Monthly Archives: January 2016

Take Time for Those Less Fortunate

This blog is written by Lee Gale Gruen to help Baby Boomers, seniors, and those facing 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 talk (at 10:25am) 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:

Skeleton - El Dia de los Muertos

Most of us are normal physically and mentally.  Most of us are so much more adept than the disabled, disfigured, handicapped, or less competent in our society. Can we stop our busy lives for a moment or two to connect with another, less fortunate human being? Can we take an instant to be kind to those in that group?  Can we be grateful that we can share of ourselves?

Yes, we can.  Yes, we must.  Probably, most of us have been touched by someone in our lives who was born disabled or became so through illness, disease, or an accident.  I have, and it has made me humble, made me so much better than the self-absorbed teenager I once was.

Do you ever wonder how you escaped that fate and it befell another?  We have an obligation to be kind and gentle to such people.  A variation of a famous expression attributed to sixteenth century preacher, John Bradford, is: “There but for the grace of God go I.”

If you encounter a disabled person when you’re out and about, approach them and make a point of saying hello.  Compliment them on something, anything: “That’s a nice shirt you’re wearing,” “That color looks so attractive on you,” “I like your smile,” “It’s nice to meet you.”  Touch them:  shake their hand; pat them on the arm or shoulder.  That could make their day. It could also make yours.

Maybe when your turn comes to be less able than you are now, and it will come, someone will take a moment to engage you. How wonderful that will feel. After all, inside, you’re still that nice, creative, competent person you once were, or at least you feel that way.

I have a dear friend who has severe Parkinson’s disease. I remember how feisty she used to be. I remember our days of riding our bicycles along the bike path at Santa Monica beach. Now, I visit her from time to time at her assisted living home. I call her as often as possible to chat for a moment. The conversation is short, simple, and not world shaking. However, it brightens both our days.

Stop your very important business to connect with someone who will appreciate it so much. Make time to give of yourself. It will reap benefits to 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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Rekindling Toxic Relationships

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:

Two dogs fighting 1Have you ever had a friendship or relationship end because it was too toxic, so often anxiety provoking, the cons greatly outweighed the pros; you know the drill? It has probably happened to all of us. It might involve a relative, a friend, a spouse, a significant other, a parent, a child, etc. When you look back, you realize that you’re better off out of that relationship. Some time may pass, years even, and without him or her in your life, you become aware that you’ve grown–you’re healthier.

But, when life gets boring or you feel lonely, you may think about reaching out to that person.  After all, there was something about the relationship that was magnetic, that brought experiences or qualities into your life that you craved.  Conversely, one day the other party might reach out to you, trying to rekindle the relationship? They, too, probably miss what they gained from their involvement with you.

Perhaps you’ll get a phone message, a Facebook friend request, a letter, or some other means of communication. Maybe you’ll have mixed feelings, remembering the good times as well as the painful times. If it happens when you’re in a vulnerable place in your life, however, you might start focusing on how nice it would feel to bask in the warmth of those good times again. The temptation is great to click that “accept” button on the friend request.  After all, what harm can a little social media communication do?

Before you jump back in, take a breath or two or ten or a thousand. Assess why the relationship fell apart in the first place. Remember how the bad times began to dominate. Do you really think the other individual has changed enough to no longer behave as they once did? Have you changed enough to no longer let it bother you? What benefit is it to you to rekindle the relationship? Might it soon devolve into the toxicity that characterized it the last time? There are all kinds of expressions describing this scenario: “let sleeping dogs lie,” “you can’t go home again,” to name a few.

The most important thing is for you to remain healthy. The pain following the termination of a close relationship lasts quite a while and regurgitates regularly as experiences spark memories. If you have finally reached a point of well-being, why would you want to put yourself back in that stressful position?

“Well, people can change,” you might say. Yes, that’s true. However, there is a limit to how much anyone can change. Consider if that particular person could have changed enough to become a positive rather than a negative influence in your life? Think about how many people you know or know about who keep reconciling only to split up again and again.  Be careful before you grab at hopes and wishes which are not now and never were reality.

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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