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: Click here for her website:

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…  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.

A while 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 other unwanted consequences.

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

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?

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4 responses to “Be Careful What You Wish for

  1. This is my favorite of your posts so far. So well said, & perfect as we go into 2016.

  2. …a good-un, LGG! A famous man once said, “Know thyself”. If you do, you will usually know what you need and how much of it. When I worked at juvie, I rejected 2 promotions to DPOII because I wanted to remain next to the reason I was there instead of being lost in an office shuffling papers. When I took out my flip-phone on the beach, one of my b-ball buddies took a picture of it with his current model iphone. The bottom line is that my call went through. Thanks for you enlightening blogs.

  3. I had forgotten that you worked at juvie. I never worked there. I was a DPOII and worked as a telecommuter for the last 10 years of my career.

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