Monthly Archives: November 2019

Up High

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:

airplane shadow on freeway

We all want to be up high. As young children at a parade, we tell our parents to lift us up high. As adults, we strive to climb the social or corporate ladder to raise ourselves up high.

What’s the big deal with being so high? Does it make us happier or more content? The race to the top is fraught with victims trying and failing to claw and scratch their way to the apex of the mountain.  We are competitive beings.  We grow up with emphasis on besting another no matter who that other might be: friend, acquaintance, co-worker, parent, sibling, even our own offspring.  And, the besting portion comes in any form that stratifies folks–someone always higher by some arbitrary measurement than someone else.

Everyone seems to want to surround themselves with the good life which so many identify as material possessions.  However, according to the Hedonic Treadmill, it never satisfies, it only makes its practitioners crave ever more of that same stuff.

Is it possible to just be satisfied?  Can we be okay with where we are in life, even though that guy over there has more money, a bigger house, more successful children, or a later model car?  It’s hard because that’s not what we were taught in our families, at school, and in our society.  However, that constant dissatisfaction and competition grows tiresome.  Manifesting in the form of jealousy, anxiety, nervousness, sleeplessness and similar outcomes, it takes a huge toll on our physical and mental well-being.

Is it possible to just be satisfied?  Can we be okay with where we are in life, even though that guy over there has more money, a bigger house, more successful children, or a later model car?  It’s hard because that’s not what we were taught in our families, at school, and in our society.  However, that constant dissatisfaction and competition grows tiresome.  Manifesting in the form of jealousy, anxiety, nervousness, sleeplessness and similar outcomes, it exacts a huge toll on our physical and mental well-being.

How do you walk away from always wanting to be up high, up higher, up highest?  First, you have to recognize you have that affliction.  It may be so ingrained that it’s hard to spot.  Then, you have to want to cut it free–really, really want to.  You will have to formulate a plan of action on how to go about it–steps to take.  This is different for everyone, but with some honest thought, you can arrive at your own customized list.

It could involve minor changes such as volunteering to help those less fortunate or giving away certain possessions.  It could be as drastic as quitting a job, moving away from a neighborhood, or even cutting certain family members and friends loose.

Finally, you must work at it daily as you must for any change of long-term habits.  It may take the same length of time to defeat as it took to become entrenched–years probably.  Yet, if you want it badly enough…

Buddha was thought to have been born into a privileged life which he renounced to become an ascetic and pauper.  Hey, if Buddha can give it all up in pursuit of enlightenment, maybe there’s a chance for us.

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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, successful aging

Our Gang

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:

Birds on Telephone PoleWe all need good friends to hang out with. There’s a comfort level about being around people we like, we’ve known for a while, and with whom we share common interests. Humans are not solitary beings. We are social beings who enjoy the camaraderie of like-minded folks. They are our support system, our cheering squad, our comforters.

Some people, however, refuse to open themselves up to making new friends.  They stick to those they know to the exclusion of anyone who tries to break into their tight clique.  Sometimes, it’s to the point of being rude.

I remember a situation where I was sitting in a huge, noisy room at a large, round banquet table.  It was my first time attending that organization, and I didn’t know anyone there.  The person seated on my right physically turned her back in my direction as she chatted up the person on the other side of her.  There was a bookend effect from my left.  Together, they served to isolate me.  Perhaps you’ve had a similar experience.  Why do people behave like that?

Rather than thinking it is a fault in yourself, maybe it’s a fault in the back turner.  Perhaps they are so uncomfortable with new situations that they have to form a blockade to keep intruders out.  How sad for them.  They might miss an opportunity for a new point of view, of learning something they didn’t know, or of interacting with a charming personality.

I have a group of friends who are very open and agreeable with any in the group inviting newcomers to our outings.  We never give it a second thought.  So, I did the same thing with a different group of friends without asking if it was okay with everyone.  It just didn’t dawn on me that it would be a problem.  Wrong!

Another in that group became very huffy and cold to both me and my invited guest.  I noticed how visibly upset she seemed. I couldn’t figure out why she was acting that way, so I asked her when we were alone for a moment.

“I thought it was just going to be the four of us.  I didn’t know that there was going to be a stranger here, too.  It just changes the character of the get-together.”

In truth, she’s right; it does.   To me, it was just a few friends joining each other for lunch.  However, I had spoiled it for her. I should have asked permission of the others before inviting an outsider.

We are not all alike.  I enjoy meeting and getting to know new people.  I find it interesting and stimulating.  However, not everyone feels that way, and I must remember that.

Old relationships are precious. Treat them accordingly.  But, try to open yourself up to new ones.  It might just expand 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.

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