Free at Last!

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:

CHITCHAT:  I will be giving free public lectures titled: “Reinventing Yourself in Your Senior Years” on the following dates, times, and locations (RSVP REQUIRED):

March 15, 2018, 10:30am, The Samarkand Retirement Community, 2550 Treasure Dr., Santa Barbara, CA 93105, (877) 412-6305,

April 13, 2018, 1:00pm, Covenant Village of Turlock Retirement Community, 2125 N. Olive Ave, Turlock, CA 95382, (209)-226-4621,

Now, on to my blog:

Boo-Boo dragging leashAn oppressive lifestyle can be imposed from without or within. Sometimes, it is the people we live with or the situation we find ourselves in that causes the oppression. Maybe a spouse or significant other demoralizes us. It could be a parent or a child who is the culprit. We might feel ourselves excessively burdened by our job or daily activities.

Humans are also quite accomplished at weighing themselves down. We might impose impossible-to-meet standards on ourselves or aim for perfection to the point where we always fall short.

If you are living in an ongoing state of oppression no matter how you got there, you must escape for your own well-being. That is easy to say but so hard to do. Our situation, no matter how burdensome, usually provides us with something that we desire or fear we cannot obtain elsewhere. It could be as basic as  food and shelter. It might be the siren call of social position that binds us. Perhaps it is the fear of forfeiting something precious such as children, income, or even a pet that keeps us there.

It is scary to disengage from a situation that offers us things we crave or fear losing. Yes, walking away is  chancy. “What if’s” pop into our mind, usually miring us in the status quo, often for years.

However, if you ever want to break free of those chains that hold you prisoner, you must take a risk. Decide if you want to escape, make your getaway plans, and do it.

Many years ago, I had a friend, Priscilla, who told me that shortly after she married her husband, she realized what a mistake she had made as he proved to be an abusive alcoholic. However, by that time, she was already pregnant and dependent upon him. So, she made her escape plans and spent the next several years carrying them out. Priscilla went to college part-time and got an education so she could find gainful employment. By the time she finally put her plan into effect and left her husband, she had two children. She had also found a good paying job and was able to support herself and her kids.

We’ve all heard about people leaving lucrative employment to start their own business or to take lesser paying work that they find much more fulfilling.  I once had an attorney who handled a case for me.  Years later, when I needed more legal work, I sought him out only to find that he had given up the practice of law and opened a ski shop. He told me he had never really enjoyed being a lawyer, and that he loved his new venture even though he made far less money.

Don’t just wallow in an oppressive situation. Envision a goal of throwing off that yoke. Make your jailbreak plans and carry them out, even if it takes years.


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

6 responses to “Free at Last!

  1. Stan

    Aa I read your articles have the feeling you have been there and experienced the issues.

    • What I write about, Stan, comes from my thoughts, observations, and experiences which I think are universal. If someone hasn’t experienced one of my topics themselves, they usually know someone who has.

  2. wow – such great advice!

  3. Roger Trammell

    …another good topic, LGG. I’ve found that planning in advance is much better than acting rashly in terms of escaping a bad situation. Sometimes, a crisis forces us to act more rashly than we might otherwise but being aware of the breadcrumbs of negativity that led to the crisis should help us to bail before the crisis actually arrives. Don’t ignore the signposts on the road.

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