Tag Archives: longetivity

Strutting Your Stuff

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:

turkey-on-my-patio-3-4-17This guy knows how to strut his stuff. He appeared on my patio a few days ago, staying about fifteen minutes as he fluffed out his feathers, fanned his tail, and walked from one end to the other and back again, periodically stopping to turn around slowly so he could be seen from all sides by potential, admiring onlookers. I grabbed my camera to memorialize his display. How could any female resist him? I know I couldn’t.

Another euphemism for strutting your stuff is “tooting your own horn.” Some humans are good at it, like Tom here. Successful practitioners know how to display their talents and attributes. Others are too shy or embarrassed while wishing they could and envying those able to do so with such seeming ease. Some withdraw from even considering such behavior, finding it too prideful and self-indulgent. However, let’s consider if occasional strutting or tooting can aid in our fulfillment.

We all need attention; we all want to attract others. That is neither positive nor negative; it is simply a human trait. With over seven billion of us on this earth and counting, the competition is fierce. So, how do we get some of that elusive, oh-so-valuable attention?  We must do something to make others notice us in some way.

Yes, many overdo it, like Tom. It gets old when someone seems to be constantly bragging or promoting him/herself. Not everyone has mastered the art of subtlety or sophistication in seeking attention. We really don’t need to puff up our bearing and prance around in the best finery we can afford, folks. But, we can do other things to bring attention, accolades, and praise to ourselves. We can shine in areas where we seem to have talent. Even introverted people can find quieter, less conspicuous ways to shine.

Think of something you can do well. Seek out opportunities to display or utilize that ability where others will notice. Allow yourself to experience the rewards of a compliment, praise, or kudos.

Attention from others is nourishing. Remember to be generous and not hog it all if you’re the aggressive type. If you’re the timid type, remember that you deserve attention, too. And, let’s remember to practice tolerance toward those who seem so needy of attention. We are all on that scale somewhere.

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

My New Get-me-from-here-to-there

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:

my-carYes, I bought another one recently because my sixteen-year-old one conked out. You call it a car or automobile. I call it a get-me-from-here-to-there. That’s its purpose. A bit of comfort is nice: protection from the sun and wind, controlled climate, a smooth ride. In case you weren’t aware, the year, brand, color, and horsepower don’t add to that.

Here’s a not-so-secret secret.  I bought a used one even though I could afford a new one. The reason: I didn’t like the styling or size of the new, small SUVs which is what I wanted. I test drove almost every brand out there but wasn’t satisfied with anything available. So, I researched and found the most recent  year I could that had the features which matched my needs.

Our vehicle of choice has become a status symbol with full bragging rights. My get-me-from-here-to-there is better than your get-me-from-here-to-there, ergo I’m richer, more successful, more desirable, more popular, more lovable, (add the descriptor of your choice).

We humans have lots of similar examples in life. Let’s name a few: job, house, furniture,  clothing, vacation, spouse, pet, and even our innocent children. Now, come on, folks; you’re still the same freckle faced, too plump, too skinny, too tall, too short, too (add the descriptor of your choice) human that you always were.

Wrapped in an overly expensive (add the material possession, position, relationship, etcetera of your choice) doesn’t make you any different. It also doesn’t make you better than anyone else. That comes from the inside. So, cut the crap and stop trying to buy your way into acceptability. It won’t work. For that, you must become a mensch.

Be kind, donate to a good cause those dollars you waste on the toy du jour, mentor someone, give your time and energy to something worthy that isn’t your own aggrandizement. Those are the things that will gain you admiration. Throwing money around on status symbols only makes people snicker behind your back mumbling words like: pathetic.

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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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Trumpet Yourself

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:

book-signing-ross-fall-bazaarHere is the dictionary definition of the transitive verb, to trumpet:  to talk about something publicly in a proud or enthusiastic way  such as to trumpet somebody’s achievements.

Yes, it’s always been considered acceptable to trumpet someone else’s achievements. But, what about when you do so for your own achievements?

I’ve always found it hard to tell people about my accomplishments. It makes me feel like I’m bragging, and that’s an uncomfortable position for me. After I wrote a book, I learned that I would have to market it. That meant going against my grain and inserting it into the conversation whenever I had a chance.

