Monthly Archives: October 2014

Have a Potlatch

This is a blog written by Lee Gale Gruen aimed at helping Baby Boomers and seniors find joy, excitement, and satisfaction in life. Her memoir, available on Amazon.com, is: Adventures with Dad: A Father and Daughter’s Journey Through a Senior Acting Class (click here for website: AdventuresWithDadTheBook.com)

NEWS:  I will be giving a free lecture titled “Reinventing Yourself in Your Senior Years” on December 9, 2014, 10:00am, at the SCAN Senior Resource Center, 6633 Telephone Rd, Suite 100 – Room 108, Ventura, CA 93003

Now, onto my blog:

PotlatchA potlatch, practiced by some Native Americans, is a tribal ceremony highlighted by the giving away of material and non-material (ex: titles) things. Status is achieved not by who has the most “stuff,” but by who gives away the most.  Yes, the Native Americans sometimes took it to extremes with the giving-away part turning into a competition or by expecting a similar payback. However, let’s not throw out the concept of potlatch with the bath water. Maybe we can take the good parts.

We need to give away some of our stuff. We accumulate and hoard too much. Must we have more and more possessions, toys, money? When is it time to divest rather than invest? As the saying goes, “You can’t take it with you.” Of course, as a teenager who thought she knew everything, I’d point that out to my father and he would respond, “Then I’m not going.” Dad did, however, become more generous as he aged.

If you don’t have “stuff” you can give away, then give away intangibles such as compliments, attention, help, advice (sparingly on that one). Giving away feels good to the giver as well as the receiver.

I’ve written before on the concept of “pay it forward” (June 6, 2014: Dealing with Regrets).  The potlatch I’m suggesting is a version of that. Sometime in your life, someone probably gave to you. Pay it forward and give to someone else. The winner in that competition will be you.

Please pass this blog along to anyone else who might be interested and post it on your Facebook, Twitter and other social media. 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.

Advertisements

3 Comments

Filed under Uncategorized

The Secret Benefits of Exercise

Exercise 4 10-10-14We all know or have heard or suspect that exercise is good for us. It keeps you toned, fit, firm. I started exercising years ago at a gym because I had lower back pain. Boy, has it helped with that! But, I found a hidden benefit: it helps with my stress level and when I’m feeling down.

I’m a Type A personality and always on the go–doing lots of things–trying new stuff. However, even if you’re a Type B, we all have stress. It’s life’s little gift to us for the privilege of being alive.

So, think about enrolling in a gym. Start out slowly doing what you can. It’s not a contest. There are no winners and losers. You don’t have to beat that person next to you doing their Jack LaLanne impersonation. Exercise for me seems to work best in a group situation. I guess I like to be among fellow sufferers. That’s why I go to a gym. Also, the music in the background helps to motivate me.

You might get a kick out of this commercial I made a few years ago advertising gym equipment using Intel processors: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YU7-cvQLZeY

If it’s too expensive to join a gym or you don’t like the regimen, then get outdoors and start walking. That doesn’t cost anything. Or, do your power walk at your local mall. It’s safe, interesting and free with air conditioning thrown in at no extra charge. Replicate the musical accompaniment of a gym by listening through ear buds on your favorite technology device.

Exercise 5 10-10-14It’s too boring, you say? Find some friends to walk with; you can socialize as you go. I have a group of friends who walk twice a week at the beach. No friends, you say? Check out Meetup.com and find a group of walkers in your area. Many of them walk at the local malls.

What about your dog? It needs walking and loves it most when it’s you on the other end of the leash. When did “dog walker” become a profession? Why aren’t you walking Blondie or Milo or BooBoo yourself? Think of it as dog/owner bonding with exercise thrown in as a bonus. When I had a dog and walked her in my neighborhood, I encountered neighbors I had never met before walking their pooches. As an aside, dogs sniffing each other is also a perfect ice-breaker for their owners to get to know each other. If you don’t have a dog, one sniffing your crotch is an opportunity to start a conversation with its human. You just might make a new friend. Then, you could walk together and get some exercise.

You can’t miss your daily daytime dose of “As the Stomach Turns,” you say? Record it and watch it in the evening. Use the daylight hours to be out there exchanging your stress and depression for some rays and exercise.

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

4 Comments

Filed under Uncategorized