Monthly Archives: December 2015

Be Careful What You Wish for

This blog is written by Lee Gale Gruen to help Baby Boomers, seniors, and those contemplating retirement find joy, excitement, and satisfaction in life after they retire. Her public lecture on this subject is titled, “Reinventing Yourself in Your Retirement.” Her memoir, Adventures with Dad: A Father and Daughter’s Journey Through a Senior Acting Class, is available by clicking on this link: Amazon.com. Click here for her website: AdventuresWithDadTheBook.com

Now, on to my blog:

DICE 8-BWYes, ‘tis the season for wishes. We wished for presents on Christmas, Hanukkah, and at other sacred and secular ways of celebrating this holiday time. Perhaps you blew out candles at your birthday and made a wish as I did.  New Year is approaching, and we’re now making New Year’s resolutions which are also wishes: I want to lose ten pounds, start writing that novel, get a new car, hairdo, nose, etc. Often, attaining that wish or desire only makes us want something else. When are we ever satisfied? When are we okay with what we already have–with what we already are?

There is nothing wrong with setting goals and working toward them. The problem comes when you are never fulfilled, always striving for the next thing–the not yet attained. The basis of those seemingly unattainable aspirations is not being okay with yourself.

Awhile ago, I was complaining to a friend about who knows what, and she responded, “be careful what you wish for.” I’ve thought about that many times. Yes, you might get that coveted thing you yearn for or envy in others: an object, attention, recognition, fame, money, power, etc. However, follow its logical progression. What also comes with that gain? There might be responsibilities, expectations, requirements, additional baggage, and on and on.

People with lots of toys must maintain them, warehouse them, upgrade them–all time and money consuming. People with lots of attention often burn out and yearn for privacy and a spare moment to themselves. People with a certain status are objects of constant expectations by others: attend our affair, donate to our cause, do this, do that. People with a lot of money must expend tremendous effort handling and manipulating their wealth; maintain vigilance so others don’t take it away; keep current with new changes and advances to be sure the money does not dribble away unknowingly, lost in a technology void somewhere, etc.

If you’re dissatisfied with your current life, envy another, or pine for something else, think about what goes along with it.  Or, perhaps you have thoughts such as, When can I get off this speeding highway and just rest? If so, consider how important it really is to keep up with the proverbial Joneses or the currently trendy Kardashians? Are you really inferior or deprived if you don’t? Who decides this? How about if it’s you?

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: gowergulch@yahoo.com. 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, either scroll down or look on the right side of this page and click on specific titles under “Recent Posts” or on specific dates under “Archives.” To opt out of receiving this blog, just let me know at the aforementioned email address, and I’ll remove you from the list.

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Renovations

This blog is written by Lee Gale Gruen to help Baby Boomers, seniors, and those contemplating retirement find joy, excitement, and satisfaction in life after they retire. Her public lecture on this subject is titled, “Reinventing Yourself in Your Retirement.” Her memoir, Adventures with Dad: A Father and Daughter’s Journey Through a Senior Acting Class, is available by clicking on this link: Amazon.com. Click here for her website: AdventuresWithDadTheBook.com

Now, on to my blog:

Clifton's Cafeteria 12-12-15

Our lives are filled with good times and bad times, ups and downs, positives and negatives. Way too often, we focus on the negatives and forget that we ever had any positives.

Some years ago, my high school graduating class had its fiftieth anniversary reunion. I wasn’t going to miss that! Five decades after graduating high school, I was a completely different person. No longer the withdrawn, scared, worried-about-what-everyone-is-thinking-of-me teenager I had been, I was confident and comfortable with myself. I wanted to attend the event to expose myself to peers who had intimidated me so long ago—to test myself. I wanted to see how others had turned out and whether they had been as frightened and bewildered as I had at that vulnerable age.

What happened unexpectedly was that I connected with fellow students I had not been friends with back then and reconnected with some I had. In this late stage of our lives, we have formed adult friendships—senior friendships, as though fifty years had not even passed.

