Uber et al

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 by clicking here 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

CHITCHAT:  I will be giving free public lectures titled: “Reinventing Yourself in Your Senior Years” on the following dates, times, and locations (RSVP REQUIRED):

March 15, 2018, 10:30am, The Samarkand Retirement Community, 2550 Treasure Dr., Santa Barbara, CA 93105, (877) 412-6305,   www.thesamarkand.org/events

April 13, 2018, 1:00pm, Covenant Village of Turlock Retirement Community, 2125 N. Olive Ave, Turlock, CA 95382, (209)-226-4621, www.covenantvillageofturlock.org/events

July 19, 2018, 10:30am, Covenant Village of the Great Lakes Retirement Community, 2510 Lake Michigan Dr NW, Grand Rapids, MI 49504 (616) 259-0408, www.covenantgreatlakes.org/events

Now, on to my blog:

UberAh, Uber and its brethren.  They use  technology to make life easier while simultaneously making it more complicated.  Yes, I wanted to be “with it” just like my tech savvy son–to summon a car using my iPhone.  So, I decided to brave the learning curve and set out to install the Uber app.

The first mistake I made in my confusion was to sign myself up as an Uber driver.   I realized my error as soon as Uber congratulated me on becoming a team member and requested information about my car and driver’s license.

Trying to unenroll as an Uber driver is a lot harder than enrolling.  Although I kept trying to tell the Uber God that I didn’t want to be a driver but just a rider, he/she refused to listen to me and kept insisting I provide my car/DL info.  Eventually, Uber got tired of my stalling and kicked me out as a potential driver.  I was small potatoes, and they were having none of my foolishness.

I waited a few days to brave the Uber site again.  This time, unbeknownst to me how it came about, I did manage to enroll as a rider.  An Uber app appeared on the homepage screen of my iPhone.  I became one of the cool, trendy types and was going to be chauffeured by Uber.

The first time I called for an Uber pickup, it worked!  I was amazed how simple it was and that I had done it.  The ride was pleasant and the driver amiable.  All was right with the world, and I was a functioning cog in the Uber machine.

Uber emailed me my receipt and requested input on how I liked the ride.  They offered me a visual of five stars, each with a number under it from one to five, in a horizontal row.  I was supposed to click on these celestial bodies to rate my ride.

My driver had been great, and, of course, I wanted to give him the highest rating: five stars.  So, I assumed I was supposed to click on all of the stars.  I clicked the star above the number one first whereupon I was kicked off that page and a message appeared in its place sympathizing with me that I had not had a good Uber experience.  Apparently, I was supposed to click only on the star over the number five, not on every star.  Now, how was I supposed to know that?

Unforgiving Uber God refused to give me an option to revise my evaluation.  Guilt took over; I had just given a black mark to the Uber driving record of a very nice guy.

What to do?  I navigated the Uber website but couldn’t find any way to connect with Uber.  A half-hour later and still navigating, I stumbled upon a contact form to send Uber a message.  I explained my error and begged U.G. to upgrade my evaluation to five stars.  Later that day, I received an email that my wish had been granted.

I did not use Uber again for several months.  By that time, I forgot about the quirky rating system.  Again, in trying to rate my driver, I ended up giving him the lowest possible rating.  No more guilt–every man for him/herself–I was sick of the whole thing and refused to play the half-hour navigation game again.

Cut to two years later.  I had not used Uber in all that time and forgot the protocol.  After arriving late and tired at my home airport, I summoned Uber to take me to my  front door.  The screen monitor notified me that the trip would cost $33.66.

The drive was pleasant and the driver sweet and chatty.  Upon arriving home, I handed him two twenty dollar bills: $33.66 for the fare and the rest for his tip.

“Wow!” he exclaimed.

I couldn’t understand what all the fuss was over a $6 tip.  I mean it was about twenty percent of the bill—a fair tip, but hardly warranting a “wow.” Maybe he wasn’t used to any tip at all.

The next day I was checking my emails and found one from Uber.  It was a receipt for $33.66 billed to my credit card.  How could they do that when I had paid the fare to the driver?  My son explained it all to me patiently–sort of.

“Well, Mom, you gave him a $40 tip.  You’ll just have to suck it up.”

So, I have been sucking it up for a few weeks now.  I’m getting weary of being among the trendy.  The only good thing is that I probably made the guy’s day.  I am one of the positive war stories he can brag about over the coming years on the topic of his life as an Uber driver.

