This blog is written by Lee Gale Gruen to help retirees, those soon to retire, baby boomers, and seniors reinvent themselves in this new stage of their lives called retirement. Her blog, public lecture, and new self-help book on senior reinvention are titled: Reinventing Yourself in Your Retirement Years: Find Joy Excitement, and Purpose After You Retire. Her memoir is: Adventures with Dad: A Father and Daughter’s Journey Through a Senior Acting Class. Synopses of her books follow her blog below. Both books are available at Amazon.com by clicking here and here. Her website is: LeeGaleGruen.com
Now, on to my blog:
Did your parents want you to be a doctor, lawyer, or Indian chief (an expression popularized in the 1940s), and you wanted to be an artist (painter, actor, singer, dancer, musician, and all the rest that fall into that category)? You can substitute a similar scenario with the professions being different or you in the parental role with your own children or grandchildren.
It’s not that the adults are uncaring or insensitive. In the majority of cases, they do have their loved one’s interests at heart. However, the more traditional career choices offer a better shot at security, money, power, and other attributes that seem like they should be the most sought after endgame. Those who opt for the chancier paths might end up starving or pretty close to it.
What about the goal of self-satisfaction? Isn’t that worthwhile? Most artists wouldn’t dream of trading their preference for a tried and true but maybe boring or unstimulating lifestyle. The security they forgo for the chance to express themselves in a manner which brings them joy and fulfillment is a no-brainer. That inner creative is always striving to get out no matter how much it is thwarted.
When another human, regardless of their relationship to you, seems to be moving toward what you consider an inadvisable course but which is obviously their passion, how about offering encouragement and support rather than dismissal and put downs? The latter approach may force them to become a D, L, or IC but at what expense? They might spend the rest of their life discontented, pining for the dream they never followed, and resentful of you.
The amassing of more and more money and power is not the Holy Grail as too many believe. As long as one has enough to feed and shelter themselves, pursuing their ideal trajectory may be enough for them. Yes, the parental figure may have acquired the fancy house with all the state-of-the-art appointments and accompanying toys, but who is really more content?
Years ago, I read that the difference in happiness between someone who earns $5,000 and $50,000 per year is significant because the lower earner is without basic necessities. However, the difference in happiness between someone earning $50,000 and $50,000,000 is non-existent. The numbers may have bumped up proportionally due to inflation, but the concept remains valid.
Rejoice in your loved one’s lifestyle decision. Respect them as the person they are. Admire them for living the life that works for them.
SYNOPSES OF BOOKS BY: LEE GALE GRUEN
Reinventing Yourself in Your Retirement Years: Find Joy, Excitement, and Purpose After You Retire (self-help): Not a one-size-fits-all approach, this self-help book for retirees, those soon to retire, baby boomers, and seniors offers an individualized, detailed guide to assist readers in discovering activities and pursuits in this new stage of their lives called retirement, based on their own likes and comfort level. I learned the secret the hard way transitioning from retired probation officer to actress, author, public speaker, and blogger. Audience members at my lectures on senior reinvention requested a book on the subject. This is the result, and it contains the content of those talks and six years of posts from this blog. CLICK here TO PURCHASE FROM AMAZON.COM.
Adventures with Dad: A Father and Daughter’s Journey Through a Senior Acting Class (memoir): After retiring at age 60 from my 37-year career as a probation officer, I mistakenly enrolled in an acting class for seniors. A few weeks later, my mother died, and I invited my grieving, 85-year-old father to come to class with me. This is the true story of our magical journey attending that class together for three years, bonding more than ever. I wrote the comedy scenes we performed onstage twice a year in the acting class showcases, and all six scenes are included in the book. I eventually transitioned into the world of professional acting. As my fledgling, second career started going uphill, my dad’s health started going downhill. I would recount to him each of my new experiences while I sat beside his bed at the nursing home where he resided in his final years. CLICK here TO PURCHASE FROM AMAZON.COM.
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