I’m still timid about it. I do it in an almost apologetic manner. However, when you must promote and market, you simply can’t wait and hope for someone else to trumpet it for you. You must blow your own trumpet.

This photo is of me at a recent book sale and signing which was part of a large event offering numerous items for sale. As attendees made their way to my book club’s long table and over to me, I would have to quickly start my spiel about my book, giving my brief elevator speech to grab their attention. I was competing not only with the other authors at my table, but also with the scores of other tables in the hall, each with hawkers of the wares they and their fellow group members had made: jewelry, ceramics, wooden objects, sewing items, bakery goods, and lots more. All this tumult was noisy, confusing, and distracting. I felt like a circus barker having to yell louder, be flashier, spin a more interesting and compelling yarn than my competitors.

Participation in fierce competition can be exhausting and off-putting. How does one function in a situation like that, especially when it is against your nature? You can start by accepting that it is okay to trumpet yourself from time to time. Of course, it would be nice if you can avoid becoming obnoxious about it. View it as a challenge to learn a new skill. See it as a growth experience to broaden yourself. Do it sparingly to avoid wearing out your audience.

As grownups, we sometimes must be involved in disquieting situations which are against our normal inclination. Changing your mental attitude can help you get through it.

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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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I Am Not an Aquarian!

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 at 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:

my-shoesI was on my way from my car to a store last week when I noticed a woman walking next to me in the parking lot. She pointed to my shoes and said, “Oh, you have those new arch support tennis shoes. I saw them on television.”

“Oh no, these are quite old. They’re nothing special.”

“Yeah, those are the ones. They’ve got arches built into them.”

I went on to explain, “Well, I wear orthotics, so I don’t depend on arches in the shoes even if there are any.”

“Yeah, they have great arch supports, and they have those little springs in them,” she insisted.

“No, I don’t think they have any springs in them.”

That’s when she torpedoed me with, “Geez, you must be an Aquarian. You argue about everything.”

I could feel my temper rising. I wanted her to know that I am not an Aquarian. I wanted to argue about the fact that I do not argue about everything.

The whole thing suddenly became silly. Was I going to get into a cat fight over my old tennis shoes? This was a total stranger who obviously had her own agenda. I did not start talking to her; she started talking to me. She was convinced that she was right about her assessment of my shoes, and nothing was going to change her mind. She, also, knew she was right about my being an argumentative type, apparently like those born between January 20 and February 18, who, she was certain, argue about everything. She failed to see her own role in our escalating discussion. I’m guessing that this was not a new situation for her.

I know very little about the Signs of the Zodiac including my own which happens to be Capricorn if anyone is interested. I don’t believe that what month, day, time, nor moon phase during which you were born has anything to do with your personality. I, also, don’t believe that all those of the Aquarian persuasion argue about everything. I’m sure there are nice, pleasant Aquarians and not so nice ones as there are for every other Zodiac sign.

The point here is: What do you do when you find yourself in a situation where a stranger manages to insult you within five minutes of meeting them?  There is not an easy answer. You feel your face flush and you want to defend yourself.

Try to step back and realize how ridiculous the whole thing is. You’re not going to dissuade your attacker from their conviction. Why waste your time and energy trying to do so? The best course of action is to concede the point graciously and get away ASAP. You know you’re right, and it doesn’t matter whether they know it or not, especially if you’re an Aquarian.

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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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Learning the Ropes

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 at 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:

Subway Train

This is a continuation of my three previous blogs about moving from my house of forty-five years:

In my new life, I am striving to drive an automobile less often. Having previously lived in Los Angeles since childhood, I drove my car everywhere. Yes, there is public transportation available there, but because of that city’s greater distances and its being a commuter way of life, the majority of people drive. I’m sick of driving, of fighting rush hour traffic, of the stress of trying not to kill myself or others as I speed along, a lone driver leaving a carbon footprint that could be shared by many as a gentler impact on our stressed planet. So, yes, I’m learning to use public transportation.

