Category Archives: aging gracefully

Respecting the Priorities of Others

This blog is written by Lee Gale Gruen to help Baby Boomers, seniors, 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, available at Amazon.com, is: Adventures with Dad: A Father and Daughter’s Journey Through a Senior Acting Class. Click here for her website: http://AdventuresWithDadTheBook.com

Now, on to my blog:

lampshades We all have our priorities. Why can’t lampshades be someone’s? I met that someone recently when I was shopping for the item in question.

I was wandering through a local shopping mall and strolled into a store that sold exclusively lamps and lampshades. The threshold tripped the bell in back whereupon a man I presumed to be the store owner emerged and asked the standard shopkeeper question: May I help you? I explained that I was looking for shades for a few table lamps. That was his cue.

The man proceeded to educate me about lampshades and their importance in my life, a subject about which I had given very little thought. He made it clear that he was an expert in the field and, according to him, choosing the proper lampshade “is the most important decision you’ll have to make.” I never knew that, and I pondered over it for the appropriate period of time to satisfy him.

Together, we surveyed the store’s offerings as my host explained each shade’s details to me. One had to consider proportion, material, light emitted or blocked, price, color, and more. However, I had made a grave error. I had not brought my shadeless lamps with me for a proper fitting. I was embarrassed by my error and begged forgiveness. He succumbed, but only after I agreed to bring said objects the next time I came looking for their toppings.

After my guide told me he had been in the lampshade business for over thirty years, I understood his perspective. We all think that what we are doing is the most important, urgent, relevant pursuit there is. Although someone else’s passion may be totally different than ours, and even something that seems silly to us, can we not respect other points of view? After all, it may be something they have spent decades pursuing and perfecting, and who are we to decide that it has little or no relevance?

I’ve always treated lampshades as simply decorative filters for the lights I need in my home. However, to this man they were his field of expertise, just as doctors, lawyers, etc. have theirs, and it was refreshing to see him taking pride in his work. Lampshades were the vehicle to put food on his table and provide shelter from the elements. What’s wrong with that?

Perhaps we can respect differences of opinion, priority, or emphasis even though we don’t adopt them as our own? Although my focus in life is not lampshades, or least it didn’t used to be, who’s to say that what I deem most important needs to be so for others? Let’s accept, appreciate, and acknowledge that lampshades et al may be compelling and significant in the life of another? It makes bumping up against each other in a crowded society just a bit easier.

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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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Memory, that Wily Beast

This blog is written by Lee Gale Gruen to help Baby Boomers, seniors, and those soon to retire find joy, excitement, and satisfaction in life after retirement. Her public lectures on this subject are titled, “Reinventing Yourself in Your Retirement Years.” Her memoir, available at Amazon.com, is: Adventures with Dad: A Father and Daughter’s Journey Through a Senior Acting Class (Click here for website: http://AdventuresWithDadTheBook.com)

LEE GALE GRUEN’S UPCOMING APPEARANCES:
June 13, 2015, 2:00pm, Author Talk & Book Signing, Crown Books, 6100 Topanga Canyon Blvd, Woodland Hills, CA 91367
September 18, 2015, 2:30pm: Lecture: “Reinventing Yourself in Your Retirement Years,” Mira Costa College LIFE Program (Learning is for Everyone), 1 Barnard Dr., Oceanside, CA 92056

From time to time, I host a guest blogger on a topic relevant to my blog.  Today, Alan Levine, a former acting partner in one of my senior acting classes, has submitted a guest blog.  Alan refers to me in the blog by various names, so here is an explanation of my name:  Lee Gale Gruen.  “Lee Gale” is my first name.  “It’s too confusing,” I hear you complain.  Well hey, if you can remember Beyoncé, you can remember Lee Gale.  I never go by the first name “Lee,” although Alan uses it a few times in his blog.  Alan also calls me LGG which comes from the initials of my entire name.  Some people call me LG or Legal, both of which are okay with me.

Now, on to the guest blog:

ElephantMemories
by:  Alan Levine

So there I was standing in front of a community theatre when I was tapped on the shoulder and greeted with “hello Alan, nice to see you here.” “Hello, I said back to a familiar face, I love this theatre.”

She excused herself and headed for the restroom prior to the curtain call. I continued into the theatre with my wife and friends. “I can’t believe it I said, I can’t remember her name.” “That’s Lee,” my wife said. Oh my I thought. Here’s someone with whom I had worked on stage in a workshop performance of “Fatal Attraction” just four years ago, and her name popped right out of my head.

I avoided further embarrassment by walking up and engaging in conversation. “Lee Gale” I said, “how nice to see you,” and then proceeded to have a conversation with her and her friends about theatre and remembering lines and how difficult it has become. She told me that she was about to audition for a show and only had to remember one line. Actually Lee smiled and said “it was only one word.” I kept thinking, what has happened to our memory. Why does it jump back and forth? Why is it we can remember chapter and verse of something we learned fifty years ago, but struggle to name the last movie we went to?

Oh I know, there have been hundreds of studies one can read about how the brain slowly loses its ability to absorb more information and the recall buttons begin to lose their ability to function. But that won’t happen to me I thought. With enough effort my brain will continue to function as it always has, and my ability to remember people, places and things will get me through life as it’s always done.

Ah, but who am I kidding? So like most of the readers of this column, I suspect that like you, my memory mechanisms are not as sharp as they once were and that I will have to resort to all the tricks I keep reading about. Try new things we’re told, play games, do crosswords and Sudoku puzzles and keep your mind active. Use tricks to help remember names, takes memory classes. After all since all the improvements in medical science are letting us live longer and stay productive, we should know what we are talking about, where we are and where we’ve been. And most importantly remember the people who have made an impact in our lives.  Thank you LGG, at least I finally remembered to send you this piece.

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, just reply to sender, let me know, and I’ll remove you from the list.

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Filed under active seniors, aging gracefully, Baby boomers, health and wellness, healthy aging, retirement, senior living, seniors, successful aging