Monet and Me

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 Click here for her website:

CHITCHAT:  I am a guest blogger this week on Honey Good, a website for women 50+ with a philosophy of “celebrating a woman’s life after 50.”   Click here to read my guest blog:

Now, on to my blog:

Monet & MeAh, Monet.  We hung out together recently.  That is, Monet did the hanging–on a wall at the de Young Museum in San Francisco, California, with me in attendance and in awe.  As you can see in this photo, I failed to dress for the occasion–a faux pas as Monet would say in the French of his origin.  Yes, I stressed primary colors that day forgetting that my pal Monet is definitely a secondary colors kind of guy.

No matter; we were both gobsmacked (I’ve been dying to use that trendy word) by the beauty of his garden and his ability to render it on a flat surface.  Yes, two of totally different interests and viewpoints can come together over a shared commonality.

Monet and I were born 100 years and 4,000 miles apart.  What would we have talked about if we hadn’t had such distances between us?  We would certainly have discussed the beauty of nature.  We might have marveled at the intricacy of a leaf, the color of a flower, the soothing ripple of water.

It’s not always easy to find something in common with another.  But, more often than not, there will be a little nugget if you dig deep enough.

I attended a banquet dinner last year and was sitting at a table with some folks I didn’t know.  One man tried to engage me in conversation, but each thing he mentioned didn’t hit a cord.  Finally, in response to yet another of his queries, I revealed that I had graduated college in 1964 from UCLA.  Voilà (to continue in a Francophile mode), my table mate began discussing Kareem Abdul Jabbar who was a student at UCLA around that time and became a top ranked player on the university basketball team.  I know very little about sports, but I was able to contribute that Kareem was known then by his birth name of Lew Alcindor.  That opened up a lengthy conversation which segued into different topics.

Find common interests with those you encounter.  Keep bringing up different subjects until you hit upon something that excites you both.  It’s there; you just have to keep searching for it.  Even the dullest, most withdrawn human will shine when you strike upon their passion.  That’s the way to make friends!


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

4 responses to “Monet and Me

  1. Sheila Sauber

    Fun blog! I love Monet too. Beautiful picture and interesting t-shirt next to it. As for talking to someone we don’t know, your method works if the other person tries to connect too. I’ve had people just turn their head and body to face other direction and ignore me. Very rude! I’m busy having roof repaired, painting and getting in annual Dr. Appts. Took Joyce for an epidural in her back. Turns out her problem is scar tissue from her back surgery a few years ago. Hope you’re having more fun. ❤️Sheila

    Sent from my iPhone


    • Re: “I’ve had people just turn their head and body to face other direction and ignore me.” I’ve had the same experience. Who are these people who do that? Haven’t they ever had that done to them? Did they like it? People who behave like that are to be pitied as small, closed, and insecure.

  2. Isabel Leonard

    I didn’t know “gobsmacked” had entered the American language.
    Isabel (expat Brit)

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