Monthly Archives: January 2019

Dwelling Decisions

Final Book CoverThis blog is written by Lee Gale Gruen to help Baby Boomers, seniors, retirees, 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, Adventures with Dad: A Father and Daughter’s Journey Through a Senior Acting Class, is available by clicking here Amazon.com. Click here for her website: http://AdventuresWithDadTheBook.com

Now, on to my blog:

rvWhile working, how and where you reside is often dictated by considerations of employment, family, cost, and the like.  Once you retire, the options widen.  Many stay put in the tried and true–their comfort level.  The idea of moving from the family home is too distressing, and they may remodel to suit their aging needs: a mechanical staircase lift, lower counters and higher bottom cabinets and dishwashers, walk-in (or roll-in) showers, etc.  Others who possess nagging wanderlust may venture out to explore different alternatives.

I recently heard from a friend of a friend about her choice.  She has become a nomad. She sold her house of thirty years, and now moves between the West Coast of the United States, Mexico, and Europe, staying at each for long stints with travel interspersed. When she alights, she finds a short-term rental or stays with friends.  She has carved out an interesting lifestyle.   Her retirement may seem scary to some and exciting to others.  I’ve heard (though it might not be correct) that the same Chinese character designates both danger and opportunity.  Regardless of the Chinese alphabet, the metaphor holds.

I know of others who become minimalists, opting for the human version of turtles carrying their homes on their backs.  These folks give up most worldly possessions, buy an RV, and continuously move about as the whim takes them.

Many downsize and find a like-minded demographic in which to settle such as an active senior retirement community. That was my decision.  Still others strike out for distant and exotic lands, domestic or international, to pursue a passion–think Paul Gauguin.

A few friends have mentioned the idea of living with their children or other family members.  They would have their own room in the main house.  Or, they would occupy a small dwelling in the backyard, thereby creating a family compound.  Many years ago, one of my cousins and her husband bought an apartment building with other family members, and each family unit lived in a different apartment.  You have to like your relatives an awful lot to make this work.

There’s the story, true or not, of some people living permanently on cruise ships.  They have a room, all meals, housekeeping services, a doctor available, and they get to explore exciting destinations.

There is no right or wrong choice.  There is just the choice for you.  The important thing is that you make it when you can instead of someone else doing it for you when you can’t.

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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: Crown Star Images on Visual hunt /CC BY

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Filed under active seniors, Baby boomers, gerontology, healthy aging, longevity, reinvention, retirement, senior citizens, seniors, successful aging, wellness

Armful of Dogs

Final Book Cover

This blog is written by Lee Gale Gruen to help Baby Boomers, seniors, retirees, 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, Adventures with Dad: A Father and Daughter’s Journey Through a Senior Acting Class, is available by clicking here Amazon.com. Click here for her website: http://AdventuresWithDadTheBook.com

Now, on to my blog:

LG w Janet dogs

Recently, I visited my friend, Janet, who is a Chihuahua person (a special breed of people). I spent a lot of time chilling with her two Chihuahua mixes. In this photo, I started holding Pepe (white) when Holly (two-toned) jumped up on the bench. I thought she would just sit next to me as is her style. However, she briefly climbed into my lap, not to be outdone by Pepe.

Pepe, a love–easy-going and friendly to all, is the sweet, cuddly type who adores being held and petted. Holly is a lot more skittish–a high strung presence; it takes patience to become her friend.  I had to go through her barking and reluctant acceptance each time I entered the house for the duration of my stay.  Once Holly gave me the okay, however, she couldn’t get enough of me. Although she didn’t like being held, after a few test sniffs, she tolerated petting. Of course, that required me to bend way down due to her low-slung stature, but I thought of it is good exercise.

Next, I moved on and stayed with my cousin, Gail, where I hung out with her mini-pincher mix, Sarge. Although his appearance matched his name, his personality was the polar opposite. Sarge was loving and licky, frequently jumping onto my lap and hunkering down. So many times when I walked into my bedroom, there was Sarge on my bed, proprietary and anxious to hang out some more.

Why do I love dogs so much? It started in childhood. I begin to notice something special about them that I didn’t notice in human beings. I’ll use dogs as my example, but the same applies to all animals other than humans.

Dogs are loyal, dependable, faithful. With dogs, there is no agenda–what you see is what you get. They are never artificial, duplicitous, political, and will never stab you in the back. Dogs are always happy to see you, no matter how crummy you are, how angry, smelly, miserable, or pissy. Dogs love you whether you’re up or you’re down. They never get mad at you, tell you off, ignore you, ostracize you, pay you back, etc. The only human who even comes close is Mommy, and even she fails the dog test.

The moment I get around a dog, I feel comfortable, relaxed. Dogs’ needs are simple. They don’t require the latest designer clothes, the newest luxury automobile, the trendiest (fill in the blank). They are not into status. Mankind would be well advised to emulate the canines among us.

On the other hand, people are like Pepe, Holly, and Sarge–each has their own personality. Some are warm and seek close contact, while others are nervous and don’t like too much handling. I have great respect for dogs, and I’m always careful never to cause them distress to the best of my ability.

Can we be that way with the wide range of humans we encounter? Can we respect their individual personalities and alter our behavior so as not to cause them distress? Don’t we wish people would treat us that way?

There’s no need to come on like gangbusters when you perceive someone is highly uncomfortable with your usual modus operandi. Respect each individual‘s personality, and interact with them appropriately so as to maintain their comfort level. You will be much more likely to have a successful interaction than if you treat everyone with a cookie-cutter approach.

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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, healthy aging, longevity, reinvention, retirement, senior citizens, seniors, successful aging, wellness