 ***

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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Hugs

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 by clicking here 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

CHITCHAT:  I will be giving free public lectures titled: “Reinventing Yourself in Your Senior Years” on the following dates, times, and locations (RSVP REQUIRED):

March 15, 2018, 10:30am, The Samarkand Retirement Community, 2550 Treasure Dr., Santa Barbara, CA 93105, (877) 412-6305,   www.thesamarkand.org/events

April 13, 2018, 1:00pm, Covenant Village of Turlock Retirement Community, 2125 N. Olive Ave, Turlock, CA 95382, (209)-226-4621,   www.covenantvillageofturlock.org/events

Now, on to my blog:

Man hugging elephantsWe all need a hug. It is tactile contact with another human being; a warm, intimate gesture; and comforting. It can be a balm when we are feeling low; an expression of closeness; a display of  acceptance, or a greeting like a handshake on steroids. However, we must be careful when, where, and to whom we deliver hugs.

The subject of inappropriate touching has been in the news a lot lately. Many have experienced this during their lifetime, both women and men. It may have been as the hug giver, the hug receiver, or both.

I’ve had such experiences including some incidents years ago at my job which would today be considered sexual harassment. These acts are usually carried out by the perpetrator when no one else is around, so it becomes an unprovable  “he said-she said” scenario.

From my youth until well into my adulthood, I was not a huggy type of person. Although I’m still not exceptionally huggy, as I’ve matured and been subjected to life, I’m more prone to offering a hug to relatives and good friends upon meeting or departing, or to someone who has been especially nice and giving in a situation.

I can think of three things that changed my hugging persuasion:

1.  When I had children, they needed hugs, and I found that I loved embracing them.
2.  I have some close friends who are very huggy, and I’ve grown to be comfortable with it.
3.  When I became an actress as a senior, I discovered that the acting community as a whole is a pretty huggy/touchy bunch out of camaraderie.

Sometimes my hug has been well received and other times it has seemed to make the recipient uncomfortable. I think the response comes from how the hugee was raised, where they were raised (different parts of the country or world are not as huggy as others), his/her culture, etc.

I’ve had a few strange experiences when I’ve initiated a hug. I made the mistake of hugging a man out of friendship. He then expected us to hug every time we saw each other. He finally made it clear that he wanted our relationship to ramp up to the next level which was not what I wanted, so I broke off the whole thing. It probably would have remained on the friendship footing I had preferred had I not initiated the initial hug out of good feelings.

Once, I invited a group of friends over for lunch. One I knew well, and the other two, a husband and wife, were his friends whom I had only met a few times. We had a lovely time, and when they were ready to depart, I gave each a hug. The husband and wife both seemed very uncomfortable with the gesture, and I was sorry I had done it.

I remember another uneasy situation. A program director had hired me to give a talk to a large group. Although our interaction prior to the event was purely a business relationship, she had been exceptionally nice and helpful to me. After the talk, we were chatting, and I thanked her. Out of exuberance at how well things had gone, I moved forward to hug her whereupon she jerked back with an alarmed look on her face. I immediately backed off, but it felt very awkward.

Hugging or other types of touching can be interpreted incorrectly. If one gets a different idea from your initiation of a hug or other simple touch than you had intended, it is very hard to convey to that person that you were simply expressing your exuberance in an embracing manner. Conversely, when people make themselves vulnerable by expressing affection for another whether physically or verbally, it is hurtful to them to learn that their overtures are unwanted. You take the chance of alienating that person and the discomfort whenever you encounter him/her again.

Don’t stop hugging or enjoying hugs. Just learn to be prudent when engaging in them.

To get you into a hugging mood, here are links to a video offering free hugs and a poem about hugging which are both very moving.

“Free Hugs” Video

“The Hug,” by Tess Gallagher

 ***

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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Free at Last!

