Tag Archives: older people

We Are All Herd Animals

Herd of CowsA Herd of Cows–Moo!

I’d like to restate my goal with this blog.  I want to help Baby Boomers and seniors find joy, excitement, and satisfaction in their lives after retirement.  Retirement can be from a job, career, profession, parenting, or whatever your main activity was in your younger years.  I’m starting to give public talks on the same subject.  The title of this blog is: “Reinventing Myself in My Senior Years.”  Keeping with that theme, my public talks are entitled:  “Reinventing Yourself in Your Senior Years.”

News:  Here are my upcoming talks and interviews:
1. Radio Interview: Kim Power Stilson Talk Radio Show, September 5, 2014, 12:00pm (Pacific time), Sirius XM 143 Talk Radio (BYU Radio).
2. Lecture:  “How I Wrote, Edited, Published, and Marketed My Memoir,” September 16, 2014, 9:30am to 11:00am, Savvy Seniors, 200 Civic Center Way, Calabasas, CA 91302, $5 fee and advanced registration required.
3.  Senior Seminar: (My Talk) “Reinventing Yourself in Your Senior Years,” September 19, 2014, 2:00pm to 4:00pm, Kaiser Permanente at Wateridge Office Park-Health Education Department, 5105 W. Goldleaf Circle, Los Angeles, CA 90056, Health Education/Psychiatry Building, NOTE:  Kaiser members only – advanced registration required.

Now, onto my blog:

Humans are social animals.  We have a natural instinct to stay together; we need each other.  Make it work to your advantage.  Figure out how to interact with your fellow beings so that you don’t become upset, agitated, or stressed out.  You can’t change the behavior of others.  You can only change your own behavior.  So, go ahead and change your behavior.

Analyze what you’re doing that causes you to be the loser, the victim, the ostracized one–whatever typically happens to you during many interpersonal encounters.  Try some behavior modification techniques on yourself.  If you have a hard time interacting with people, getting along with others, or making new friends, observe those who do it so easily.  What do they do?  Once you figure that out, start imitating them.  Yes, it will feel artificial at first.  But, it’s like breaking in a pair of new shoes.  Slowly, it will fit.  You’ll start to be comfortable with your new behavior and it will become incorporated into how you act.

You must take action to make your life better.  If you’re passive and just let life happen to you, you take what you get.  To aim your life in the direction you want it to go, you must be proactive.  Go ahead, give it a try.  If it doesn’t work, you can always go back to being passive.

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 blogs, scroll down on this page or click on “Recent Posts” or “Archives” under the Follow button. Please pass my blog along to anyone else who might be interested.

Lee Gale Gruen’s memoir is:  Adventures with Dad: A Father and Daughter’s Journey Through a Senior Acting Class (website: AdventuresWithDadTheBook.com).  It is available on amazon.com.

Advertisements

1 Comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Seek Environments That Calm and Uplift You

Exquisite mobile by Alexander Calder

I went to a wonderful exhibit recently at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art.  I toured the display of Alexander Calder’s airy, magical mobiles and was transported into a fairyland.  For those few moments, I forgot about the crushing heat here in Los Angeles; my personal issues and anxieties; the world and its demands.  I hung out with Calder’s gifts to us all.  The mobiles float, they waver, they tremble–like the fragile human beings we all are.

One had this description written by Jean-Paul Sartre in 1963 after a visit to Calder’s studio: “Although Calder has not sought to imitate anything…his mobiles are at once lyrical inventions, technical, almost mathematical combinations and the tangible symbol of Nature, of that great, vague Nature that squanders pollen and suddenly causes a thousand butterflies to take wing, that Nature of which we shall never know whether it is the blind sequence of causes and effects or the timid, endlessly deferred, rumpled and ruffled unfolding of an Idea.”

Calder, who studied mathematical engineering as a young man, died in 1976.  I was in my thirties then.

The lesson I took away:  enjoy the natural and man-made beauty around you.  It transports you for an instant and enables you to jump off that merry-go-round that is your life and focus on something other than your own, self-involved self.

