Monthly Archives: March 2015

Disconnect from Your Technology

This blog is written by Lee Gale Gruen to help Baby Boomers, seniors, and those contemplating retirement find joy, excitement, and satisfaction in their lives after they retire from a job, career, parenting, etc. Her public lectures on this subject are titled, “Reinventing Yourself in Your Retirement Years.” 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: http://AdventuresWithDadTheBook.com)

LEE GALE GRUEN’S UPCOMING APPEARANCES:

March 26, 2015, 2:00pm:  Author Talk & Book Signing, Los Angeles Public Library – Fairfax Branch, 161 S. Gardner St., Los Angeles, CA 90036
April 1, 2015, 1:00pm:  Author Talk & Book Signing, Canoga Park Women’s Club, 7401 Jordan Ave, Canoga Park, CA 91305
April 29, 2015, 5:00pm:  Lecture: “Reinventing Yourself in Your Retirement Years,” Osher Lifelong Learning Institute “Brault Successful Aging Lecture” (Keynote Speaker), California State University Long Beach, 1250 Bellflower Blvd, Long Beach, CA 90840, (free, but pre-registration advised)
May 30, 2015, 11:30am:  Lecture: “Reinventing Yourself in Your Senior Years,” Joslyn Adult Center, “Health and Fitness Expo” 210 N. Chapel Ave, Alhambra, CA 91801

Now, onto my blog:

Finger Pointing to Car RadioDo you need more quiet time in your life and can’t figure out how to get it? We live in an age of too many distractions, and we are constantly multi-tasking and anxious. Everyone and everything seems to be vying for our attention. We don’t even have time to think, contemplate, or wind down.

To preserve our health, both physical and mental, we must disconnect periodically, preferably a few times per day (I’ve blogged here on similar subjects before: September 9, 2014: “Scheduling Down Time,” and February 28, 2014: “Decompressing in a Compression Age.”) This time, I’m going to focus on our technology devices.

Many people have their cell phones hanging around their necks in phone slings so they are close to them at all times. Some of those necklace-like pouches are decorative and also serve as a fashion statement. And, how about the even trendier Bluetooth earpiece, seemingly a permanent feature protruding from an ear of some perpetually-connected types? They can’t even wait the few seconds to retrieve their cell phone and push the talk button.

One long-time, close friend puts her cell phone on the table when we meet for lunch at a restaurant. The moment the phone rings, she looks at the monitor to see if it’s a call she must answer. The reality is that she answers almost all calls “just in case it’s something important.” My reaction to that is: What am I, chopped liver?  Obviously, that “just in case” phone call is more important than our quality time together for the hour or so we’ve allotted in our busy schedules.

This happened to me once on a first (and last) date. We met at a restaurant whereupon Mr. Wonderful plunked his phone next to his plate for easy access. He didn’t like it one bit when I suggested that we turn off our cell phones during dinner.

I have a former friend whose motherly role to her husband and grown children included serving as the family information hub. All day, every day, her husband and children would check in with her several times on the phone, and she would convey the family news and plans from one to another. As you might guess, when I was with her, I spent a lot of time just sitting there like a lox while she waxed on via phone technology. When I once suggested that she not answer the phone during our short time together, she became distraught and defensive. As you might guess, that’s why she’s a former friend.

Another addiction is listening to the car radio or a CD while driving. Have you ever considered turning off that car radio or CD from time to time? Just ride in silence and bask in the quiet; it’s rejuvenating. To help you with that task, I’ve found this amazing method which is quick, easy, and free. What more could you ask for? I’ve used this method for awhile now and found that it works, so there’s no need to check Urban Legends to see if it’s a myth. With some extrapolation, it can be applied to most electronic devices.  Just follow the simple instructions. With a little practice and patience, I’m sure you’ll be able to grasp it. If I could, you can.

Fool proof instructions for turning off car radio
1. Hold index finger out in pointing position.
2. Aim finger toward on/off radio knob.
3. Slowly propel arm forward until tip of finger makes contact with aforementioned knob.
4. Apply additional arm muscle pressure to compel finger to push knob.
5. Listen to determine if sound still emanating from radio. If so, start again from Step 1.

Once you’ve mastered your car radio, try that method on your other technology devices. They may work a bit differently, but with a little tweaking, you’ll get the hang of it.  Some will have to withdraw from their devices like an addict. I know it’s hard, but it’s also calming, liberating, and gratifying. Take charge of yourself, people!  No one else will.

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.

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Filed under aging successfully, Baby boomers, gerontology, healthy aging, longevity, retirement, seniors, wellness

On Death

This blog is written by Lee Gale Gruen to help Baby Boomers, seniors, and those contemplating retirement find joy, excitement, and satisfaction in their lives after retiring from a job, career, parenting, etc. Her public lectures on this subject are titled, “Reinventing Yourself in Your Retirement Years.” Her memoir, available on Amazon.com, is: Adventures with Dad: A Father and Daughter’s Journey Through a Senior Acting Class (Website: AdventuresWithDadTheBook.com)

NEWS: I will be giving an author talk/book signing at the Los Angeles Public Library – Fairfax Branch, on March 26, 2015, 2:00pm, address: 161 S. Gardner St., Los Angeles, CA 90036

COMMENTS: I received this comment from a follower regarding my last blog post, “The Health Obsession Spiral.” She got it in a fortune cookie many years ago and never forgot it: “Do not tell your friends about your problems: 80% don’t care and the other 20% are glad you have them.”

Now, onto my blog:

TearsOur own death is a subject that is the proverbial elephant in the room. So many people are in denial and don’t want to talk about it. But, most of us in the Baby Boomer and senior age ranges think about it a lot. Maybe we have our own health issues, or maybe our peers and loved ones have died or are dying. We can’t help thinking that we’re next.

I recently had a long talk with a friend, Janet Maker, about this subject. Janet had breast cancer awhile ago and went through the routine treatments. She’s now in remission. However, it made a permanent impact on her.  She’s writing a book about her difficult experiences navigating the medical world regarding her cancer. Janet feels strongly about preparing and thinking about her own death.

“I want to do it right. I don’t just want to go out kicking, screaming and afraid.”

Janet suspects that people avoid thinking and talking about their own death because they fear the unknown, feel sadness about losing everything they love, and have regrets about things they did or did not do.

“If you knew you were going to die tomorrow, what would you regret not having done?” she asked me.

I had never thought about it. Identifying those things might motivate people to do them. Do you feel like you have done what you came to do?

I realized that one of my needs is to help others–to give back to the community. I use my blog and my public talks as a vehicle to do so. I hadn’t really identified it that way before.

Janet is writing her cancer book toward the same end. She wants to pass along the information she learned the hard way to make it easier for women who find themselves on a similar journey with breast cancer. She also wants to bring as much joy as possible into her life. That includes being kinder to others than she had been in the past. She’s taking steps to do so whenever she has an opportunity. Finally, Janet wants to see the world. She is traveling extensively now to fulfill that desire.

What do you need to do? How might you go about doing it? When?

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.

2 Comments

Filed under Baby boomers, gerontology, healthy aging, longevity, retirement, seniors, successful aging, wellness