Tag Archives: Active Seniors

Earlobes and Such

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

Now, on to my blog:

Pen in EarlobeWe use our bodily parts in various ways to hold the objects necessary in our daily life. We balance glasses on the bridge of our nose and the tops of our ears. We hold up our pants by cinching belts around our waists.  We strap watches around our wrists. We tie young babies to our backs. As the child grows larger, we hoist it on our hip bone to straddle our body for balance as we carry it.

I came upon this young woman who took the concept to a whole new level.  She had ear stretchers in her earlobes.  That is a style now among many of the younger generation.

The stereotypical waitress’ answer to always looking for a pen or pencil is to shove it through her hair to rest on the top of her ear. However, this young woman’s innovative answer was to push it through the large hole in her earlobe. (Click here and scroll down to read my blog of June 5, 2017, “Generational Differences,” which features “gauges” as earlobe stretchers are called.)

Adaptability can be brought into all aspects of our lives: our jobs, our studies, our relationships, our parenting…  Always doing things the tried-and-true way doesn’t allow for expansion.

Think about things you’d like to change about yourself or do differently.  Focus on how you might morph to enhance your life.  Make a conscious effort to imagine the steps you can take.  Compile a to-do list using a computer, or even the old-fashioned method of pen and paper, even if you don’t keep your writing implement as handy as the appendage dangling from your ear.

Strive to make your life fuller and more satisfying.  Create ways to stretch yourself in lots of areas, not just your earlobes.

***

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.

2 Comments

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

Touching a Giraffe

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

Now, on to my blog:

LG feeding giraffeI was on an amazing trip to Africa a few months ago.  One day, we stopped at a giraffe rescue compound.  Up close and personal was their philosophy.  The staff even gave us food pellets to feed to our long necked friends.  What a privilege to be able to touch such a beast.

Touch is one of our five senses which gets less than its fair share of credit.  We’re so focused on vision and hearing, that we forget the importance of touch in the quality of life.

Animals love to be petted.  Touch yields purring from our cats and contented sighs from our dogs.  But, what does touching an animal do for us?  Is it like an electrical charge of mutual joy between the human touchor and the animal touchee?

To me it is.  There is something about touching an animal that immediately calms me.  It could be I am so focused on the task that I’m not thinking about anything else.  However, I suspect it’s more than that.  It’s a tactile sharing with a sentient being of this earth–a non-judgmental one without an agenda.  I feel their touch as much as they feel mine.  And it just plain feels good!  I have written on the importance of touch in this blog before (See “Hugs,” February 17, 2018, and “The Power of Touch,” February 4, 2016.”)

Some people seem wary of touch or even averse to it.  I can understand that; it’s a kinetic interaction which can be perceived as uncomfortable to them.  When you plan on touching another, whether human or otherwise, be sensitive to whether they enjoy that sensation or not.

If you are one who has never liked being touched too much, you might try to accustom yourself to it.  Start by taking baby steps, maybe with gentle, domestic animals.  Slowly move up from there as touch becomes more palatable.   You may discover a contentment you’ve been missing.

Don’t forget to include touch in your interaction with folks.  Touch your children, grandchildren, and those you love.  Touch a stranger when appropriate.  A handshake, a pat on the hand, or linking arms can melt even the iciest, most standoffish opponent.

***

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.

4 Comments

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

Life Is a Pinball Machine

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

Now, on to my blog:

Photo credit ncole458 on VisualHunt CC BYA pinball machine is an apt metaphor for life. From our birth, we are propelled down a jagged, unpredictable path strewn with obstacles. When we hit one, it bounces us in a different direction until we meet up with a new impediment. From there, we are pushed along yet another route and on and on.  As we weave our way along, we encounter experiences which we would not have had but for the random jumping between points.

Think of various examples in your life and how they occurred. So often, they were simply a shot in the dark–you were just at the right place at the right time or the wrong place at the wrong time. Had arbitrary, proceeding events not occurred to put you there, you would not have encountered those particular circumstances.

Such an unplanned stumbling from one destination to the next is what constitutes life.  Ponder this for a moment: what events led to your attending the school you did, making the friendships you have, settling on living in a particular city, obtaining your job, meeting your partner, and everything else in your life?  