Final Book CoverMy memoir is: Adventures with Dad: A Father and Daughter’s Journey Through a Senior Acting Class.  It is available on amazon.com.  My book website is: AdventuresWithDadTheBook.com

If you want to be 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 blogs, scroll down on this page or click on “Recent Posts” or “Archives” under the Follow button. Please pass my blog along to anyone else who might be interested.

2 Comments

Filed under Uncategorized

Why Are People So Tough?

DSCN8350

I love animals and have decided to have more contact with horses, those majestic, gentle beasts.  It’s a privilege to be in their company.  Here I am horseback riding.  In my case it’s more like horseback walking, but, hey, I’m up, moving forward and surrounded by nature.  What could be better?

 

NEWS:  I’ll be giving an author talk/book signing for my memoir: Adventures with Dad: A Father and Daughter’s Journey Through a Senior Acting Class this Sunday, July 27, 2014, 12:30pm, at Maria’s Italian Kitchen, 16608 Ventura Blvd, Encino, CA 91436.  Complimentary appetizers and soft drinks/coffee/tea will be served compliments of the restaurant.  They will also give a 10% discount to any diner who has a copy of my book at their table.  Click here on Maria’s Facebook page to read about my book talk:  https://www.facebook.com/events/715944768496077/  I hope to see you there.

Now, onto my blog:

Tough! Strong! Aggressive! Angry!  As a child in junior high school, it was a big deal who was the best at put-downs–verbal violence, kill or be killed.  Where do kids learn that–at home, in the community?  One thought:  sports are games of aggression, even seemingly innocuous ones like board games or chess matches, not only for the players, but also for the spectators.  As we watch, we are whipped (a very aggressive verb) into a frenzy of excitement.  We want to see pain; blood is even better.  Athletes are our avatars.  They do what we can’t do for ourselves: vanquish, destroy, win.

A few weeks ago, I heard a radio report about the running of the bulls in Spain.  It’s a prelude to the bullfights, one of the cruelest of modern-day sports.  I attended a bullfight in Mexico about 40 years ago, not having any idea what I was actually going to see.  Observing the audience was as eye-opening as the bullfight event itself.  Whole families were in the stands from grandparents to toddlers to witness the spectacle.  They had picnic baskets to dine while being entertained by the ceremonious goring of the bull with spears to weaken it for the eventual kill by the matador.

This is just a continuation of the ancient, public gladiator performances where someone’s death was the prize, I thought.

I recently read about the proliferation of elephant poaching to harvest their tusks for the lucrative world market in ivory.  There was a description in the article of a baby elephant that was taken to a village and tied to a post as a toy for the local children to torture.  What is this phenomena all about–teaching children how fun it is to torture a helpless animal, and perhaps by extension another human being?  The old “nature vs. nurture” puzzle still puzzles:  Is cruelty inherent in human nature, or do we teach it?  If the latter is predominant, why?

People don’t have to thrust the bullfighter’s sword to be cruel.  They can do it very subtly.  They can snub others; they can post mean social media comments; they can one-up each other, and on and on.  We think we’re so civilized, sophisticated.  How does aggression and cruelty jibe with that?  Do we get better perks in life being aggressive or cruel?  Are we happier?

If you want to be 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 blogs, scroll down or click on “Recent Posts” or “Archives” under the Follow button.  Please pass my blog along to anyone else who might be interested.

1 Comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Getting Cut from the Lineup

I’ll be one of several storytellers at SHINE Storytelling, April 17, 2014, 7:30pm, 2019 14th St., Santa Monica, CA 90405 ($5 donation at the door) on the theme for the evening: Taking the plunge.  I’ll talk about going from retired probation officer to actress via a senior acting class I took with my 85-year-old father, and overcoming my stage fright in the process. Check out SHINE’S website at: storiesbloom.com/StoriesBloom/SHINE.html.

I’ll also be giving an author talk/book signing at the Savvy Seniors of Calabasas on April 24, 2014, 1:00 to 2:30pm, Calabasas Library, Founders Hall, 200 Civic Center Way, Calabasas, CA 91302 (preregistration and $5 fee required).  As part of my talk, I’ll discuss the process of writing my memoir, editing it, finding a publisher, and promoting it.

