Memory, that Wily Beast

This blog is written by Lee Gale Gruen to help Baby Boomers, seniors, and those soon to retire find joy, excitement, and satisfaction in life after retirement. Her public lectures on this subject are titled, “Reinventing Yourself in Your Retirement Years.” Her memoir, available at, is: Adventures with Dad: A Father and Daughter’s Journey Through a Senior Acting Class (Click here for website:

June 13, 2015, 2:00pm, Author Talk & Book Signing, Crown Books, 6100 Topanga Canyon Blvd, Woodland Hills, CA 91367
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

From time to time, I host a guest blogger on a topic relevant to my blog.  Today, Alan Levine, a former acting partner in one of my senior acting classes, has submitted a guest blog.  Alan refers to me in the blog by various names, so here is an explanation of my name:  Lee Gale Gruen.  “Lee Gale” is my first name.  “It’s too confusing,” I hear you complain.  Well hey, if you can remember Beyoncé, you can remember Lee Gale.  I never go by the first name “Lee,” although Alan uses it a few times in his blog.  Alan also calls me LGG which comes from the initials of my entire name.  Some people call me LG or Legal, both of which are okay with me.

Now, on to the guest blog:

by:  Alan Levine

So there I was standing in front of a community theatre when I was tapped on the shoulder and greeted with “hello Alan, nice to see you here.” “Hello, I said back to a familiar face, I love this theatre.”

She excused herself and headed for the restroom prior to the curtain call. I continued into the theatre with my wife and friends. “I can’t believe it I said, I can’t remember her name.” “That’s Lee,” my wife said. Oh my I thought. Here’s someone with whom I had worked on stage in a workshop performance of “Fatal Attraction” just four years ago, and her name popped right out of my head.

I avoided further embarrassment by walking up and engaging in conversation. “Lee Gale” I said, “how nice to see you,” and then proceeded to have a conversation with her and her friends about theatre and remembering lines and how difficult it has become. She told me that she was about to audition for a show and only had to remember one line. Actually Lee smiled and said “it was only one word.” I kept thinking, what has happened to our memory. Why does it jump back and forth? Why is it we can remember chapter and verse of something we learned fifty years ago, but struggle to name the last movie we went to?

Oh I know, there have been hundreds of studies one can read about how the brain slowly loses its ability to absorb more information and the recall buttons begin to lose their ability to function. But that won’t happen to me I thought. With enough effort my brain will continue to function as it always has, and my ability to remember people, places and things will get me through life as it’s always done.

Ah, but who am I kidding? So like most of the readers of this column, I suspect that like you, my memory mechanisms are not as sharp as they once were and that I will have to resort to all the tricks I keep reading about. Try new things we’re told, play games, do crosswords and Sudoku puzzles and keep your mind active. Use tricks to help remember names, takes memory classes. After all since all the improvements in medical science are letting us live longer and stay productive, we should know what we are talking about, where we are and where we’ve been. And most importantly remember the people who have made an impact in our lives.  Thank you LGG, at least I finally remembered to send you this piece.

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: 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, just reply to sender, let me know, and I’ll remove you from the list.


Filed under active seniors, aging gracefully, Baby boomers, health and wellness, healthy aging, retirement, senior living, seniors, successful aging

2 responses to “Memory, that Wily Beast

  1. I think it’s great that you posted Alan’s blog in your space. That’s very kind of you.

  2. Sheila Sauber

    Good blog!! You should team up with Alan. I’m in the forgetting names stage of life too. Sheila

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.