Toward the end of college, I signed up for interviews with a host of recruiters who had come to the campus seeking potential employees.  When I graduated, I accepted a job as a probation officer simply because that was the first one offered to me.  I didn’t even know what a probation officer did.  I remained at that career for thirty-seven years.  Many of my closest friends were co-workers I met there.

After I retired, I mentioned to a friend that I was bored and directionless.  She told me about a local school with classes for seniors.  I perused the Schedule of Classes, and mistakenly signed up for an acting class, thinking it was just a play discussion course.  Never having acted in my life, I was hooked that first day after reading a scene with another class member.  That experience changed my life, and I went on to become a professional actress as a senior.

So, life is simply a crapshoot. We make our way along, careening and readjusting as we go, hoping that it will turn out well. The only fleeting control we have is what we do with the situation once we land at any given spot.  Be flexible and prepared to deal with whatever the pinball machine of life hands you.

***

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: ncole458 on VisualHunt / CC BY

Leave a comment

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

Cool Your Jets

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

Now, on to my blog:

jet with contrailsWe are all impatient, some more than others. We are concerned about how future events will unfold.  We want our agendas to be realized immediately. However, living in a world of billions, that’s usually impossible.  We must wait our turn in the queue. We must rein in our impatience. We must plan our activities in advance to allow plenty of time to reach the goal or outcome we seek.

Trying to be patient can create anxiety, sleep problems, distraction, and all types of other behaviors which interfere with our everyday lives. However, we have no choice; we must learn to grapple with delayed gratification.

How can you do so if you are a personality type with substantial difficulty in that arena? It’s hard, but it can and must be done for your well-being. Here are some ideas:

  1. You can participate in a soothing activity that redirects your mind and thoughts. I know someone who takes to her piano whenever she feels anxious.
  2. You can schedule activities that divert your attention such as watching a movie, playing cards, attending an interesting function, etc.
  3. You can engage in physical exercise such as sports or attendance at your local gym to help channel your nervous energy.
  4. You can discuss your feelings with a friend as a sounding board to get a better perspective on the particular situation.
  5. Or, you can make the decision to change your modus operandi.

Your modus operandi is simply your normal way of behaving.  Changing your M.O. is the hardest choice of all. It takes constant attention and self- assessment to be aware of how you are acting, to settle your mind, and to choose to move on to something else.

Unlike the aforementioned, short-term fixes, a significant change of behavior may take years to accomplish and possibly therapeutic intervention. Success at that endeavor depends heavily on the depth of your desire to discard old habits for new. If you are able to accomplish such a feat, however, it will be the most rewarding and helpful to you.

***

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: Dave_S. on Visualhunt / CC BY

6 Comments

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

I Signed Up to Be an Uber Driver

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

Now, on to my blog:

Cell Phone in Dash HolderI was trying to download the Uber app onto my cell phone.  It was a new learning curve for me, but I wanted to be hip like everyone else and try out the popular ride sharing concept.

I followed all the correct prompts on the Uber website, or so I thought.  After completing my efforts, I received an immediate email from Uber welcoming me to their pool of drivers.  They wanted all sorts of personal information such as my driver’s license number, insurance, and the like.

I have no idea what I did to become part of the Uber Drivers Club.  Truth be told, I’d probably be the worst sort of Uber driver.  My driving skills are okay, but nothing to brag about.  My patience with the full range of personalities an Uber driver might encounter is limited.  And, my sense of direction stinks.

After I was enrolled as an Uber driver, the problem became:  how to unenroll.  Apparently, Uber doesn’t want their drivers to drop out, especially before they even begin.  No matter how hard I tried, I couldn’t quit my new job.  I finally gave up and figured I’d just remain on their roster.

Well, Uber didn’t like that either.  They were not about to brook a driver who didn’t provide her driving information, and certainly not one who didn’t drive.  I continued receiving emails from Uber insisting upon the sacred data.  I ignored them, but they persisted–Uber can be very persistent.

They finally got the idea and stopped pestering me.  However, I don’t know if I’m still buried somewhere in their data bank of drivers.  I can’t help wondering if this type of snafu befalls others, too?  Does it happen to younger people, or is it just us older folk?  What did Uber say on its end after I bailed?  Oh, another ditzy senior.

