This blog is written by Lee Gale Gruen to help Baby Boomers and seniors find joy, excitement, and satisfaction in their lives after retirement from a job, career, parenting, etc. Her public lectures on this subject are entitled, “Reinventing Yourself in Your Senior 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 link: http://AdventuresWithDadTheBook.com)
NEWS: I will be interviewed on Blog Talk Radio “Giving Voice to Your Story,” with Dorit Sasson on Feb 5, 2015, 7:30am (PST), link: blogtalkradio.com
Now, on to my blog:
Have you ever had a bad day? I can almost guarantee the answer is, “yes.” I don’t think anyone can get through this life without having one. Well, last week I had a doozy. I set my alarm for 7:30am to allow plenty of time to get dressed, have breakfast, and drive carefully over a one-lane, winding, canyon road to pick up my friend for a writers’ club meeting.
She answered the door dressed in an old sweat suit.
“It’s tomorrow, Lee Gale.”
“What?” I responded without comprehension.
After she repeated it a few more times knocking me out of my denial, I fished out my calendar book. Yup, she was right. I had arrived at her house a full twenty-four hours before our date.
I couldn’t believe it; I was really bummed out. I didn’t have anything to do until 11:30am. I could have slept another few hours; I could have avoided a twelve-mile drive via a treacherous route; I could have done a million other things with my life.
I did some shopping to kill the time and made my way back over that horrible canyon road, fighting a traffic snag which made me late. When I got to the restaurant for my real first appointment that day, all the parking spaces in the lot were taken. I found one on the next block and had to pick my way with my sore toe through an unevenly paved alley. When I walked in to join the senior center “dining out” class as an invited guest of some friends, there were about thirty people seated at a very long table made from several placed railroad car fashion. My friends had been unable to save me a seat next to them.
I had been to the same restaurant once before, and I wasn’t too crazy about the food. Because this was a large group, the restaurant had set a fixed price menu costing almost twice what I paid previously. That would mean I’d have to sit at the far end from my friends and eat a mediocre, expensive meal with strangers.
Right at that moment, I went on overload. I had to have a time-out from my so far bad day. I whispered in one friend’s ear that I was going to leave, and I did. I drove home and had lunch, some quiet time, and a rest.
That’s one of the few times in my life I’ve been able to do something like that. Of course, the circumstances allowed for it: I was alone with my own car, I was close to my house, and I didn’t know anyone at the event except for a few people. Nevertheless, the lesson was that I assessed my needs and acted to meet them.
It made up for the fact that the week earlier I had done just the opposite at a social gathering and brooded over it for the next few days because I hadn’t been able to take care of myself. It’s so difficult to learn how to take care of ourselves yet so worth it.
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