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

Now, on to my blog:

Gros Ventre Ranch 8-15What a wonderful word: meandering. It evokes thoughts such as: lazy times, no pressure, free flowing.

I was on vacation last month at a dude ranch in Wyoming. I shot this photo atop my black steed, Prince, a gentle giant who had been matched to my riding ability.  As our little group headed by our guide was meandering through an Aspen grove, we had the Grand Tetons as our backdrop. That package really pulled my attention away from the usual stuff crowding my brain.

We all need to meander occasionally, some more, some less. We use other terms to describe it: down time, chilling out, having your own space, etc. You don’t have to travel to another country, to another state, or even to another city to meander. You don’t even have to do it on horseback. You can meander anywhere, even at home, and in many different ways.  Meandering can happen while reading a good book, making a new recipe, strolling through a store, anything that diverts the mind from the usual stuff.

Sometimes, when I am overwhelmed by the demands of life, I take what I like to call a “mental vacation.” I cancel my appointments, put on hold any serious decision making, and clear my life of everything that causes pressure. Just a day or two usually does it for me. Even a few hours of mental meandering can be significant.

Conversely, too much unstructured behavior can be destructive. We can find ourselves drifting, without purpose, unstimulated. We must seek that balance so we don’t work ourselves to misery, but we also don’t lead purposeless lives.

It takes discipline to put aside everything jockeying for your attention and get into meandering mode, but it’s worth it. Find stimulating, meaningful, fulfilling work and activities with just enough meandering time to regenerate.

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