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:
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 Retirement Years,” Joslyn Adult Center, “Health and Fitness Expo,” 210 N. Chapel Ave, Alhambra, CA 91801
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, onto my blog:
This is a photo of Sheila Ross who is seventy-nine years old and in the latter category. She is doing a yoga exercise called “the plow.” Sheila has never taken a yoga class. She simply saw someone a few months ago doing this maneuver at her gym and decided to try it. Yes, Sheila has been exercising for a long time, and yes, she’s naturally limber. However, she had never done the plow, but she was willing to give it a try.
Not everyone will be able to do the plow. However, maybe we can at least take a lesson from Sheila and try things that seem difficult rather than backing off immediately with an “Oh, I can’t do that” attitude.
This pertains to all types of behavior, not just a yoga exercise. Do you shy away from such actions as taking a class, volunteering, or going somewhere to make new friends? That’s typical behavior. It’s uncomfortable to venture into the unknown. However, we miss so many opportunities and life enhancing possibilities by retreating into our comfortable cocoons.
It’s so easy to automatically say, “That’s too hard for me,” or “I’ve never been good at that kind of thing,” or whatever your excuse is. What about doing what Sheila did? What about seeing or hearing about something interesting and saying “I think I’ll try that?” Let’s work toward overcoming that little voice inside our heads that always tells us we can’t do things. Remember the mantra which I’ve discussed before: if you think it’s too hard, do it anyway!
You won’t be proficient the first time you try something new. But, you can certainly work up to it. The secret is: small, manageable portions.
So, the program is:
1. Think of something that intrigued you, but that you resisted trying with all your reasons and good excuses.
2. Approach that something with baby steps and keep at it slowly and consistently.
3. Give it a try for a given period of time, say two weeks.
4. Check your progress at the beginning and at the end. Have you gotten a little better? Is it a bit easier?
5. Keep going and give yourself another couple of weeks to reassess.
Remember, it’s not a contest, and you don’t have to become an expert. The goal is to find more joy, excitement, and purpose in your life. You might not be successful in all your new endeavors, but at least you tried, which puts you a lot closer to success than not making an attempt in the first place. I promise that if you don’t like it, you can always go back into your cocoon.
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