Monthly Archives: March 2018

You Don’t Get to Cherry-pick

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:

hand picking cherryHow 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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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: Matt McGee via Visual hunt /  CC BY-ND
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Filed under active seniors, Baby boomers, gerontology, health and wellness, healthy aging, longevity, reinvention, retirement, seniors, successful aging, wellness

Uber et al

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

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,   www.thesamarkand.org/events

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

Now, on to my blog:

UberAh, Uber and its brethren.  They use  technology to make life easier while simultaneously making it more complicated.  Yes, I wanted to be “with it” just like my tech savvy son–to summon a car using my iPhone.  So, I decided to brave the learning curve and set out to install the Uber app.

The first mistake I made in my confusion was to sign myself up as an Uber driver.   I realized my error as soon as Uber congratulated me on becoming a team member and requested information about my car and driver’s license.

Trying to unenroll as an Uber driver is a lot harder than enrolling.  Although I kept trying to tell the Uber God that I didn’t want to be a driver but just a rider, he/she refused to listen to me and kept insisting I provide my car/DL info.  Eventually, Uber got tired of my stalling and kicked me out as a potential driver.  I was small potatoes, and they were having none of my foolishness.

I waited a few days to brave the Uber site again.  This time, unbeknownst to me how it came about, I did manage to enroll as a rider.  An Uber app appeared on the homepage screen of my iPhone.  I became one of the cool, trendy types and was going to be chauffeured by Uber.

The first time I called for an Uber pickup, it worked!  I was amazed how simple it was and that I had done it.  The ride was pleasant and the driver amiable.  All was right with the world, and I was a functioning cog in the Uber machine.

Uber emailed me my receipt and requested input on how I liked the ride.  They offered me a visual of five stars, each with a number under it from one to five, in a horizontal row.  I was supposed to click on these celestial bodies to rate my ride.

My driver had been great, and, of course, I wanted to give him the highest rating: five stars.  So, I assumed I was supposed to click on all of the stars.  I clicked the star above the number one first whereupon I was kicked off that page and a message appeared in its place sympathizing with me that I had not had a good Uber experience.  Apparently, I was supposed to click only on the star over the number five, not on every star.  Now, how was I supposed to know that?

Unforgiving Uber God refused to give me an option to revise my evaluation.  Guilt took over; I had just given a black mark to the Uber driving record of a very nice guy.

What to do?  I navigated the Uber website but couldn’t find any way to connect with Uber.  A half-hour later and still navigating, I stumbled upon a contact form to send Uber a message.  I explained my error and begged U.G. to upgrade my evaluation to five stars.  Later that day, I received an email that my wish had been granted.

I did not use Uber again for several months.  By that time, I forgot about the quirky rating system.  Again, in trying to rate my driver, I ended up giving him the lowest possible rating.  No more guilt–every man for him/herself–I was sick of the whole thing and refused to play the half-hour navigation game again.

Cut to two years later.  I had not used Uber in all that time and forgot the protocol.  After arriving late and tired at my home airport, I summoned Uber to take me to my  front door.  The screen monitor notified me that the trip would cost $33.66.

The drive was pleasant and the driver sweet and chatty.  Upon arriving home, I handed him two twenty dollar bills: $33.66 for the fare and the rest for his tip.

“Wow!” he exclaimed.

I couldn’t understand what all the fuss was over a $6 tip.  I mean it was about twenty percent of the bill—a fair tip, but hardly warranting a “wow.” Maybe he wasn’t used to any tip at all.

The next day I was checking my emails and found one from Uber.  It was a receipt for $33.66 billed to my credit card.  How could they do that when I had paid the fare to the driver?  My son explained it all to me patiently–sort of.

“Well, Mom, you gave him a $40 tip.  You’ll just have to suck it up.”

So, I have been sucking it up for a few weeks now.  I’m getting weary of being among the trendy.  The only good thing is that I probably made the guy’s day.  I am one of the positive war stories he can brag about over the coming years on the topic of his life as an Uber driver.

 ***

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: USEmbassyPhnomPenh on Visual Hunt /CC BY-ND

6 Comments

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