Category Archives: aging successfully

Unstressing at the Airport, One Dog at a Time

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:
May 30, 2015, 11:30am: Lecture: “Reinventing Yourself in Your Retirement Years,” Joslyn Adult Center, “Health and Fitness Expo,” 210 N. Chapel Ave, Alhambra, CA 91801
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

Now, on to my blog:

Sofie & Me at LAX 5-1-15I love dogs of all stripes, colors and persuasions. Tell me off, and if you’re a human, I’ll be right back at ya. Tell me off, and if you’re a dog, I’ll beg for more.

Whenever I see a dog anywhere, I’m drawn involuntarily as if beckoned while in a trance, powerless to resist. Just to be able to look at them, pet them, hang out with them is a privilege and calms me immediately. So, imagine my surprise a few weeks ago when I was part of the craziness that is Los Angeles International Airport.

I was waiting to board an airplane for a flight to visit my family. I had already navigated parking, walking to the terminal, checking in, and making my way to the gate.

I found a place to sit in a crowded area and with great difficulty was trying to relax and read. I glanced up for a moment and saw a big, curly dog walking toward me followed by a few humans. Naturally, I sprung out of my seat to investigate.

I was greeted by Sofie, a Golden Doodle (Golden Retriever and Poodle mix) resplendent in a red cape, who was next to her owner. I was all over Sofie–calm, patient Sofie. Other passengers sidled up to make her acquaintance. Sofie nonchalantly tolerated her admirers— just another day’s work.

Heidi Huebner, who was part of Sofie’s entourage, explained that the PUP (Pets Unstressing Passengers) Program at LAX has been operating since April, 2013.  For years, dogs have been used elsewhere in such duty providing stress relief and comfort to people at hospitals, homes for seniors, schools, and other similar facilities (I used to be a pet therapy team with my dog at a local hospital.)  Now, dogs are doing it at airports, those high stress generators.

The dog/owner volunteer teams are trained and then registered with Therapy Dogs, Inc. Heidi added that similar programs are now at 26 airports throughout the nation. To volunteer at the PUP Program and other VIP (Volunteer Information Professionals) Programs at Los Angeles International Airport, visit their website at: www.lawa.org/vip.

Now, I’m just wondering where the human Sofies are trained and registered?  I need a few of those in my life.

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.

2 Comments

Filed under active seniors, aging successfully, Baby boomers, healthy aging, longevity, older adults, reinvention, therapy dogs

Irritants Can Be Advantages

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 their retirement. Her public lectures on this subject are titled, “Reinventing Yourself in Your Retirement Years.” Her memoir, available on Amazon.com, is: Adventures with Dad: A Father and Daughter’s Journey Through a Senior Acting Class (Click here for book website: http://AdventuresWithDadTheBook.com)

LEE GALE GRUEN’S UPCOMING APPEARANCES:
May 30, 2015, 11:30am: Lecture: “Reinventing Yourself in Your Retirement Years,” Joslyn Adult Center, “Health and Fitness Expo,” 210 N. Chapel Ave, Alhambra, CA 91801
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

CHITCHAT:  A few weeks ago I gave a talk in front of 100 people at the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute’s “Lori and Don Brault Lecture” at California State University Long Beach.  It was very well received, and I had a great time.  I love to help and inspire people to reinvent themselves in their later years.  It’s definitely possible, and people just need to be encouraged and informed how to do so.

Now, onto my blog:

Hand Reaching for PencilLast week I was sitting at my computer, busy, busy, busy. I went to grab for my pencil, missed, and knocked it off the computer desk.

Oh, I don’t need this now! I muttered to myself.

I bent over and groped for it on the floor. No luck. After a few choice expletives, I turned on the flashlight on my cell phone (a nice feature BTW) and bent over even further, shining the light around.

I finally spotted the blasted pencil. Of course, it had rolled completely under my desk to the far end, tightly jammed up against the wall molding behind the computer cord, like a kitten hiding under the bed.  I had to bend over to the point where my head was at the same level as my feet and reach to my arm’s length to grab it. As I was doing so, I realized how good it felt to stretch my spine. My errant pencil had offered me a little free exercise.

Why can’t we extrapolate those kinds of experiences to larger ones in our lives? How many times are we inconvenienced by unforeseen circumstances which annoy, irritate, or anger us? We’re less able to tolerate them when we’re on a deadline, tired, running late to an appointment, etc. That’s when each of our own versions of “expletives deleted” kicks in.

Some opt for the “F” word, the “S” word, the “D” word, the “H” word, or whatever.  Others downplay it such as what a childhood friend’s father used to say: “Oh, feathers and moose meat!” I always liked that. I wish I had found out the origin, but I was just a kid and not so fascinated by words and phrases as I am now. Anyway, that was just as powerful for him as the current popularity of the “alphabet” words.

There’s that old expression, “When life hands you a lemon, make lemonade.” Well, that’s not just for the big, oppressive stuff of life. It can also be for the little things, too.

