Monthly Archives: April 2016

Slowing Down

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

Now, on to my blog:

Tortoise

For so many of us, it’s hard to slow down. We’ve been used to a certain pace in our lives for years—decades. It’s a rhythm we follow and have honed to a comfort level. We may be over-committed: classes, jobs or volunteer positions, dates with friends, meetings, etc., all requiring us to show up according to a certain schedule. Yes, we enjoy it. Yes, it makes us feel important. When our bodies, stamina, health, etc. force us to move at a slower pace, it can be frustrating, upsetting, and discouraging. After all, there are so many responsibilities, so much to do, so much to accomplish.

However, we must take it easier. We are often forced to do so as our energy wanes. Then, it’s time to reverse direction—replace our current activities with less demanding ones or continue with our current activities but to a smaller degree. There will be forces working against that. After all, if others depend on us, it is not to their advantage for us to do less.

You must take care of yourself. You must survive and thrive with a new lifestyle, a slower lifestyle. The best way to do so is to look ahead. Think about all that you can do rather than all that you can no longer do. Cut out unimportant things. It’s okay to step down from all the responsibility. Nothing will collapse. There are over seven billion people in the world, and there will be someone else to step in and carry on.

Tell friends and others that you can’t commit for sure and may have to cancel with little notice. Explain why so they won’t be upset or hurt such as: you don’t always sleep well, you don’t always feel well, things sometimes become overwhelming, etc.  Delegate. Hire someone to do the heavy lifting: cleaning, shopping, bill paying, etc. Buy prepared foods instead of doing all the cooking yourself. Get rid of your car and the stress of driving. Take a bus, metro, subway.  If they’re not convenient, take a taxi or a ride sharing service; the cost will probably end up being about the same as driving your own car when you consider the cost of gas, insurance, repairs, and the like.

You can do it the easy way or the hard way. You can lament what used to be and no longer is, or you can embrace what is and what you still have. Choose the latter. It’s easier, healthier, and more fulfilling.

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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First World Problems

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.

Now, on to my blog:

Washing MachineI was complaining to my son about my washing machine conking out and needing to buy a new one.  I bemoaned  having to search for a replacement online, having to call different appliance stores to check their stock, having to stay home to get the delivery, and on and on. He listened patiently and then put it all in perspective.

“Mom, this is a first world problem.”

That shut me up immediately. How petty and ungrateful we can become with the minor inconveniences in our otherwise privileged lives. We’re not being bombed like some people in the world. We’re not starving like some people in the world. We’re not being exposed to horrendous diseases, being mauled by animals, being beheaded or having a relative who is. You get the idea.

It’s easy to get caught up in the minutiae of our lives, stressing about having to buy a new washing machine and the like. I’m certainly guilty of it. But, it illustrates how any situation can be looked at in a different light. How lucky I am that I have the money, availability, and ease to buy a new washing machine. Not everyone does.

Yes, our problems are significant to us, but we must keep some perspective. Practice looking at problems from a different angle and see if their importance doesn’t diminish. Too many people complain too often about too many things. Stop complaining folks and make it work for you. If you go shopping for something and they are out of it, get something else and move on. If you’ve made plans with someone and they are late, stop grumbling and read a book or magazine until they arrive. When you can’t get what you want, choose something else at that moment. When things aren’t going like you had in mind, “go with the flow” as they say.

Complaining is easy. Dissatisfaction is rampant. Why can’t we learn to “turn lemons into lemonade,” as they also say? There are so many positive, interesting things going on all around us constantly. Choose to get into that mind frame. It makes life gratifying and so much easier.

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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