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: Click here for her website:

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 No longer the withdrawn, scared, worried-about-what-everyone-is-thinking-of-me teenager I had been, I was confident and comfortable with myself.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: 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.


Filed under Uncategorized

6 responses to “Renovations

  1. Sheila Sauber

    Brilliant!!! I love the way you connected the old and the new. That couldn’t have been a real easy blog to write. I wrote Joyce an email about 1/11, but I haven’t heard back from her. I’ll call tomorrow.

    Sent from my iPhone


  2. The same thing happened to me at my 50th reunion. The trip “told” me to reinvent myself and get serious about acting! I have! Now I keep in touch with old classmates via email and am looking forward to going back in August 2016 for my 55th reunion!

  3. Alan

    I really liked your message in this blog. I too enjoyed my 50th and staying in touch with old buds thanks to the internet.

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