Now, onto my blog:  Have you ever been cut out of something you were sure was a shoe-in for you like a job promotion, a relationship, or even an appearance on a TV program as happened to me last week?  As I blogged about last time, I am one of 60 women profiled in Marlo Thomas’ new book: It Ain’t Over…Till It’s Over.  I was contacted a few weeks ago and told I was one of the subjects chosen to be on the Today Show in a video clip in conjunction with Marlo Thomas’ appearance to discuss her book.  I jumped though all the hoops they asked for with a very short deadline.  I taught myself how to make a short, selfie video on my iPhone.  I taught myself how to upload it to a file sharing website as it was too big to email. I searched for some requested photos buried in my desk drawers of myself at my office when I was a probation officer which I then scanned and emailed.  My stress level was way up there as you might imagine.  On the day of the show, I watched only to discover that I had been cut out.  I was very upset as well as embarrassed because I had told everyone I knew that I was going to be on the Today Show; posted it on some online, group discussion sites; and blogged about it right here.  After wallowing in “poor me” for awhile, I was able to put it in perspective and turn it around.  What had I gained?  Well, there was my photo and a lovely story about me tracing my journey from probation officer to actress in Marlo Thomas’ book; I learned how to take a selfie video for when I might need to do it another time; I learned about file sharing websites; and I got a blog subject out of it.  When something like this happens, we have choices.  Of course, we all have to wallow in self-pity for awhile; that’s human nature.  But, wallowing for too long is unproductive and destructive.  We do have choices; we can choose to move on and get over ourselves.  How long it takes is up to us.                                                                                                                          Please forward this blog to others.  To read my previous blogs, scroll down or click on “Recent Posts” and “Archives” on this page.  If you’d like to be on my blog notification list, click here on my book website:  AdventuresWithDadTheBook.com  and leave me a message under the “Contacts & Links” tab.

1 Comment

Filed under Uncategorized

The Fear of Being Alone

Marlo Thomas’ new book entitled:  “It Ain’t Over…Till It’s Over: Reinventing Your Life–and Realizing Your Dreams–Anytime, at Any Age,”  has just been published.  It tells the stories of 60 women who have reinvented their lives, and I’M IN THE BOOK.  A promotional campaign has just been launched, and Marlo Thomas will be interviewed on The Today Show to promote her book.  I will be in a short video clip as part of her interview on the show, and I’ll be telling my story of retiring from my 37-year career as a probation officer and becoming an actress in my senior years.  In Los Angeles, CA, it will air Monday, April 7, 2014 on NBC between 8am and 9am, and again between 10am and 11am.  Check the NBC website for show times in other areas.  Watch it if you can!

Now, onto my blog.  I always used to be so afraid of being alone.  I don’t mean alone for a few hours; I mean alone in life.  That fear seeped into my everyday activities and still influences me.  How many more decades is that going to continue?  I don’t have that many decades left.  I must do something now.  I’m sure some of my poor decisions in a few prior relationships stemmed from that fear–better someone than no one.  How many people remain in bad, destructive marriages, relationships, or friendships because the alternative, being alone and unloved, seems worse?  I did.  I remember in junior high school that if you were seen by classmates outside of school engaged in activities like clothes shopping, going to the movies, etc. by yourself, or worse–with your mother, you’d be considered as someone who didn’t have a pal to go with–a loser.  A friend recently confirmed that she’d had the same fear, and still does.  Now, as a senior, I’ve learned to do many things by myself without a second thought.  However, there are still some activities that I avoid if I don’t have a companion.  I don’t travel alone; I don’t go to a movie alone; I don’t go to a restaurant alone.  I reject those pursuits automatically without consciously thinking about them.  Recently, I wanted to see a movie that all my friends had already seen.  I simply told myself that I’d catch it on Netflix, and I moved on to thinking about something else.  I know a lady who travels all over the world by herself.  I admire her–envy her.  I’d like to be able to do that–just call a travel agent and be done with it.  Even though I’m a personable woman and attract people easily, deep down inside I’m afraid that if I travel alone, no one will talk to me; they’ll look at me with pity or scorn because I don’t have someone to be with.  On a conscious level, I know that’s ridiculous.  On a subconscious level, that old lesson from junior high school still controls me.  I’ve broken so many old bonds and blossomed as a result.  I want to break some others.  How about you?              Please forward this blog to others.  To read my previous blogs, just scroll down or click on the entries under “Recent Posts” and “Archives” on this page.  If you’d like to be on my blog notification email list, click here on my book website: AdventuresWithDadTheBook.com and leave a message under the “Contacts & Links” tab.

