you’d like to be notified of my future blog postings or contribute a guest blog, you can click here on my book website: AdventuresWithDadTheBook.com and leave a message under the “Contacts & Links” tab.

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The Benefits of Solitude

First, I want to remind you that I will be giving an author talk/book signing about my memoir:  Adventures with Dad: A Father and Daughter’s Journey Through a Senior Acting Class.  It will be this Saturday, February 22, 2014, 2:00pm at the Los Angeles City Public Library, Central (Downtown) Branch, Meeting Room A, 630 W. 5th St, Los Angeles, CA 90071.  I hope to see you there.

Now, onto my blog:  In great quantities, solitude can be isolating and destructive.  However, in small quantities, solitude can be comforting and cleansing.  I always used to fear solitude.  It left me alone with my thoughts.  It meant that I didn’t have anything to do.  It meant that no one wanted to be with me.  Now, I find that it replenishes me.  It gives me space from the demands of the world–down time.  Solitude enables my creativity.  When I’m alone, my mind is free to wander.  That’s when I come up with some of my best thoughts.  Sometimes, solitude helps when life becomes too overwhelming.  During that time, I give myself permission to take a mental vacation.  I try hard not to make any big decisions, not to have any conflicts, engage only in non-demanding activities, and  just let my mind drift.  Solitude in limited amounts can be refreshing, like sleep.  It can help you pace yourself, stop your hectic running, get off the merry-go-round for awhile.  Don’t fear solitude.  In controlled amounts, it can be your friend.   NOTE:  Please forward my blog to anyone who might be interested.  To read my previous blogs, click on the entries under “Archives” on the lower right side of this page.  If you’d like to be notified of my future blog postings or contribute a guest blog, you can contact me at my book website: AdventuresWithDadTheBook.com under the “Contacts & Links” tab.

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We Don’t Have Time for Negativity!

First, I want to tell you that I was interviewed by an entrepreneur website about how I wrote and now promote my memoir.  You can read it at: http://ideamensch.com/lee-gale-gruen.  Also, I’ll be giving an author talk/book signing on February 22, 2014, 2:00pm, at the Los Angeles City Public Library, Central (Downtown) Branch, Meeting Room A, 630 W. 5th St, Los Angeles, CA 90071.  Now, onto my blog:  Do you know, or are you someone who is often negative or complains a lot?  Now that we’re Baby Boomers or seniors, we don’t have that much time left.  Do we really want to spend it mired in negativity or complaining?  If that’s been a lifestyle, it’s hard to change.  But, being conscious that you’re like that and morphing into a more positive person can pay dividends.  I have a relative who has raised complaining to an art form.  It comes so naturally to her, I’m sure she doesn’t even realize how much she does it and has no idea why people avoid her.  It’s sad.  She’d love to have more friends, but she’s such a turn-off.  Conversely, I had a close friend who had terminal cancer.  She rarely complained about it and tried to live her life to the fullest of her ability.  She even accompanied me and another friend on a cruise just four months before she died.  She worked it in between chemotherapy treatments.  I have another friend who has a debilitating disease.  She calls me to tell me about a wonderful book she’s reading or a good movie she saw on her iPad.  I love talking to her.  These two women are my role models.  Why does negativity come so easily to some?  I suspect that people who fall into this category learned at a very early age that doing their “poor me” routine yielded a big payoff–attention.  We all crave attention.  We engage in all sorts to behaviors, tricks, pursuits to get it.  Being negative or complaining excessively does work for awhile until the receiver has had enough and realizes they’re ineffective in helping you overcome your problems and that all their relationship with you does is bring them down.  If you’ve had a history of a lot of short-term friendships which seem to fizzle out, maybe you’re driving your friends away with negativity or complaining.  We all complain or are negative sometimes.  I’m talking about those who are compulsive about it.  You have a choice in the matter.  Negative, upsetting, bad things don’t just happen to you.  They happen to all of us.  But, conversely, we all have positive, good experiences.  Maybe they’re not earth-shaking, but we can let even small, positive experiences drive our lives if we choose.  Did someone smile at you?  Did someone give you a compliment?  Talk to your friends about those incidents, or maybe a good book you just finished.        NOTE:  Please forward my blog to anyone you think might be interested.  To read my previous blogs, check out “Archives” on the right side of this page.  If you’d like to contact me or be added to my email list to be notified of my future blog postings, send me a personal message by going to my book website: AdventuresWithDadTheBook.com and then clicking on the “Contacts and Links” tab.

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