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: AdventuresWithDadTheBook.com
CHITCHAT: I will be giving free public lectures titled: “Reinventing Yourself in Your Senior Years” on the following dates, times, and locations (RSVP REQUIRED):
April 13, 2018, 1:00pm, Covenant Village of Turlock Retirement Community, 2125 N. Olive Ave, Turlock, CA 95382, (209)-226-4621, www.covenantvillageofturlock.org/events
July 19, 2018, 10:30am, Covenant Village of the Great Lakes Retirement Community, 2510 Lake Michigan Dr NW, Grand Rapids, MI 49504 (616) 259-0408, www.covenantgreatlakes.org/events
October 16, 2018, 1:00pm, The Holmstad Retirement Community, 700 W. Fabyan Pkwy, Batavia, IL 60510, (630) 239-1133, www.theholmstad.org
October 17, 2018, 10:30am, Windsor Park Retirement Community, 124 Windsor Park Dr, Carol Stream, IL 60188, (331) 218-3637, www.windsorparkillinois.org
October 19, 2018, 10:30am, Covenant Village of Northbrook, 2625 Techny Rd, Northbrook, IL 60062, (224) 412-8421, www.covenantnorthbrook.org
Now, on to my blog:
How many times have you looked at others and coveted something they have?
I wish I had such smart children. I wish I were thin like him/her. I wish I were free of the burden of a needy spouse like him/her. I wish I had a spouse like him/her. I wish I were rich like…well, you get the idea.
Those types of thoughts begin to creep in, especially when we are feeling low or in a bad place. Our life sucks and everyone else’s seems to be a fairy-tale with everything right and a happy ending.
Someone once told me about a friend of theirs. The friend was so attractive, had such a good personality, had… So, the relater of the story said he was so envious that he just had to stop being friends with that person. How sad for both of them. Most likely the one who “had it all” was just putting on a good public face.
That’s quite common. We want others to like and admire us, so we hide our bad apple spots. Some even fabricate tales to yield that story book presentation.
I’ve had so many instances in my life where someone I know or have just met or have read about seems to have it all. I’m always surprised when I learn the real truth, and that their facade wasn’t at all what it looked like. A good example is the recent nasty split between long married and seemingly on top Hollywood couple Brad Pit and Angelina Jolie. Who knew that behind their shiny, solid oak veneer was actually dry-rot?
I remember when the adorable girl in grammar school who lived down the block and had the beautiful curls arranged just so and the expensive clothes I lusted for committed suicide. I remember in junior high school a girl who seemed so sweet, easy going, and well-liked having a nervous breakdown. I remember the popular, high school cheerleader whose parents turned out to be psychologically abusive and distant. I remember in college…, at work…, as a wife…, as a mother…, as a senior…, and on and on. It was the same at every stage of my life.
Take another gander, folks. All those people you’re looking at and coveting have their problems, negatives, bad times, too, just like you. You don’t get to cherry-pick. You take their whole package or none. So, in carefully inspecting the entire life of the envied one, would you trade theirs for yours?
I was discussing this concept with a friend not long ago, and she reminded me, “Be careful what you wish for.” That’s so easy to forget. When you long for another’s life to replace your own, take a deeper look with a strong magnifying glass. Yours may start to seem a whole lot better than you thought.
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Photo credit: Matt McGee via Visual hunt / CC BY-ND