1 Comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Ending a Friendship

I appeared on the Film Independent Spirit Awards Show a few weeks ago in a short, comedy video clip playing the mother of the show host, Patton Oswalt.  Click on this link to see it (I’m toward the end): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jGoVtQeUvNw

Now, onto my blog: Have you abruptly terminated a long-time friendship or relationship in sudden anger at something your friend did?  Have you had that done to you as was done to me awhile ago?  I wonder, was the offending behavior really the felony you imagined, or just a misdemeanor?  Maybe your friend unknowingly pushed a button that you’re hardly aware of yourself.  Perhaps the action reminded you of something hurtful that someone else did to you in the past.  However, just because the behavior was similar, were the motives the same?  For example, did your friend stand you up like that other person did because he/she got a better deal, or was it for another reason?  Did he do it with malice, or was it without realization that it would hurt you?   Did you tell him that his behavior was painful to you and give him a second chance?  Or, did you just expect him to read your mind and know?  These are all things we must think about before terminating a long and valuable relationship.  Everyone makes mistakes sometimes (both the dropper and the droppee).  We have to be more forgiving of each other’s mistakes.  On the other hand, if you terminated the friendship because the offense was just one more of a long, established pattern of behavior (or some other motive such as jealousy), then that was a relationship you had been wanting to end but didn’t fully realize it or didn’t know how.  I have described two very different scenarios that resulted in the end of a relationship.  Be careful in ending a worthwhile friendship in anger, because you might be hurting yourself as much as the one you dropped.       NOTE:  Please forward this blog to anyone who might be interested.  To read my previous blogs, click on the entries under “Recent Posts” and “Archives” on the right side of this page.  If you’d like to be notified of my future blog postings, click here on my book website: AdventuresWithDadTheBook.com and leave a message under the “Contacts & Links” tab.

1 Comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Decompressing in a Compression Age

Adv with Dad  Thumbnail IIFirst, before my blog below, I want to tell you that I’m going to be on television tomorrow night, March 1, 10:00PM, IFC cable channel (if I don’t end up on the cutting room floor). I will be in a comedy video clip playing the mother of the host, Patton Oswalt.  I hope you can watch.  Here’s my photo so you’ll know what I look like.

Now, on to my blog:

In my last blog, I wrote about the benefits of solitude.  This post piggybacks on those thoughts.  Life is so tumultuous and becomes more so with each so-called advance.  What looks like something that will benefit mankind often turns out to just put more stress on we humble humans that fill it.  For example, the automobile has proliferated to the point of almost constant gridlock.  Our commute by car now seems as long as by the horse carriage it replaced.  Today’s modern technology makes us more connected, able to work 24/7, able to access more and more data, and on and on.  What happens to our slower evolving bodies in the meantime?  I like the saying, “take care of your body, it’s the only home you have.”  So, what do we do with everything bombarding us for our valuable and finite time and attention.  We decompress!  We must put up a mental gate–a barrier to protect ourselves from the ravages of that bombardment campaign.  It’s hard to do; it takes willpower.  How do we turn off that cell phone, computer, or TV which have become addictive and so much a part of our lives?  Here are a few ideas:  You can make a schedule and allot some quiet time during the day.  You can take a vacation to a place off the grid.  There aren’t many anymore, but seek them out and remember to leave your technology toys behind.  I have a friend who refuses to get a cell phone or computer as she wants to enjoy life without the barrage of technology–smart woman.  Do we really need hundreds of virtual friends on Facebook?  Can we give ourselves permission to stop and smell the proverbial roses?  Maybe.               NOTE:  Please forward this blog to anyone who might be interested.  To read my previous blogs, click on the entries under “Recent Posts” and “Archives” on the right side of this page.  If you’d like to be notified of my future blog postings or contribute a guest blog, you can click here on my book website: AdventuresWithDadTheBook.com and leave a message under the “Contacts & Links” tab.

4 Comments

Filed under Uncategorized