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 by clicking here 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

CHITCHAT:  I will be giving free public lectures titled: “Reinventing Yourself in Your Senior Years” on the following dates, times, and locations (RSVP REQUIRED):

March 15, 2018, 10:30am, The Samarkand Retirement Community, 2550 Treasure Dr., Santa Barbara, CA 93105, (877) 412-6305,   www.thesamarkand.org/events

April 13, 2018, 1:00pm, Covenant Village of Turlock Retirement Community, 2125 N. Olive Ave, Turlock, CA 95382, (209)-226-4621,   www.covenantvillageofturlock.org/events

Now, on to my blog:

Boo-Boo dragging leashAn oppressive lifestyle can be imposed from without or within. Sometimes, it is the people we live with or the situation we find ourselves in that causes the  oppression. Maybe a spouse or significant other demoralizes us. It could be a parent or a child who is the culprit. We might feel ourselves excessively burdened by our job or daily activities.

Humans are also quite accomplished at weighing themselves down. We might impose impossible-to-meet standards on ourselves or aim for perfection to the point where we always fall short.

If you are living in an ongoing state of oppression no matter how you got there, you must escape for your own well-being. That is easy to say, but so hard to do. Our situation, no matter how burdensome, usually provides us with something that we desire or fear we cannot obtain elsewhere. It could be as basic as  food and shelter. It might be the siren call of social position that binds us. Perhaps it is the fear of forfeiting something precious such as children, income, or even a pet that keeps us there.

It is scary to disengage from a situation that offers us things we crave or fear losing. Yes, walking away is  chancy. “What if‘s“ pop into our mind, usually miring us in the status quo, often for years.

However, if you ever want to break free of those chains that hold you prisoner, you must take a risk. Decide if you want to escape; make your getaway plans; and do it.

Many years ago, I had a friend, Priscilla, who told me that shortly after she married her husband, she realized what a mistake she had made as he proved to be an abusive alcoholic. However, by that time, she was already pregnant and dependent upon him. So, she made her escape plans and spent the next several years carrying them out. Priscilla went to college part-time and got an education so she could find gainful employment. By the time she finally put her plan into effect and left her husband, she had two children. She had also found a good paying job and was able to support herself and her kids.

We’ve all heard about people leaving lucrative employment to start their own business or to take lesser paying work that they find much more fulfilling.  I once had an attorney who handled a case for me.  Years later, when I needed more legal work, I sought him out only to find that he had given up the practice of law and opened a ski shop. He told me that he had never really enjoyed being a lawyer, and that he loved his new venture even though he made far less money.

Don’t just wallow in an oppressive situation. Envision a goal of throwing off that yoke. Make your jailbreak plans and carry them out, even if it takes years.

***

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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Why Does He/She Treat Me So Badly?

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 by clicking here 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:

Snarling dog Visual Hunt 5-31-17Have you always been confused as to why your spouse or significant other turns into a snarling dog and treats you with such disdain?  Although in this discussion I’ll talk about partner connections, this type of interaction can occur in other close relationships such as with a parent, child, sibling, boss, mentor, etc. I’ll use the generic masculine tone when referring to your partner, but it can equally apply to both sexes.

You do everything you can to get along, have a peaceful relationship, keep him happy.  You try to shape yourself to his demands and requirements. It may work for awhile when he’s in a good place psychologically, or externally driven factors such as a job, school, finances, etc. are going right for him. However, the fall always comes. Nothing you do satisfies him. You are cast as the bad guy, especially when he needs someone to blame when his life sucks once again.

This scenario may involve your being emotionally abused including being insulted, dismissed, ostracized, etc. You might be given the silent treatment (for hours or even days), a particularly  cunning form of cruelty. Or, you might even be physically abused. It’s like living on a roller coaster. He can be loving and caring or hateful and rejecting, and you never know which version of him is going to show up.

You soon learn to watch for it, always a bit tense even in the best of times. You wait for him to sock-it-to-ya, because you know instinctively that it’s coming sooner or later.

This is typical of the “Battered Woman Syndrome (BWS),” so named because of its frequency in incidents of domestic violence. As I said earlier, men can be the victims of it, too.

Examples of BWS fall on a continuum because each situation is different, some more extreme and some less. You can still be a victim even if no physical violence is involved. Emotional battering can be just as painful; it can be so subtle you can’t even verbalize it, but you feel bad, strange, off-kilter—something doesn’t sit right. It might be a small remark said in public or private that is demeaning but disguised so that the perpetrator can claim, “What are you talking about; you’re crazy?” if you try to call him on it. Behavior such as this is wily, conniving, deliberate, or  passive/aggressive: amiability which conceals antagonism.