When something interferes with your plans for a minute, an hour, a day, see if you can turn it into an advantage or opportunity. Don’t let the small irritants you encounter take a few more seconds off your life span.  Those seconds are valuable and finite.  Save them for the rewarding things.  If you must, throw that pencil on the floor deliberately to open new possibilities.

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.

3 Comments

Filed under active seniors, aging successfully, Baby boomers, gerontology, healthy aging, longevity, older adults, reinvention, retirement, second acts, seniors, successful aging, wellness

Disconnect from Your Technology

This blog is written by Lee Gale Gruen to help Baby Boomers, seniors, and those contemplating retirement find joy, excitement, and satisfaction in their lives after they retire from a job, career, parenting, etc. Her public lectures on this subject are titled, “Reinventing Yourself in Your Retirement Years.” Her memoir, available on 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:

March 26, 2015, 2:00pm:  Author Talk & Book Signing, Los Angeles Public Library – Fairfax Branch, 161 S. Gardner St., Los Angeles, CA 90036
April 1, 2015, 1:00pm:  Author Talk & Book Signing, Canoga Park Women’s Club, 7401 Jordan Ave, Canoga Park, CA 91305
April 29, 2015, 5:00pm:  Lecture: “Reinventing Yourself in Your Retirement Years,” Osher Lifelong Learning Institute “Brault Successful Aging Lecture” (Keynote Speaker), California State University Long Beach, 1250 Bellflower Blvd, Long Beach, CA 90840, (free, but pre-registration advised)
May 30, 2015, 11:30am:  Lecture: “Reinventing Yourself in Your Senior Years,” Joslyn Adult Center, “Health and Fitness Expo” 210 N. Chapel Ave, Alhambra, CA 91801

Now, onto my blog:

Finger Pointing to Car RadioDo you need more quiet time in your life and can’t figure out how to get it? We live in an age of too many distractions, and we are constantly multi-tasking and anxious. Everyone and everything seems to be vying for our attention. We don’t even have time to think, contemplate, or wind down.

To preserve our health, both physical and mental, we must disconnect periodically, preferably a few times per day (I’ve blogged here on similar subjects before: September 9, 2014: “Scheduling Down Time,” and February 28, 2014: “Decompressing in a Compression Age.”) This time, I’m going to focus on our technology devices.

Many people have their cell phones hanging around their necks in phone slings so they are close to them at all times. Some of those necklace-like pouches are decorative and also serve as a fashion statement. And, how about the even trendier Bluetooth earpiece, seemingly a permanent feature protruding from an ear of some perpetually-connected types? They can’t even wait the few seconds to retrieve their cell phone and push the talk button.

One long-time, close friend puts her cell phone on the table when we meet for lunch at a restaurant. The moment the phone rings, she looks at the monitor to see if it’s a call she must answer. The reality is that she answers almost all calls “just in case it’s something important.” My reaction to that is: What am I, chopped liver?  Obviously, that “just in case” phone call is more important than our quality time together for the hour or so we’ve allotted in our busy schedules.

This happened to me once on a first (and last) date. We met at a restaurant whereupon Mr. Wonderful plunked his phone next to his plate for easy access. He didn’t like it one bit when I suggested that we turn off our cell phones during dinner.

I have a former friend whose motherly role to her husband and grown children included serving as the family information hub. All day, every day, her husband and children would check in with her several times on the phone, and she would convey the family news and plans from one to another. As you might guess, when I was with her, I spent a lot of time just sitting there like a lox while she waxed on via phone technology. When I once suggested that she not answer the phone during our short time together, she became distraught and defensive. As you might guess, that’s why she’s a former friend.

Another addiction is listening to the car radio or a CD while driving. Have you ever considered turning off that car radio or CD from time to time? Just ride in silence and bask in the quiet; it’s rejuvenating. To help you with that task, I’ve found this amazing method which is quick, easy, and free. What more could you ask for? I’ve used this method for awhile now and found that it works, so there’s no need to check Urban Legends to see if it’s a myth. With some extrapolation, it can be applied to most electronic devices.  Just follow the simple instructions. With a little practice and patience, I’m sure you’ll be able to grasp it. If I could, you can.

Fool proof instructions for turning off car radio
1. Hold index finger out in pointing position.
2. Aim finger toward on/off radio knob.
3. Slowly propel arm forward until tip of finger makes contact with aforementioned knob.
4. Apply additional arm muscle pressure to compel finger to push knob.
5. Listen to determine if sound still emanating from radio. If so, start again from Step 1.

Once you’ve mastered your car radio, try that method on your other technology devices. They may work a bit differently, but with a little tweaking, you’ll get the hang of it.  Some will have to withdraw from their devices like an addict. I know it’s hard, but it’s also calming, liberating, and gratifying. Take charge of yourself, people!  No one else will.

Please pass my blog along to anyone else who might be interested and post it on your Facebook, Twitter and other social media. 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.

2 Comments

Filed under aging successfully, Baby boomers, gerontology, healthy aging, longevity, retirement, seniors, wellness