Monthly Archives: September 2019

Life Is a Pinball Machine

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:

Photo credit ncole458 on VisualHunt CC BYA pinball machine is an apt metaphor for life. From our birth, we are propelled down a jagged, unpredictable path strewn with obstacles. When we hit one, it bounces us in a different direction until we meet up with a new impediment. From there, we are pushed along yet another route and on and on.  As we weave our way along, we encounter experiences which we would not have had but for the random jumping between points.

Think of various examples in your life and how they occurred. So often, they were simply a shot in the dark–you were just at the right place at the right time or the wrong place at the wrong time. Had arbitrary, proceeding events not occurred to put you there, you would not have encountered those particular circumstances.

Such an unplanned stumbling from one destination to the next is what constitutes life.  Ponder this for a moment: what events led to your attending the school you did, making the friendships you have, settling on living in a particular city, obtaining your job, meeting your partner, and everything else in your life?  

Toward the end of college, I signed up for interviews with a host of recruiters who had come to the campus seeking potential employees.  When I graduated, I accepted a job as a probation officer simply because that was the first one offered to me.  I didn’t even know what a probation officer did.  I remained at that career for thirty-seven years.  Many of my closest friends were co-workers I met there.

After I retired, I mentioned to a friend that I was bored and directionless.  She told me about a local school with classes for seniors.  I perused the Schedule of Classes, and mistakenly signed up for an acting class, thinking it was just a play discussion course.  Never having acted in my life, I was hooked that first day after reading a scene with another class member.  That experience changed my life, and I went on to become a professional actress as a senior.

So, life is simply a crapshoot. We make our way along, careening and readjusting as we go, hoping that it will turn out well. The only fleeting control we have is what we do with the situation once we land at any given spot.  Be flexible and prepared to deal with whatever the pinball machine of life hands you.

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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: ncole458 on VisualHunt / CC BY

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

Cool Your Jets

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:

jet with contrailsWe are all impatient, some more than others. We are concerned about how future events will unfold.  We want our agendas to be realized immediately. However, living in a world of billions, that’s usually impossible.  We must wait our turn in the queue. We must rein in our impatience. We must plan our activities in advance to allow plenty of time to reach the goal or outcome we seek.

Trying to be patient can create anxiety, sleep problems, distraction, and all types of other behaviors which interfere with our everyday lives. However, we have no choice; we must learn to grapple with delayed gratification.

How can you do so if you are a personality type with substantial difficulty in that arena? It’s hard, but it can and must be done for your well-being. Here are some ideas:

  1. You can participate in a soothing activity that redirects your mind and thoughts. I know someone who takes to her piano whenever she feels anxious.
  2. You can schedule activities that divert your attention such as watching a movie, playing cards, attending an interesting function, etc.
  3. You can engage in physical exercise such as sports or attendance at your local gym to help channel your nervous energy.
  4. You can discuss your feelings with a friend as a sounding board to get a better perspective on the particular situation.
  5. Or, you can make the decision to change your modus operandi.

Your modus operandi is simply your normal way of behaving.  Changing your M.O. is the hardest choice of all. It takes constant attention and self- assessment to be aware of how you are acting, to settle your mind, and to choose to move on to something else.

Unlike the aforementioned, short-term fixes, a significant change of behavior may take years to accomplish and possibly therapeutic intervention. Success at that endeavor depends heavily on the depth of your desire to discard old habits for new. If you are able to accomplish such a feat, however, it will be the most rewarding and helpful to you.

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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: Dave_S. on Visualhunt / CC BY

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