You start to feel worthless, baffled why everything you do seems to be wrong. You may doubt your own sanity. It doesn’t dawn on you that your abuser might not be correct  in his assessment of the situation. You buy into whatever he sells, never questioning.

So, why does your loved one behave like that? One contributing reason might be poor self-image—not yours, his. If your partner doesn’t think much of himself, then he probably feels that anyone who cares for him, loves him or respects him must not be much either.

How can anyone love me, I’m such a loser. They must be horrible, undesirable, a loser themselves. So, not only am I despicable, but I’m with this loser.

Thoughts such as these on the part of the victimizer are usually subconscious–ingrained from childhood. This scenario is often played out with partner after partner.

Even if you understand why your mate behaves as he does, that doesn’t alter your interaction. He’s honed this personality for decades, and he doesn’t plan on changing. Not only that, but he has no problem with how he is; only you have a problem.

So, what do you do? As I’ve encouraged many times in past blogs, you must survive. Whether his technique is the subtle type or the go-for-the-jugular, take-no-prisoners model, you must negate his power to control you.

When you get the feeling that you’ve been put down by him, trust your gut! Keep in mind that you are not on this earth so he can play out these types of conscious or subconscious feelings. Refuse to accept that role! Don’t engage. Leave the staging area. Pursue activities apart from him. In extreme cases, you may have to extricate yourself from the relationship entirely to get healthy.

Take charge of your life and your happiness. Don’t be willing to put it into the hands of another, even someone as close as a spouse or significant other.

***

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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We All Have “Something”

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 by clicking here 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:

All Gender Bathroom sign

I saw this sign at an airport terminal recently.  I have no idea who was enlightened enough to create a bathroom for everyone no matter their persuasion.  However, that person simply posted the sign, and the thousands of humans passing by in that busy location didn’t seem to suffer any harm from it.

All of us have something about ourselves or our lives that is viewed as less than ideal in our current culture, or we have a friend or relative who does.  We think that our something merits special consideration, tender handling, understanding, tolerance.

Maybe you or they are handicapped in some fashion. Maybe you or they respond slower than others, are of a particular physical build, intellectual level, sexual orientation, hue on the color spectrum, or whatever which is not so  highly prized by our society just now.     

So what do we do with you or them?  Well, everyone hopes that others will be kind and forgiving of their particular affliction or situation. However, let’s take a good look at ourselves. Are we as kind and forgiving of others’ oddities, needs, differences as we hope they will be of ours? 

Why does a group of boys attack another boy who is homosexual?  Why does a person insist his religion is the only way to believe, and then kills non-believers to that end?  Why does someone with so much money go out of his/her way to disadvantage others merely to make more?

Our country and much of the world is divided by prejudice against race, sex, gender identity, religion, politics, and all manner of things. However, I’m sure you have heard the aphorism: let he who is without sin cast the first stone. Are you so perfect that you can judge others and find them wanting?

Remember to treat everyone with love, care, consideration, and compassion no matter how different they seem to be.  We all share humanness; we are far more alike than different.  There’s another old saying that has been termed “The Golden Rule”:  Do onto others as you would have them do onto you.

Why do so many forget that?  It’s often the one screaming the loudest to denigrate another who is hiding the most in his/her own 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, contact me at the aforementioned email address, let me know, and I’ll remove you from the list.

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The Time We Have Left

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 by clicking here 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:

SunriseI was having an email discussion with my friend, a cancer survivor, about an article we both read listing predictions for our future world.  One involved longevity.

According to the article, our current average life span increases three months per year.  Within the past four years, life expectancy has increased from 79 to 80 years. By 2036, it will increase by over one year per year.  Therefore, many more people will live to be over 100.

We had this email back-and-forth:

Her:  “I went to see my new primary care dr., a geriatrician, and got quite a shock.  I asked her at what age I can stop getting colonoscopies.  She said that the average for female death is 84, so there is no point in trying to prevent diseases such as colon cancer that take time to develop, unless I plan to live a lot longer than that.  It’s not as though there is any of that that I didn’t already know, but it hit me like a punch in the stomach.  I feel the same way I would feel if I were 30 and got the news that I had a life expectancy of 9 years. I now evaluate everything I do to make sure I’m not wasting any time.”

