Tag Archives: successful aging

The Passive-Aggressive Jab

Final Book CoverThis blog is written by Lee Gale Gruen to help Baby Boomers, seniors, retirees, 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, Adventures with Dad: A Father and Daughter’s Journey Through a Senior Acting Class, is available by clicking here Amazon.com. Click here for her website: http://AdventuresWithDadTheBook.com

CHITCHAT:  I will be giving free public lectures on the following dates, times, and locations:

July 19, 2018, 10:30am, “Reinventing Yourself in Your Senior Years,” Covenant Village of the Great Lakes Retirement Community, 2510 Lake Michigan Dr NW, Grand Rapids, MI 49504 (616) 259-0408, www.covenantgreatlakes.org/events(RSVP REQUIRED)

September 9, 2018, 3:15pm, “Reinventing Yourself in Your Retirement,” THRIVE Expo –  sponsored by The Gazette newspaper, Hotel at Kirkwood Center, 7725 Kirkwood Blvd SW, Cedar Rapids, IA 52404 (No RSVP Required)

October 16, 2018, 1:00pm, “Reinventing Yourself in Your Senior Years,” The Holmstad Retirement Community, 700 W. Fabyan Pkwy, Batavia, IL 60510, (630) 239-1133, www.theholmstad.org  (RSVP REQUIRED)

October 17, 2018, 10:30am, “Reinventing Yourself in Your Senior Years,” Windsor Park Retirement Community, 124 Windsor Park Dr, Carol Stream, IL 60188, (331) 218-3637, www.windsorparkillinois.org (RSVP REQUIRED)

October 19, 2018, 10:30am, “Reinventing Yourself in Your Senior Years,” Covenant Village of Northbrook, 2625 Techny Rd, Northbrook, IL 60062, (224) 412-8421, www.covenantnorthbrook.org (RSVP REQUIRED)

Now, on to my blog:

BoxingWhat I’ve termed the “passive-aggressive jab” is definitely a one-two punch thrown when you aren’t looking. It’s that oh-so-subtle put down that you can’t quite define, can’t quite grasp. The PAJ is usually delivered when you’re off-guard, and all of a sudden you sense that everything feels weird.

The jab thrower might be a friend, relative, boss, teacher, co-worker, acquaintance, stranger, or any other relationship description.  He/she might have a pleasant smile on his face during the punch, so you doubt that it was really meant the way it made you feel.  You wonder if you are wrong in your assessment, and you doubt your own sanity.

Am I crazy, or did he just say that?

The puncher’s comment is usually structured so it can be interpreted in different ways.  You wonder what kind of a person are you to attribute it in such a negative manner.  Maybe he meant it in the best possible light, and you’re the creep.

Over time, you begin to notice more such behavior on the part of the jabber. After a while, you begin to suspect that you were right all along. However, any confrontation will yield something like “What are you talking about? That’s not what I meant.”

You have been turned into the bad guy.  He and anyone else he can enlist into his camp look at you askance and defend poor him.

Why do people behave that way?  It doesn’t matter.  If such behavior stokes his ego in some fashion, that is not your problem to figure out or fix.  What is your problem is how to combat such conduct when it’s aimed at you?  It’s hard, but it can be done.

First, you have to realize that you’ve been the victim of the passive-aggressive jab.  Next, you have to swerve to avoid it, just like the boxer does to deflect the hit.  In this  case, it’s an emotional swerve.  Here are some countermeasures you might employ:

1. Refuse to engage!

2. Don’t respond, even when you suspect that a grenade has just landed at your feet.

3. Resist retaliating in kind; that only becomes a pissing match of put-downs.

4. Stare him down.

5. Wait for an opportune moment where you can whisper privately to him, “I’m not playing that game.”

6. Take your leave, either physically or emotionally.

7. Socialize with others present and avoid your attacker.

8. Maintain self-control.

Remember not to try to reason with him. That’s what he wants so he can make himself look like an innocent.  Instead, try some of the above suggested techniques.  If one doesn’t cut it, try another.  Create some of your own.  Make them work for you.

***

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: maxintosh on Visualhunt.com / CC BY

 

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Filed under active seniors, Baby boomers, gerontology, healthy aging, longevity, reinvention, retirement, senior citizens, seniors, successful aging, wellness

The Big Reveal

Final Book CoverThis blog is written by Lee Gale Gruen to help Baby Boomers, seniors, retirees, 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, Adventures with Dad: A Father and Daughter’s Journey Through a Senior Acting Class, is available by clicking here Amazon.com. Click here for her website: http://AdventuresWithDadTheBook.com

CHITCHAT:  I will be giving free public lectures on the following dates, times, and locations:

July 19, 2018, 10:30am, “Reinventing Yourself in Your Senior Years,” Covenant Village of the Great Lakes Retirement Community, 2510 Lake Michigan Dr NW, Grand Rapids, MI 49504 (616) 259-0408, www.covenantgreatlakes.org/events (RSVP REQUIRED)

September 9, 2018, 3:15pm, “Reinventing Yourself in Your Retirement,” THRIVE Expo –  sponsored by The Gazette newspaper, Hotel at Kirkwood Center, 7725 Kirkwood Blvd SW, Cedar Rapids, IA 52404 (No RSVP Required)