Nevermind, I do know that I went on to become a successful Uber passenger after a few upsetting mishaps (click this link and scroll down for my blog of March 4, 2018 “Uber et al” https://leegalegruen.wordpress.com/2018/03/.)  I have even learned a couple of things from my Uber rider experiences.  For example, I bought one of those handy dandy devices that holds a cell phone near the dashboard at close viewing range used by all Uber drivers while their phone’s GPS navigates the route.  Now, if I ever do decide to activate my Uber driver status, I’m all set!

Always be willing to learn from your experiences.  When you encounter a good idea, borrow it, steal it, claim it for yourself.  Good ideas are good ideas, no matter where they come from, even Uber.

 ***

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.

4 Comments

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

Feeling Out of Place

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

Now, on to my blog:

flamingosSometimes we find ourselves in situations where we feel out of place; you know, that awkward, uncomfortable sensation because we don’t quite fit in. We try to adapt, but all we can think of is, how do I get out of here?  It’s particularly hard in a situation where everyone else seems to know each other, to interact comfortably, and we are the odd man out.

I think everyone has found themselves in such a predicament at some time in their lives. We dread it, and often avoid participating in a potentially interesting activity because we fear we may experience that distasteful feeling yet again.  The one thing we forget is that everyone was in the same dilemma in some  venue somewhere when they first attended, and they were the odd man out.  They felt uneasy and thought of bolting.

As I’ve previously discussed in this blog, I moved to a large, active retirement community three years ago knowing no one.  I was intimidated and uncomfortable everywhere I went.  The community offers a plethora of clubs, events, sports, and activities of all kinds.

Each thing I attended, I had to go alone.  Of course, it seemed like everyone else there was with lots of friends.  It was hard, and I often debated whether to even make the effort.  However, the thought of isolating myself inside my four walls was worse.  Slowly, I found my own friends, became comfortable, and now I’m very happy.

You must push yourself and bear up under the discomfort in order to reap the rewards, just like you’ve had to do all your life at school, in your job, dating, raising children, and so on.  Just like all skills, the more you do it, the more adept you become.

It seems we must wade through the sludge to get to the gold.  So, hang in there, keep going back, keep starting conversations with other participants.  It will slowly get better.  It makes it easier realizing that it doesn’t just happen to you, it happens to everyone, no matter how rich, attractive, successful, or accomplished.

 ***

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: gcalsa on Visual Hunt / CC BY-ND

3 Comments

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

Monet and Me

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

CHITCHAT:  I am a guest blogger this week on Honey Good, a website for women 50+ with a philosophy of “celebrating a woman’s life after 50.”   Click here to read my guest blog:  https://www.honeygood.com/my-second-act-of-life1/

Now, on to my blog:

Monet & MeAh, Monet.  We hung out together recently.  That is, Monet did the hanging–on a wall at the de Young Museum in San Francisco, California, with me in attendance and in awe.  As you can see in this photo, I failed to dress for the occasion–a faux pas as Monet would say in the French of his origin.  Yes, I stressed primary colors that day forgetting that my pal Monet is definitely a secondary colors kind of guy.

No matter; we were both gobsmacked (I’ve been dying to use that trendy word) by the beauty of his garden and his ability to render it on a flat surface.  Yes, two of totally different interests and viewpoints can come together over a shared commonality.

Monet and I were born 100 years and 4,000 miles apart.  What would we have talked about if we hadn’t had such distances between us?  We would certainly have discussed the beauty of nature.  We might have marveled at the intricacy of a leaf, the color of a flower, the soothing ripple of water.

It’s not always easy to find something in common with another.  But, more often than not, there will be a little nugget if you dig deep enough.

I attended a banquet dinner last year, and was sitting at a table with some folks I didn’t know.  One man tried to engage me in conversation, but each thing he mentioned didn’t hit a cord.  Finally, in response to yet another of his queries, I revealed that I had graduated college in 1964 from UCLA.  Voilà (to continue in a Francophile mode), my table mate began discussing Kareem Abdul Jabbar who was a student at UCLA around that time and became a top ranked player on the university basketball team.  I know very little about sports, but I was able to contribute that Kareem was known then by his birth name of Lew Alcinder.  That opened up a lengthy conversation which segued into different topics.

Find common interests with those you encounter.  Keep bringing up different subjects until you hit upon something that excites you both.  It’s there; you just have to keep searching for it.  Even the dullest, most withdrawn human will shine when you strike upon their passion.  That’s the way to make friends!

***

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.

4 Comments

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