Me:  “As for your punch in the stomach, don’t assume that you only have a life expectancy of 9 years.  That email said that longevity is predicted to increase. Therefore, assume you’re going to live to 100, which means you have 25 more years.  So, get that colonoscopy and go ahead and waste some time:-)”

Her:  “The average for women now is 84, 82 for men.  I’m pretty healthy so far as I know, and my parents both lived longer than 84.  Still, I am confronting a short life.”

Me:  “We are all confronting a short life.  Stop focusing on that and focus on enjoying it.  Try the AA mantra: one day at a time.”

Her:  “…my short life isn’t because of cancer, it’s because of my age.  I do focus on enjoying life–I certainly don’t want to piss away whatever time I have left.”

If you are in satisfactory health, I’m not sure which is more destructive to your enjoyment of life: excessive worry that you might get or have a recurrence of a serious disease such as cancer, or apprehension over statistics predicting at  what age you might die. Dwelling on such considerations spoils embracing the time you do have left.

Among the more inspiring people I have known was Rose Freedman, a classmate in a community Spanish class I attended many years ago. She was the last living survivor of the terrible fire in 1911 at the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory in New York City where 146 young, immigrant garment workers died.  That tragedy led to significant changes in labor laws.

Rose was full of life, dynamic and always well-dressed with her hair nicely coifed. She consistently arrived at class with her  homework completed, spending the opening moments before the teacher arrived socializing with everyone. She was, also, an artist and an avid, Lakers basketball fan.

One day, the teacher announced, “Rosa (we used the Spanish version of our names during class) has invited everyone to go to the bakery down the street after class for cake and coffee to celebrate her 100th birthday.”  I was blown away!  Given her exuberance and youthfulness, I always thought Rose was in her eighties.

I continued going to that class for many years with Rose until she was hospitalized  and died a few months later in 2001 at the age of 107.  Yes, good genes and healthy living had a lot to do with Rose’s longevity.  However, a positive attitude and a love of life contributed significantly.

Let’s let Rose serve as our role model. It’s our choice how to embrace our final years.  If we live our lives in agitated worry about our waning life, can we really enjoy that precious time to its fullest?  Yes, we want to be productive–leave a legacy.  However, the pressure to do so caused by fear we might die sooner rather than later spoils our journey.

In your final years, be productive for the joy of it, not in a race against some elusive calculation about the amount of time you have left.

***

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 on Visual hunt (modified by user)

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Let It Go

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 by clicking here 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:

Releasing Bird from CageWe all get upset, pissed off, angry, enraged, and worse at circumstances, the behavior of others, life. Yes, we need to vent; it releases tension. But, be careful who you choose as your ventee. Is he/she the right choice–the one who done ya wrong?

Are you dumping your situation on whomever you stumble upon? Are you taking any and every opportunity to steer the conversation around to your hurt or bad luck? That gets very old very fast, and others don’t want to constantly be at the receiving end of such conduct. After all, they have their own issues for which they’d like to vent, and it’s so easy for your interaction to devolve into a mutual ventfest.

Whatever it is that is bumming you out, there comes a point where you just have to let it go and get on with your life. Easy to say; hard to do, but, what is the alternative?

You can continue to stew for days, weeks, months, even years. While you’re doing so, what else is happening? Have opportunities passed you by because you were too angry and distracted to grab them? Have you missed out on jobs, relationships, etc. because others picked up on your rage and backed off? Who is the loser with your attitude? The way I see it, it’s you!

I’m still carrying around pain as the result of being hurt or let down by others whom I trusted. I’m probably pretty typical of most people. Very few get through this life without those types of experiences. Yes, I’m still a work in progress, but I try. I think about it and work at moving on. Sometimes I do a better job than at other times.

Letting it go doesn’t have to be done all at once. It can be done in stages–baby steps. I have been estranged from a family member for several years. I thought a lot about letting it go, mainly to heal myself. Recently, I sent her a birthday card. It was very difficult to do and took a lot of mental back-and-forth while buying the card, addressing it, putting on the stamp, and releasing it from my fingertips into the mailbox. I lived with that small act for awhile until I was able to digest it. The next step I took was some very light, superficial email correspondence. I’m currently in the process of living with that and trying to digest it. The next step may be a telephone call.

Keep working at letting it go even if you’re not always successful. View yourself as a wounded child, and take care of yourself with tenderness, support, and encouragement as you would any troubled youngster. Help that child heal. Strive to make yourself the winner, not the loser.

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