I braved the local subway yesterday for the first time armed with my senior pass. Even applying for it was one of many in a very long list of new learning curves. I entered the train, positioned myself directly in front of the map on the wall, and compared it with the plans I had sketched out before beginning the undertaking. As the train stopped at each station, I peeked out of the open door and read the station sign to be sure I was where I thought I was. No one else was doing so. They all seemed comfortable with where they were located in space.

What a strange experience sharing a car with multitudes, most engrossed with their IT devices. I saw young professional types dressed in power suits presumably on their way to important business activities. I saw backpack wearers, some with predictable bicycles which they leaned against a railing installed for such gear. I saw mothers with their children, twosomes or threesomes engaged in chitchat, and homeless or almost homeless.

Mass public transportation seems to have its own protocol and mores, just like most activities. I was fascinated by a woman who entered the car wearing a spaghetti strap, camisole shirt. She seated herself, opened her purse, pulled out a small jar, and balanced it on her knee. Then, using a fingertip, she scooped out a dab of the glop it contained and applied it to one armpit, switched hands, and did the same to the other one. All this was accomplished without missing a beat of her ongoing cellphone conversation. And to think I’ve always been timid about putting on lipstick with strangers nearby.

Once I realized that it was acceptable to groom oneself on public transportation, I took out the only thing I had to compete with her: a nail file. For the rest of the trip, I gave myself a manicure sans nail polish. It’s amazing what you can accomplish when you don’t have to obey the hands-free rule. Next time I ride the metro, I might just arrive in my pajamas tugging my daytime garb along in a rolling suitcase. I’m sure it won’t faze the other passengers as I change my clothes since most of them have their heads buried in their cell phones anyway.

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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 (modified by user): <a href=”https://www.flickr.com/photos/53255320@N07/4920904305/”>16:9clue</a> via <a href=”https://visualhunt.com”>Visual hunt</a> / <a href=”http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/”>CC BY</a>

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People Whisperer

This blog is written by Lee Gale Gruen to help Baby Boomers, seniors, and those contemplating retirement find joy, excitement, and satisfaction in life after they retire. Her public lectures on this subject are titled, “Reinventing Yourself in Your Retirement.” Her memoir, available at 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

Now, on to my blog:

Cuddling She's a CharmerBuck Brannaman was the model for the 1998 movie “The Horse Whisperer” starring Robert Redford. He was a man with a sensitive way who could “talk” to horses, calm them down, gentle them.

Can a horse be a People Whisperer? I think so, because I met one. We were a group from the Horse Enthusiast’s Club who took a behind-the-scenes tour at a race track.

We saw the trainers trotting the young horses around the track, accompanying them astride an older, more experienced horse. We watched the horses being bathed, swaddled in blankets, and hooked to a huge, circular device called a hot walker reminiscent of old-fashioned clotheslines.  This allowed them to walk slowly around in a circle to relax and cool down their muscles after a demanding workout on the track.

Training on the TrackWe then went into the stable area where some horses were in their individual stalls with their heads and necks poking out over the half doors. That’s where we met the “people whisperer,” a three-year-old, thoroughbred filly aptly named She’s a Charmer, and she was.

This sweet equine refused the horse treats offered to her, instead placing her head against the chest of any of us who approached her. In this photograph, I’m relaxed, calm, and in the moment as I cuddle with She’s a Charmer.

We were so enamored with our new, hoofed friend that we hatched a free-Willy-type plan. We would each contribute a like amount of money and buy her, freeing her from her life as a racehorse and bringing her into our fold. Although abandoning our plan as completely unrealistic for an almost thousand pound, high maintenance animal, we continue to think about her, talk about her, and check up on her. These endeavors alone perpetuate the contentment and good feelings she brought to each of us.

Bathtime at Race Track 10-25-15Horses are used as therapy animals for the disabled, children with emotional or behavioral problems, veterans with post-traumatic stress disorder, etc. There have been wonderful stories of bonding between autistic people and horses. Yes, their size might seem intimidating. However, just being in their presence is a privilege and can be soul-cleansing.

Try hanging around with horses. See if their magic works on you.

FullSizeRenderPlease 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.

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