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, 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):

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

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,

October 16, 2018, 1:00pm, The Holmstad Retirement Community, 700 W. Fabyan Pkwy, Batavia, IL 60510, (630) 239-1133,

October 17, 2018, 10:30am, Windsor Park Retirement Community, 124 Windsor Park Dr, Carol Stream, IL 60188, (331) 218-3637,

October 19, 2018, 10:30am, Covenant Village of Northbrook, 2625 Techny Rd, Northbrook, IL 60062, (224) 412-8421,

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 her.  I wish I weren’t burdened by a needy spouse like him.  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, and bad times, too, just like you.  You don’t get to cherry-pick.  You take their whole package or none. So, after carefully inspecting the entire life of the envied one, would you really trade yours for theirs?

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.


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: 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


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

5 responses to “You Don’t Get to Cherry-pick

  1. Roger Trammell

    Wow, LGG, looks like you are going to be doing a lot of traveling in the future to promote your book! Good for you! As for your blog, I have two words: Richard Corey. Good luck in your travels.

    • Yeah, Rog. I’m now a paid professional speaker on the topic, “Reinventing Yourself in Your Retirement.” I googled Richard Corey, and I loved the poem. It’s right on point for my blog. Too bad I had never heard the poem before, or I would have included a link to it in my blog.

  2. Sheila Sauber

    So true! I was so jealous of friends getting married to their seemingly perfect spouses And I couldn’t find a decent date. Many of them divorced within 5 yrs….& I waited and Have made it 51 yrs. to same man. Do I remember correctly that you went to Mongolia? Saw a nice exhibit at Reagan Library on Genghis Khan today with Griffin. Highlight was a musician playing the Horsehair fiddle and a male dancer doing 2 interpretive dances. Hope you’re enjoying your classes. Good luck with your travels. Sheila

    Sent from my iPhone


  3. great post! wishing you the best with you lecture tour 🙂

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