Monthly Archives: July 2016

Moving On

This blog is written by Lee Gale Gruen to help Baby Boomers, seniors, and those soon to retire find joy, excitement, and satisfaction in life after retirement. Her public lectures on this subject are titled, “Reinventing Yourself in Your Retirement Years.” Her memoir, available at Amazon.com, is: Adventures with Dad: A Father and Daughter’s Journey Through a Senior Acting Class. Click here for her website: http://AdventuresWithDadTheBook.com

Now, on to my blog:

Moving Van at Palm HseThe seventy foot moving van arrived this morning (it’s an aggregator, transporting the possessions of different people all going in the same direction.)  I’m getting ready to move from my house of forty-five years into a condo in an active, senior retirement community almost four hundred miles away.  It’s a seismic change for me—scary and exciting all rolled into one.  It’s a good thing I didn’t know how awful such an endeavor would be, or I don’t think I would have started it.

I am a hoarder—not to be confused with a clutterer.  My house is neat and clean.  But, my closets, cupboards, cabinets, drawers, garage, and anywhere else you can stuff stuff are bursting with the things I’ve been saving for decades in case I might need them.  You know what I mean; the minute you throw something away, it’s not a week later that you’ll be searching for it.

I’ve spent the last months sorting through it all, including the boxes of stuff my son dropped off when he graduated college almost twenty-five years ago. So, now I must decide what to keep, give away, donate, recycle, or throw away.  It’s been painful, exhausting, devastating, cleansing, liberating, and consuming.

These days, you can’t just carelessly discard those important papers you’ve been accumulating.  Now you must shred them as they contain sensitive information which can be retrieved from dumpsters and used to steal your identity.  I attacked those papers with my little office shredder, but when that became cumbersome and didn’t make a dent in the job, I hauled about four hundred pounds of documents to a local shredding event put on by the city.

I culled my collection of thousands of old photographs taken  before the technique became digital. I threw away snapshots of beautiful rivers, mountains, deserts, canyons, and other assorted scenery I long ago forgot the locations of. I vow I will never take another picture of anything that doesn’t have a person in it who I know and like.

You can no longer throw paint, old medications, old household cleaners, electronic devices, and the like in the garbage.  You must haul them to the toxic waste and electronic disposal sites.  Each time I tried to throw such an item in the dumpster, my good citizen guilt pulled my arm back and made me put it in the trunk of my car for recycling.

Of course, I chose to pack my own things; I’m no wimp.  To that end, I trolled alleys visiting those same dumpsters seeking cardboard cartons to pack what remained. Loading up my car, I drove home with my daily harvest.  Finding the boxes was easy. We have become an “order online” society, throwing away the wonderful containers used to deliver our purchases. Huge boxes grew in my garage to a total of twenty-nine, waiting patiently for the moving van to collect them along with the furniture I chose to keep.

I’ve become buff with all the physical labor I’ve been doing. It’s more effective than working out at the gym, and a lot cheaper. I will be sad to leave my home city since childhood and my friends  of many years. Conversely, I’m eagerly anticipating my coming life and the new friends and experiences that await me. Is it time for you to move on? It’s better to do it when you can rather than when you must.

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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, scroll down on this page or click on “Recent Posts” or “Archives” under the Follow button. To opt out of receiving this blog, just contact me at the aforementioned email address, let me know, and I’ll remove you from the list.

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Mercurial Personalities

This blog is written by Lee Gale Gruen to help Baby Boomers, seniors, and those soon to retire find joy, excitement, and satisfaction in life after retirement. Her public lectures on this subject are titled, “Reinventing Yourself in Your Retirement.” Her memoir, available at Amazon.com, is: Adventures with Dad: A Father and Daughter’s Journey Through a Senior Acting Class. Click here for her website: http://AdventuresWithDadTheBook.com

Now, on to my blog:

Thermo 1

I’m getting ready to explode.

Some people swing rapidly from one emotional extreme to the other, just like the liquid metal, mercury, used in thermometers which shifts dramatically with the temperature. In the human form, it’s not the temperature that sets them off, and you will never know what does. They can be fun, loving, upbeat one day or even one moment, and without warning, switch to the polar opposite—angry, rejecting, a real downer. 

Those that experience such swings to a pathological degree might be diagnosed as bi-polar or what used to be called manic depressive. Their emotional lives are a constant roller coaster. There are psychiatric medications that help with their mood swings. Sometimes they work; sometimes they don’t. I’ve often thought how difficult life must be for the bearer of such a personality.

But, what about the rest of us who must interact with someone like that? It might be a spouse or significant other, a relative, a co-worker, a teacher, the cashier at the market, etc. We are sucked in by how charming and exciting they can be in their up times and bitterly disappointed and hurt when we are attacked or shunned in their down times. We ruminate, wondering what we might have done to offend them, not realizing that the problem lies within them, not due to anything we did. We were simply the nearest human available to dump on. If it is someone we’re close to and see regularly, we ride right along on their roller coaster albeit not of our choosing. 

I have had such an experience with someone significant in my life. I grew to always be on the defensive when dealing with him, never knowing when I’d get it right over the head. Even when we seemed to be having a happy time, I was anxious, wondering when it would turn. Our interactions became more and more stressful, and I came to dread them. I once asked if he was bi-polar. He said his psychiatrist told him he wasn’t. Well, if that’s the case, in my opinion he’s as close to being bi-polar that one can get without being bi-polar. 

In looking back at my history of friends, I realize I’ve had several of a capricious nature to one degree or another. They can be exciting, stimulating people, and that’s the hook for me. However, I’ve learned that being victimized by interaction with a mercurial character is miserable, causing me nothing but tension and angst. 

I frequently write in my blog that we must protect ourselves from victimization. Yes, we must take the strain out of being on the receiving end of a personality that switches with lightning speed, always catching us off-guard, always creating anxiety. 

If the person is so significant in our lives that we choose not to cut them loose such as a parent or a child, what can we do? We can refuse to engage when they get into attack mode. We can leave the room. We can exit the location and take a walk or a drive. If this type of thing has happened to you when you’re out together socially, always take your own car so you can make a quick get-away if necessary, or be prepared to hail a taxi or ride sharing service. Protect yourself. Mr./Ms. Mercurial won’t.

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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, scroll down on this page or click on “Recent Posts” or “Archives” under the Follow button. To opt out of receiving this blog, just contact me at the aforementioned email address, let me know, and I’ll remove you from the list.

 

 

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