We get together periodically, share old times, and laugh about current times. Here I am at Clifton’s cafeteria, an old standard in downtown Los Angeles where so many of us had eaten as children and teenagers. It had been closed for renovations for some years and recently reopened. Of course, a few of my high school classmates and I had to check it out. We each shared our remembrances of the old Clifton’s and marveled at how the renovations have been true to the original while adding modern, updated features.

Can we renovate ourselves? Can we add new, modern, updated features to our own mix while remaining true to the original? I’m not advocating a quick fix such as a vacation, elective surgery, a new house, a new car, a new whatever. I’m suggesting behavior changes, confidence building changes, connecting and reconnecting changes.

Think about the good times in your life. Think about the positive things that have happened to you. See if you can reconnect with them and bask in them. Save them and build on them to enhance yourself. Be the same but even better. Too hard, you say? I say, all you have to do is want it, and then let yourself do it.

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: gowergulch@yahoo.com. 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 or click titles below “Recent Posts” or “Archives” on the right side of this page. To opt out of receiving this blog, just reply to sender, let me know, and I’ll remove you from the list.

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Trees Afire

This blog is written by Lee Gale Gruen to help Baby Boomers, seniors, and those contemplating retirement find joy, excitement, and satisfaction in life after they retire. Her public lecture on this subject is titled, “Reinventing Yourself in Your Retirement.” Her memoir, Adventures with Dad: A Father and Daughter’s Journey Through a Senior Acting Class, is available by clicking on this link: Amazon.com. Click here for her website: AdventuresWithDadTheBook.com

CHITCHAT: I will be one of several speakers and will present a lecture on “Finding New Opportunities” at the Senior Congress XI hosted by Conejo/Las Virgenes Future Foundation – Lifelong Learning: “Explore Your Opportunities,” on January 27, 2016, 8:45am to 2:30pm (free, lunch provided, reservations required), location: St Maximilian Kolbe Catholic Church, 5801 Kanan Rd, Westlake Village, CA 91362

Now, on to my blog:

Rossmoor Trees III 11-25-15Oranges and reds, pale greens, golds, pinks, and yellows. These are the shades of nature in November in the beautiful retirement community where I have been staying. They are the trees changing their colors in the fall season. Not natives, not wild, but breathtaking, cultivated imports that calm the mind, distract the thoughts, share their peace.

Those magnificent, arboreal giants dressed in their autumn costumes stand in line like belles at a ball waiting to be claimed by the next partner on their dance cards. Their falling leaves rain down like snowflakes, surrounding me gently as I walk, treading on the ones that have already made it to the ground.

It is my first experience living with this particular free gift of nature. I’m a Southern California girl, not used to such a display. Some of you have probably grown up with this magnificence. Even so, I can’t believe it ever gets old. As I drive down the streets, I’m constantly pulling over to snap another photograph.  One is not enough; certainly ten is not enough.  Snap, snap, snap as my cell phone battery runs lower and lower.

I’ve tried to visit such places in years past. However, I’ve never hit it dead on, always arriving when just a few branches show a bit of color, or the trees are already bare.

I like it; I love it! I must have more of this in my life.

Fall TreeHere’s what I saw when I looked out of the window of my rented condo: a tree afire—a metaphor of what we must do for ourselves. I came upon a wonderful saying a few years ago: Success is not the result of spontaneous combustion; you must set yourself on fire. So true and so profound. These days, it goes by a less dramatic term: self-motivation.

How do we do that; how do we motivate ourselves to press on, to keep going when we’re down, discouraged, times are hard, etc? Yes, it’s so difficult, but think of the alternative. That’s even harder. Pulling inward, ducking down–burying your head in the sand, your hands, the pillow, a bottle. No, don’t do that; be kind to yourself. Give yourself permission to move ahead, to try for what you’ve always wanted.

We’re so afraid to take that step. We’re frightened of the possibility of failure and even more frightened of the possibility of success. What would you say to your son, your daughter, your grandchildren, the kid next door? Why is it always for others, but not for yourself? You deserve a shot just like everyone else.

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: gowergulch@yahoo.com. 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.

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