Monthly Archives: April 2015

If You Don’t Age Gracefully, Think of the Alternative–Yikes!

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:
May 30, 2015, 11:30am: Lecture: “Reinventing Yourself in Your Retirement Years,” Joslyn Adult Center, “Health and Fitness Expo,” 210 N. Chapel Ave, Alhambra, CA 91801
September 18, 2015, 2:30pm:  Lecture: “Reinventing Yourself in Your Retirement Years,” Mira Costa College LIFE Program (Learning is for Everyone), 1 Barnard Dr., Oceanside, CA 92056

Now, onto my blog:

old_chimpAging gracefully is hard work. We have to motivate ourselves to eat healthy, exercise, be positive, seek interesting activities, and on and on. When I begin to falter, I think of the alternative: if I eat too much junk food, I feel bad physically; if I skip exercising, my body hurts; if I get into negativity, I feel sluggish and non-productive. So, although it seems easier to just vegetate and withdraw, it’s much harder in the long run.

There are many paths to aging gracefully. Some people think it’s in their physical appearance alone and spend huge chunks of time and money running to hair dressers, makeup artists, plastic surgeons, clothes shopping, etc. Yes, our physical appearance is important to a degree. However, our attitude, behavior and pursuits are just as important if not more so.

A young looking, well dressed, well-coiffed outer shell is barren when matched with an angry, negative, judgmental mind set. That mind set spills out and colors everything else in our lives.

Have you ever had the experience of meeting a physically attractive man or woman only to discover they had a very off-putting way of acting? You suddenly begin to notice their physical attributes that are not so attractive which you hadn’t seen at first. Conversely, have you ever met someone whom you found physically unattractive, but who had a warm or charismatic personality? You soon forget about their physical appearance and are drawn to them.  Remember the phenomenal success and influence of Eleanor Roosevelt, a woman who truly reinvented herself as she aged.

So, remember how fortunate you are to be alive and have the opportunity to age gracefully.  Do it by working from the inside out.

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 Baby boomers, gerontology, healthy aging, longevity, reinvention, retirement, seniors, successful aging, wellness

Oh, I Can’t Do That!

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:
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 Retirement Years,” Joslyn Adult Center, “Health and Fitness Expo,” 210 N. Chapel Ave, Alhambra, CA 91801
September 18, 2015, 2:30pm:  Lecture: “Reinventing Yourself in Your Retirement Years,” Mira Costa College LIFE Program (Learning is for Everyone), 1 Barnard Dr., Oceanside, CA 92056

Now, onto my blog:

Sheila Ross doing The Plow 1-22-15_editedMany people encounter something new or different and say, “Oh, I can’t do that.” Then, there are others who say, “Oh, I can do that.”

This is a photo of Sheila Ross who is seventy-nine years old and in the latter category. She is doing a yoga exercise called “the plow.” Sheila has never taken a yoga class. She simply saw someone a few months ago doing this maneuver at her gym and decided to try it. Yes, Sheila has been exercising for a long time, and yes, she’s naturally limber. However, she had never done the plow, but she was willing to give it a try.

Not everyone will be able to do the plow. However, maybe we can at least take a lesson from Sheila and try things that seem difficult rather than backing off immediately with an “Oh, I can’t do that” attitude.

This pertains to all types of behavior, not just a yoga exercise. Do you shy away from taking a class, volunteering, going somewhere to make new friends, etc? That’s typical behavior. It’s uncomfortable to venture into the unknown. However, we miss so many opportunities and life enhancing possibilities by retreating into our comfortable cocoons.

It’s so easy to automatically say, “that’s too hard for me,” or “I’ve never been good at that kind of thing,” or whatever your excuse is. What about doing what Sheila did? What about seeing or hearing about something interesting and saying “I think I’ll try that?” Let’s work toward overcoming that little voice inside our heads that always tells us we can’t do things. Remember the mantra which I’ve discussed before: if you think it’s too hard, do it anyway!

You won’t be proficient the first time you try something new. But, you can certainly work up to it.  The secret is: small, manageable portions.

So, the program is:
1.  Think of something that intrigued you, but that you resisted trying with all your reasons and good excuses.
2.  Approach that something with baby steps and keep at it slowly and consistently.
3.  Give it a try for a given period of time, say two weeks.
4.  Check your progress at the beginning and at the end. Have you gotten a little better? Is it a bit easier?
5.  Keep going and give yourself another couple of weeks to reassess.

Remember, it’s not a contest and you don’t have to become an expert. The goal is to find more joy, excitement, and satisfaction in your life.  You might not be successful in all your new endeavors, but at least you tried which puts you a lot closer to success than not making an attempt in the first place. I  promise that if you don’t like it, you can always go back into your cocoon.

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 Baby boomers, gerontology, healthy aging, longevity, retirement, seniors, wellness

Hanging Out via 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. 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:

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 Retirement Years,” Joslyn Adult Center, “Health and Fitness Expo” 210 N. Chapel Ave, Alhambra, CA 91801

FYI:  I recently changed the name of my blog slightly to appeal to a wider audience.

Now, onto my blog:

LG on telephone IIn my last post, I wrote about taking a break from your technology.  This time I’m going to focus on a wonderful,  underused way to use your technology.

Hanging-out time with a cherished person in your life is precious. Hanging out is just being together doing nothing in particular. Just the closeness, even if the conversation is minimal, unimportant, or non-existent, is nourishing.

Several years ago, I visited my aunt who lived in Las Vegas at the same time her two sons, my cousins, were visiting.  Her third child, a daughter, was living in Thailand.

When we sat down to dinner, one cousin opened his laptop computer.  With the click of a few buttons and the magic of Skype, he connected with his sister in Thailand.  He placed his laptop on the table in front of an empty chair, and my aunt, my three cousins, and I all had dinner together. We talked, laughed, and just engaged in typical dinner patter like most families sharing a meal together.  It was an amazing experience!  I watched my cousin in Thailand on the computer screen as she participated in the conversation just like the rest of us.

I talk often on the phone to my son, Richard, who lives hundreds of miles away. He calls me when he has free time which can be while walking to the subway, driving to the store, or whatever.

A few days ago, I went with Richard to Home Depot. He needed some wood and hardware for a cabinet he was building. I was on the Bluetooth stuck into his ear, and I could hear him talking to the salesman as well as the sound of the wood being cut on the skill saw in the background.

When Richard walked to another department, we spoke briefly about the type of cabinet handles he was looking for–nothing of great importance. I’d hear him laughing with a sales clerk about some consideration or another dealing with the proposed cabinet. Just listening to his laughter buoyed me up.

I remember hanging out with Richard years ago when he was distributing flyers door-to-door for some neighborhood project he supported. I was in Los Angeles on my cell phone as he was knocking on doors and talking to neighbors hours away from me. I still remember listening to the flapping of his sandals as he walked the streets while we chatted. I was right there with him.

Hanging out with my son is a privilege, doing nothing special but just being together. Hang out with your special people whenever you get the chance. Don’t terminate the telephone conversation because it doesn’t seem important enough; it’s valuable!  Spend more time with those who buoy you up. Use the power of today’s technology to help you do it.

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 Baby boomers