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 No longer the withdrawn, scared, worried-about-what-everyone-is-thinking-of-me teenager I had been, I was confident and comfortable with myself.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