Monthly Archives: November 2016

You Win Some; You Lose Some

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 lecture on this subject is titled, “Reinventing Yourself in Your Retirement.” Her memoir, available by clicking here 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:

stamp-photo

We’ve just come through a grueling, national election. I won’t even attempt to grapple with people’s feelings if their chosen side didn’t win. Some are taking it in stride while others are out demonstrating. They are angry, down, refusing to accept it, and unable to move on. That can be extrapolated to everyday life.

How do you handle it when things don’t go right? If you’re like me, it bums you out. You try to reason with yourself, but somehow the rest of the day just sucks. I experienced two events within the past year, both involving my car, that are illustrations:

My Example 1:

The first time I ventured into “the city” near my new home in the suburbs, I got involved in rush hour traffic and was forced onto a toll bridge not even knowing it was a bridge. Where I had lived all my life before my recent move, we didn’t have toll roads or bridges.

I didn’t know where I was nor how to get off. I cruised along in the outer lane, ignoring the booths several lanes to the left with all the cars lined up which I noticed out of the corner of my eye. After all, my lane was doing fine. Three miles later, I was able to turn around and return without incident.

That night, my son explained to me what had happened. I was on a bridge driving solo in the car pool lane and hadn’t paid the toll. I could expect a ticket in the mail.  Bummer!

“I’ll go to court and fight it.”

“Yeah, sure, Mom.”

We did a little role playing:

Me: “Your honor, I’m new to this area and I didn’t know I was on a bridge and that I was supposed to pay.”

My son as the judge: “Ignorance of the law is no excuse, madam.”

Me: “Have some mercy, your honor. I’m just a sweet, little old lady (I become sweet and old in situations like this.)”

My son as the judge: “Just pay the fine and learn a lesson. NEXT.”

My Example 2:

Earlier this year, I hit, or should I say tapped, the car, or should I say pickup truck, in front of me while coming to a stop at a red light. Who knows how or why I did it? All I know is that I felt a thud and looked up to see myself flush with the vehicle ahead.

The driver and his passenger both got out and walked toward me. I got out to meet them. I knew it was going to go badly when the driver wagged his finger at me as though I was a wayward child.

My car had just two small chipped areas in the paint on the front bumper about three feet apart. His back bumper was twisted upward in the middle with my paint transfer far to each side of that area. He, of course, insisted the damage had not been there before, and that my car bumper must have forced each side of his bumper to move toward the center. Did I mention that my bumper is plastic and his is metal?

The driver appeared to be approximately late-fifties and in good condition. His well-built, muscular passenger appeared to be in his twenties. Their pickup truck had one of those tool boxes stretching across the truck bed from one side to the other. I concluded that they performed labor of some sort and were in good physical condition. I was not hurt, and they were talking and walking around with gusto which suggested to me that they, too, were not hurt. Silly me!

Jumping forward, my insurance company bought their stories that their vehicle bumper damage was caused by my car, and that both the driver and passenger were injured. Over my protestations, they paid the two men a total of $11,000 for their injuries and paid for the damaged bumper on their  truck. It was cheaper to pay the nuisance value of the claim than to fight it in court. That is how insurance companies function. The fallout to me is that I lost my good driver discount.

Ah, yes, you win some and you lose some. The above are just two small examples of the latter. When things like that happen, the only salvation is to focus on the former. Thank God, we do win some. Let’s be grateful for that. They could all be losers, you know.

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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, contact me at the aforementioned email address, let me know, and I’ll remove you from the list.

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I Am Not an Aquarian!

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 lecture on this subject is 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:

my-shoesI was on my way from my car to a store last week when I noticed a woman walking next to me in the parking lot. She pointed to my shoes and said, “Oh, you have those new arch support tennis shoes. I saw them on television.”

“Oh no, these are quite old. They’re nothing special.”

“Yeah, those are the ones. They’ve got arches built into them.”

I went on to explain, “Well, I wear orthotics, so I don’t depend on arches in the shoes even if there are any.”

“Yeah, they have great arch supports, and they have those little springs in them,” she insisted.

“No, I don’t think they have any springs in them.”

That’s when she torpedoed me with, “Geez, you must be an Aquarian. You argue about everything.”

I could feel my temper rising. I wanted her to know that I am not an Aquarian. I wanted to argue about the fact that I do not argue about everything.

The whole thing suddenly became silly. Was I going to get into a cat fight over my old tennis shoes? This was a total stranger who obviously had her own agenda. I did not start talking to her; she started talking to me. She was convinced that she was right about her assessment of my shoes, and nothing was going to change her mind. She, also, knew she was right about my being an argumentative type, apparently like those born between January 20 and February 18, who, she was certain, argue about everything. She failed to see her own role in our escalating discussion. I’m guessing that this was not a new situation for her.

I know very little about the Signs of the Zodiac including my own which happens to be Capricorn if anyone is interested. I don’t believe that what month, day, time, moon phase, etc. during which you were born has anything to do with your personality. I, also, don’t believe that all those of the Aquarian persuasion argue about everything. I’m sure there are nice, pleasant Aquarians and not so nice ones as there are for every other Zodiac sign.

The point here is: What do you do when you find yourself in a situation where a stranger manages to insult you within five minutes of meeting them?  There is not an easy answer. You feel your face flush and you want to defend yourself.

Try to step back and realize how ridiculous the whole thing is. You’re not going to dissuade your attacker from their conviction. Why waste your time and energy trying to do so? The best course of action is to concede the point graciously and get away ASAP. You know you’re right, and it doesn’t matter whether they know it or not, especially if you’re an Aquarian.

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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, contact me at the aforementioned email address, let me know, and I’ll remove you from the list.

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