Kick Up Your Heels

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, is: Adventures with Dad: A Father and Daughter’s Journey Through a Senior Acting Class. Click here for her website:

Now, on to my blog:

tasha-rolling-on-groundWe’ve all heard the expression, “kick up your heels.” What exactly does it mean? A Google search yielded these explanations: doing things that you enjoy or having a good time by discarding your inhibitions.

I visited a stable not long ago and hung out with some of the horses. One was led into the ring and immediately hunkered down, rolled over, and kicked up his heels for the sheer joy of it, all the while wiggling around and changing himself from white to tan to the consternation of his groomers of which I was to be one. We would have to spend extra time at our upcoming task to transform him back to the white of his birth. No matter, we human onlookers became childlike along with our stallion, basking in his exuberance.

When was the last time you kicked up your heels? It doesn’t have to be done by rolling around in the dirt with your legs in the air. It might be singing loudly with the radio as you drive to work, enthusiastic dancing, laughing uncontrollably with friends, swinging on a swing in a playground, or any of scores of activities done without inhibitions.

Too many of us are constrained by social niceties, conventions, or other governors on our behavior. I’ve seen people deliberately stifle laughs or even walk out of the room to avoid looking foolish by kicking up their heels. Members of some cultures cover their mouths with their hands to avoid emitting too much laughter.

Young children kick up their heels naturally until they become old enough to learn that it’s unacceptable, not polite, not ladylike, and all the rest. Why does society teach them that? Why does the collective body insist on sublimating the good feelings that can come from kicking up one’s heels and redirect us to socially acceptable venues to do so such as sports stadiums where kicking up one’s heels is only to be done in a group setting by screaming at the athletic teams, sometimes while wearing ridiculous garb and/or face paint?

Give yourself permission to kick up your heels on a regular basis wherever you are. Experience the heeling that comes from it.


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4 responses to “Kick Up Your Heels

  1. Sheila Sauber

    Nice post! Not enough opportunity to laugh. Hope you’re doing well with all the rain. Can’t believe how much rain we’re getting…a year’s worth in 7 hrs. Just celebrated 50 yrs of marriage in CAmbria. Stopped in Solvang and was So disappointed. Haven’t been there in 30 years(?) and was surprised how much It grew in size and population. Have cousins from Cincinnati coming To stay with me for 2 days. Keeping busy. How about you? Hugs, Sheila Sent from my iPhone


  2. Roger Trammell

    going in 4 back surgery March 20th. After that, I plan to seriously kick up my heels!

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