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:  Click here for her website:

CHITCHAT: In my last blog, I mentioned that I was going to be in a 2016 Super Bowl commercial for Toyota Prius. For those of you who watched and didn’t see me, it appears that the sponsor substituted another commercial at the last minute. The commercial I was in is titled “Heck on Wheels.” It can still be seen on and has had over a million and a half hits. I play the woman with a poodle dog. Here is the link:

Now, on to my blog:

Dog Waiting

Do you “fly off the handle” on a regular basis? Do you know others who do? As I get older, I find myself becoming more and more impatient. I get antsy when I have to wait for service; I feel irritated with inane chatter; I’m uptight when anything takes too long. It’s hard to remain patient when others are inefficient, screw up, or are lackadaisical.

I’ve never been particularly patient, but I’m getting worse. Does that happen to others, or am I the only one? My gut as well as stories I’ve heard and personal observations suggest that it’s common in the boomer and senior demographics.

What does impatience do for the practitioner? Does it really make the inciting situation any better? What is the downside of such behavior? When I do it, it just causes me to be more upset for a longer period of time. When I am the recipient of it, I become angry and feel like defending myself or engaging in payback. Impatience is a destructive emotion to the sender and to the receiver.

Certainly, one cause of impatience has to do with aging. Another contributing factor, though, may be living in a technological world. We have become used to immediate gratification in so many areas that did not exist in previous times. We can grab our smart phones and find out within seconds the answer to almost anything that used to require consulting an expert or making a physical trip to the library. We can communicate instantly by email what used to require a letter or a phone call with its concomitant telephone tag games and actual conversation starting with time-wasting niceties.

Living in a town or city of thousands or millions, however, still requires patience. None of us can get immediate gratification on everything. We still have to wait our turn in the queue. So, what do we do when we become impatient?

As many do, we can whip out our technology to entertain us, burying our heads in virtual reality. But, here’s another, old fashion idea: we can “stop and smell the roses” to quote an old expression. Yes, we can actually look around and enjoy our environment. We might watch a child play as we wait in line at the bank; feel the rain, the sun, the wind as it touches our skin while walking from the parking lot to our doctor’s appointment; observe the passersby and notice what they look like, what they are wearing, how they behave; listen to conversation while we wait for service at a retail establishment, and on and on.

There’s a free floor show out there, folks. From time to time, don’t forget to check out the non-virtual world, also known as the real world. You may find it far more fascinating, enlightening, and instructive than staring at little rectangular devices. And the upside is that it helps you to be more patient which is so much better than the opposite.

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5 responses to “Impatience

  1. Sheila Sauber

    How true! Amazing how many conversations around us aren’t in English.

    Sent from my iPhone


  2. Hi, Lee Gale! I think I went the opposite way. I used to get very impatient when I worked in a corporate environment. Now, I do slow down. In fact, my big problem is people getting impatient with me. I work part-time in my daughter’s gym, and all the coaches & parents expect instant answers, instant service, etc. I feel quite old and doddering at times.

  3. Forward this blog post to those making you feel old and doddering!

  4. Thanks for plenty of food for thought! The more aware I become, the less I can be in denial about my responsibility within situations. My standards used to be far too low, so taking care of myself often feels strange. When I become defensive, I need to step back with an attitude of optimism and compassion. It serves no one, least of all myself, when I assume the worst of others and of situations. What’s important is to stay in the moment, to clearly communicate my needs, and to maintain the perspective of a solution seeker.

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