Monthly Archives: February 2020

Tribal Elders

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:

senior citizen signWhat does it mean to be a tribal elder? Today, we call them senior citizens.  However, they are the same block of people–the long-lived inhabitants of a society.  If we examine primitive tribes from civilizations past, and even those still existing, we see that it was the older members who were revered and sought after for advice and words of wisdom as to how to comport oneself and thrive. Why is that?

The answer is simple yet complex. As we age, we amass more and more life experiences. Human beings use their resultant skills to inform future behavior. Insight and judgment are part of the stew: if we burn our hand on the stove, we learn not to put it there again.

Once folks have accumulated enough general proficiency, most become wise. Wisdom, of course, takes many forms and passes through the filter of the individual and their unique life experiences. Nevertheless, on certain basic issues, those paths often lead to similar endings.

Seniors are all tribal elders. We are cast into that role by the passage of time, whether we like it or not. We have a responsibility to generations that come after us to hold our role sacred and fulfill it to the best of our ability. Petty things like personal interest or bias may blemish the advice of some tribal elders, and their consensus may skew in the direction of one extreme or another at any given time.  However, the group dynamic in most cases functions to hold those members at bay, discouraging their views from being adopted as the long-term norm.

It is the group function that seems to be the most successful at arriving at the best decision.  We see this concept in court trials, corporate board meetings, the U.S. Congress, and throughout all walks of life, big and small.  The group process is the best hope for how to proceed wisely, and tribal elders are the repository of experience to direct that process.  So, if you are a senescent society member, tread carefully.  Your words and actions are not just for your benefit, but also for those who follow.

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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: Ethan Prater 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

The Menu

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 Classis available by clicking here Amazon.com. Click here for her website:  http://AdventuresWithDadTheBook.com

Now, on to my blog:

Dinner TableIt was only supposed to be a fun gathering at my place. I had recently moved to a new condo four hundred miles from my longtime home to live closer to family members. I decided to have them over for dinner to show off my new digs.

I sent out the email invitation to about a dozen recipients. Without a thought, I added a line at the last minute: let me know if you have any food issues. Wrong! Close to half had considerations of one type or another dealing with what they were or were not willing to ingest.

I kept thinking up dish after dish, only to discard it when I realized that my son, granddaughter, cousin, cousin’s husband, and a few more wouldn’t eat it. I was trolling recipes on the Internet, pondering the matter in the middle of sleepless nights, and generally experiencing a rise in my stress level.

Of course, I’m aware that these many food challenges are spread across the population, not just in my family. However, I don’t remember all this stuff when I was younger. Maybe it has to do with bounty and plenty. When food is scarce, you eat what’s put in front of you, and you’re grateful for it.

My crowd runs the gamut: vegan, vegetarian, lactose intolerant, gluten free, on a diet, red meat averse, Kosher, low salt, low fat, high protein, organic, nut allergies, shellfish issues, pescatarian, heart healthy oils, and the list goes on ad nauseam. There’s also the “wine with dinner” matter. I have never acquired a taste for alcohol, so I don’t drink any. Truth be told, I don’t understand the big fuss about it all: which wine goes with which dish, how to pick it, sniff it, the year, the bouquet, the color, the right glass, yadda, yadda, yadda. However, I seem to be a minority of one. So, I just tell my guests to bring whatever wine they want as I’m not serving any, and that I can probably scare up some small glasses and maybe a corkscrew (I hope).

As you’ve probably deduced by now, cooking is not my strong point. To reduce my anxiety, my new motto is to disclose the menu in advance right down to the water I’m serving (tap, filtered, spring, purified, distilled, sparkling, infused–I have a headache).

Although I don’t have any food allergies, I do have dislikes. So, don’t serve me: lamb, shrimp, sushi, cilantro… Oh, and sorry about my lack of aptitude and flair in the kitchen. However, I really do have other talents.

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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: futureshape on VisualHunt.com / CC BY

2 Comments

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