Monthly Archives: July 2017

Help: a Noun and a Verb

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:

BART special seatingI had just exited the airport after flying in from out of town and was waiting for the metro to take me home. When it arrived and the doors opened, I realized I had hit it at rush hour. The car was crammed with humanity—standing room only.  That was fine with me; I liked the idea of remaining upright as I had been sitting on an airplane for two hours.

I positioned myself between a post and the back of a seat, holding on to the former. At the next stop, a boy of about nine years of age walked toward me gesturing to a seat. A woman, obviously his mother, was standing nearby and nodding at me. They had been occupying a place designated for the handicapped, pregnant women, and the elderly. To my consternation, I fell into the last category.  Even so, I am in good physical condition and was quite capable of standing.  However, the young boy looked so eager charged with his important mission that I simply couldn’t tell him I had no need of the proffered prime location. So I thanked him very much, walked over, and took my seat for the elderly.  The boy was beaming and looked at his mother who gave the requisite approval.

Sometimes, even if we don’t need assistance, it is a kind gesture toward the giver to accept an offer of help. People feel good when they assist others, and we can get some good feelings for ourselves by being gracious toward their sacrifice in our behalf—a definite win-win situation.

I think the same applies if we really do need help. What’s the matter with that? Some find it so difficult to request and/or accept assistance.  They feel it demeans them or indicates they are lacking in some way.  They might feel a burden that they must reciprocate. No, you don’t need to give like-for-like. Sometimes, there is no way to repay a good deed done for you. The only payback is to pay it forward and perform a kindness for another.

Offer help generously and don’t be ashamed to accept it either. We all need help from time to time no matter our age or physical condition.  Participate willingly on either side of this caring human interaction and reap the emotional rewards that it bestows.

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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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Filed under active seniors, Baby boomers, gerontology, health and wellness, healthy aging, longevity, reinvention, retirement, seniors, successful aging, wellness

Feeling Invisible

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:

Invisible 2Have you ever been in a situation where you’re surrounded by people much younger than yourself?  Have you ever felt invisible as they talk past you?  A similar experience might occur even when the others are closer to your age, but they all know each other or attend the same class or go to the same church/temple/mosque, etc., and you’re the odd man out.  This might happen when you’re seated at a table while attending an event, marking time in a waiting room, or at any other venue where you find yourself surrounded by strangers who are with others in a common grouping.

In situations like that, it’s often hard to strike up a conversation. People near you seem only interested in talking to those of the same age, pursuit, social history, etc. You might try to steer the conversation around to something universal such as the current political situation, a recent news item, whatever. However, the conversation segues back to their niche interests.

The others might be polite to you if you do manage to interject something, but they quickly turn back to their peers. In the case of those much younger, you notice the chatter centers around subjects that don’t interest you: a certain type of music, jobs, children’s play dates, someone you don’t know, or things that you’ve outgrown.

You want to shout out your credentials: I’m bright; I’m well-educated; I’m well-traveled; I’m interesting, etc. But, of course, you don’t; that’s socially unacceptable. So, you sit there in silence feeling awkward and rejected.

I’ve heard some seniors say that they don’t like being around large groups their own age. They prefer to be with younger people as it makes them feel young. I’ve never understood that. I can’t imagine what they even talk about.

Yes, there are some situations where the meeting centers around a specific topic common to all present, and age differences don’t matter. There, also, might be specific individuals who easily bridge the age gap. But, those are the exception, not the norm. I find it much more comfortable to be with others in my same age group. We have a commonality of experiences and are no longer focused on the things done by age specific younger generations such as child rearing, careers, etc.

When you find yourself in situations like these, it’s time to look around the room for the senior folks. If you can’t find any or are stuck at a table with those half your age, you might whip out that book you always carry with you. You forgot to take the book? Your cell phone can entertain you for awhile. Or, you might simply relax and enjoy people watching. That’s always a fun sport.  And, when you hear such talk as diaper rash, pediatricians, and the like, you can rejoice that you’re in the “been there, done that” age group.

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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.

Photo credit: Odenosuke via Visual Hunt / CC BY-SA

4 Comments

Filed under active seniors, Baby boomers, gerontology, health and wellness, healthy aging, longevity, reinvention, retirement, seniors, successful aging, wellness