Moving Along

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 her website:

Now, on to my blog:

Rossmoor Wild Turkeys 2It’s scary to try new things, especially when they are big things. Any major life change, even a positive one, creates anxiety. The more the change diverges from your usual routine, the more intimidating it is.

I’m on a new adventure right now. I’m trying out an active retirement community hundreds of miles from where I’ve lived since childhood. I’ve been here a few weeks, and I have another few months to go before I return to my comfort level back in my own home and neighborhood.

Everything about this experience is a challenge.  Nothing comes automatically; nothing is routine. I have to concentrate on each thing I do, each place I go. I’m constantly confronted with big learning curves: how to find my way around this community, where to buy food, how to work the convection oven (thank you Google for a convection converter), and so much more—sigh.

Why am I doing this? I’ve thought to myself more than once.

The answer: because I want to live near my son and his wife and children–my grandchildren; because if I’m ever going to do it, I must do it while I’m still healthy. I want to make this work if I possibly can. So, I stumble on, and each day it gets  just a bit easier.

Wild Turkeys at Rossmoor 1On the upside, I’m having experiences I’ve never had before. I’ve encountered wild turkeys wandering around the neighborhood. What a delight! Of course,

I had to follow them and shoot these photos. Where I live in the heart of a large, metropolitan city, I’ve never even seen a wild turkey. I’ve also seen deer here. As far as I’m concerned, one can never see enough deer.

What was so strange just a few weeks ago has become less so.  I have attended a few club meetings, classes, and events which tap into things that interest me (acting, writing, horses, and more). I made a few acquaintances who have the potential of becoming friends. I bought a senior subway card. I have navigated my way around using the amazing GPS technology (thank you Siri.)  There were and continue to be lots of getting lost moments, lots of screw ups–typical trial and error when everything is unfamiliar or unknown.

Rossmoor DeerI can feel my progress; I’m moving forward. I’m beginning to enjoy where I am and seeing it as my possible future. I’m proud of myself for undertaking this journey.  Just the doing of it gives me strength and the confidence that I can succeed.

Start thinking whether it’s time for you to make new plans for the rest of your life. Make decisions rather than avoiding them. Take action and move forward. It’s hard, but with persistence, it does become easier.

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2 responses to “Moving Along

  1. Marlene

    Courageous and interesting. Just don’t get too close to those deer, what with ticks! And when you return home do consider writing about your experience for a paying market, perhaps AARP Bulletin or a newspaper op-ed piece. Really, I’ve never heard of anyone taking this step.

  2. What an interesting idea, Marlene. I will consider querying some magazines regarding writing a piece about my experience. Thanks for the suggestion.

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