Monthly Archives: October 2020

Patience or the Lack Thereof

This blog is written by Lee Gale Gruen to help baby boomers, seniors, retirees, and those soon to retire find joy, excitement, and purpose in life after they retire. Her public lecture on this subject is titled: “Reinventing Yourself in Your Retirement Years.” Her memoir, Adventures with Dad: A Father and Daughter’s Journey Through a Senior Acting Class, is available on Amazon.com. Click here for her website: LeeGaleGruen.com

CHITCHAT: My new book on the topic of senior reinvention will be published soon. The title is the same as this blog and my public lecture: Reinventing Yourself in Your Retirement Years: Find Joy, Excitement, and Purpose after You Retire. The book will contain all the material from my public talk as well as more than six years of posts from this blog. I will announce in this forum when it is published and available for purchase.

Now, on to my blog:

Askew glaring animalAh, patience. A little research finds it first mentioned as a virtue (aka moral excellence) by an ancient Roman poet, Aurelius Prudentius Clemens, in the fifth century. Subsequently, others took it up such as in the narrative poem, Piers Plowman, thought to have been written in the 1300s by William Langland. Later that same century, Geoffrey Chaucer in the Canterbury Tales had something to say about it: “Patience is a high virtue… but virtue can hurt you.”

Some seem to possess more of it and some less. I don’t think a lot was parceled out to me upon my birth. However, as I age, someone seems to be slowly siphoning off what little I started with.

It’s hard to stand in line for my turn; it’s hard to sit in my car at a traffic signal which never seems to nod in my direction; it’s hard to deal with people who seem to be blabbering inanities. I’ve displayed my askew glare and stomped out of stores where I had to wait my turn in the queue just to ask an employee where to find an item, hustling back to my car and driving home so I could calm down.

Our life has become so complex and so jostled by the sheer number of human beings on the earth that the competition for absolutely everything is intense. Here’s a typical scenario that happens on the telephone extrapolated from the earlier brick and mortar example:

You call your target, wade through an interminable menu, and finally speak to a live human, all just to be told that you’re not at the right place whereupon you are transferred elsewhere. Of course, the elsewhere requires another menu, another wait, and yet again another staff member who may pass you off to someone else. This game frequently becomes a cycle where you end up back at the first employee. Truth be told, I’m guilty of the telephone equivalent of the aforementioned “stomping out of the store.” I’ve been known to slam down the proverbial receiver, at least in my head. In reality, I now push the off button on my cell phone extra hard–that’ll show ’em!

Is it me or is this one more affliction brought on by the aging process? I envy those who seem to be able to placidly wait their turn. It seems that the delay for so many gratifications in our daily activities has become longer and longer, or is it that I have become more and more impatient? I suspect it’s a combination of both.

Where can I go to get a re-charge of patience? I need more than I have to cope with the reality of today’s planet. On the other hand, Chaucer seems to think that particular virtue falls into a category that can be harmful. Maybe he’s onto something. Thanks, Geoff. Seems I’ve been taking care of myself all along.

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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: Tambako the Jaguar on Visual Hunt / CC BY-ND

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

Coming Out of Your Shell

This blog is written by Lee Gale Gruen to help baby boomers, seniors, retirees, and those soon to retire find joy, excitement, and purpose in life after they retire. Her public lecture on this subject is titled: “Reinventing Yourself in Your Retirement Years.” Her memoir, Adventures with Dad: A Father and Daughter’s Journey Through a Senior Acting Class, is available on Amazon.com. Click here for her website: LeeGaleGruen.com

CHITCHAT: My new book on the topic of senior reinvention will be published soon. The title is the same as this blog and my public lecture: Reinventing Yourself in Your Retirement Years: Find Joy, Excitement, and Purpose after You Retire. The book will contain all the material from my public talk as well as my blog posts of more than six years. I will announce in this forum when it is published and available for purchase.

Now, on to my blog:

Shells are not just for turtles, mollusks, and their brethren to inhabit. Conversely, not only birds, reptiles, and their kin break out of shells. Humans do both, although not with the tangible kind as in the aforementioned examples.

Many people plaster on a false face to conceal their feelings or absence of them. That’s right, we hide in our invisible shells. Fortunately, we can alight from them, also.

When life becomes too much to bear, we find solace in retreating behind a barrier to protect ourselves from further onslaught, pressure, and the other stresses we experience. However, if we continue in that mode for too long, it becomes a lifestyle. In so many cases, we drag such behavior along from childhood when we hadn’t developed the ability to cope with rejection, humiliation, disappointment, distress, and the other pain caused by life’s hardships or fellow humans.

The problem is that once we enter the protective housing created in our minds, it can take years to emerge. Shy, inhibited individuals dream of being able to be forthcoming and take on all challengers rather than slinking away as has been their modus operandi for years. Those who go along to get along struggle to find their voice. Even those who seem so confident and in control strive to let go of that facade and be themselves, if they can figure out what that is.

Shells are neither good nor bad, but they can be constructive or destructive. Make your shell work for you. Be aware of it, and use it in a manner to your benefit. Retreat into it when you need protection and a breather. Cast it off when you feel stronger and can face what life throws your way. The trick is to store your shell in a safe place to pick up or lay down as the need arises.

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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 James St. John on Visualhunt.com CC BY

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