October 16, 2018, 1:00pm, “Reinventing Yourself in Your Senior Years,” The Holmstad Retirement Community, 700 W. Fabyan Pkwy, Batavia, IL 60510, (630) 239-1133, www.theholmstad.org  (RSVP REQUIRED)

October 17, 2018, 10:30am, “Reinventing Yourself in Your Senior Years,” Windsor Park Retirement Community, 124 Windsor Park Dr, Carol Stream, IL 60188, (331) 218-3637, www.windsorparkillinois.org (RSVP REQUIRED)

October 19, 2018, 10:30am, “Reinventing Yourself in Your Senior Years,” Covenant Village of Northbrook, 2625 Techny Rd, Northbrook, IL 60062, (224) 412-8421, www.covenantnorthbrook.org (RSVP REQUIRED)

Now, on to my blog:

Before & AfterWe all want to put our proverbial best foot forward when trying to attract a mate (or even friends).  In this highly competitive endeavor, many hedge their truths, puffing up their more desirable accomplishments or traits and downplaying the not-so-flattering aspects. After all, we don’t want to drive someone away before they even get a chance to learn to adore wonderful us.

The grumpy, negative person plasters on a happy face.  The older person chops a few years off their age.  The not quite-wealthy enough person adds a zero or two to their net worth, presenting his/her Mercedes as paid in full when it is really leased.  The not-quite-educated-enough person adds a degree or two.  Makeup, hair dye, clothing, and surgical enhancements all play their part to this end.  But, what happens when the sucker—ah, potential mate, learns the truth?

In lock step with the above overt deceptions are the covert deceptions.  These take the form of “failing to mention.”  If you murdered your mother and just got out of prison, don’t mention it and the sucker—ah, potential mate will never be the wiser, at least not in the beginning.

Many practitioners of the aforementioned arts eventually are forced into “the big reveal.”  After the sucker—ah, potential mate is hooked and “in love,” a circumstance may occur where the hidden fact seeps out.  It could be something like guilt which propels the blurted-out truth, or a situation where the practitioner is caught not knowing something he/she should in his/her purported position.

I remember many years ago where a co-worker told everyone that she had a PhD in Anthropology.  Everyone believed her; after all, who would lie about a thing like that?  One day, the subject of Anthropologist Louis Leakey of Olduvai Gorge fame was the topic of conversation in the coffee room.  Our resident Anthropology PhD didn’t know who he was, information that every student of that discipline learns in Anthropology 101.  Well, that started the entire staff questioning anything she had ever claimed about herself, a despicable situation to be in.

What happens when you and (fill in the blank) are married or at least have been significant others for years, and your secret comes out.  I know someone who was not quite as divorced as she had claimed to her live-in boyfriend of many years.  She was outed by a casual remark from a guest at a party they attended.  Their relationship began to unravel from there.

What about the stark check boxes on your online dating profile.  In this age of connection via internet, you only have a photo and some brief text to catch your fish.  It’s almost a given that years are shaved off ages, photos are out-of-date, and other data is well tweaked.  There are even professional profile writers you can hire to help put that aforementioned best foot forward.

Eventually that shaving, tweaking, and other manners of deception will have its way.  It may take years, but it will.  I have one friend who did her “big reveal” of lying about her age after a few dates with a man she had met online.  He became very angry and walked out in a huff complete with swirling dust clouds.  This same friend subsequently met another man online, again lied about her age, eventually did the “big reveal,” and he didn’t care.  They are now happily living together.

So, there you go.  The big reveal can be malignant or benign.  Ya pays yer money and ya takes yer chances.

 ***

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 #2 credit: susan402 via VisualHunt.com /  CC BY-SA

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Filed under active seniors, Baby boomers, gerontology, healthy aging, longevity, reinvention, retirement, senior citizens, seniors, successful aging, wellness

Lying as a Lifestyle

Final Book CoverThis blog is written by Lee Gale Gruen to help Baby Boomers, seniors, retirees, 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, Adventures with Dad: A Father and Daughter’s Journey Through a Senior Acting Class, is available by clicking here Amazon.com. Click here for her website: http://AdventuresWithDadTheBook.com

CHITCHAT:  I will be giving free public lectures titled: “Reinventing Yourself in Your Senior Years” on the following dates, times, and locations (RSVP REQUIRED):

July 19, 2018, 10:30am, Covenant Village of the Great Lakes Retirement Community, 2510 Lake Michigan Dr NW, Grand Rapids, MI 49504 (616) 259-0408, www.covenantgreatlakes.org/events

October 16, 2018, 1:00pm, The Holmstad Retirement Community, 700 W. Fabyan Pkwy, Batavia, IL 60510, (630) 239-1133,  www.theholmstad.org

October 17, 2018, 10:30am, Windsor Park Retirement Community, 124 Windsor Park Dr, Carol Stream, IL 60188, (331) 218-3637, www.windsorparkillinois.org

October 19, 2018, 10:30am, Covenant Village of Northbrook, 2625 Techny Rd, Northbrook, IL 60062, (224) 412-8421, www.covenantnorthbrook.org

Now, on to my blog:

Pinocchio NoseI guess we’ve all told lies of one sort or another, little white lies and not so little white lies. We have different motives for doing so: to keep our personal information private, to keep from hurting another person’s feelings, because we’re worried about the reaction of others, and so on. The right or wrong of such behavior is a matter of degree for each individual.

Some feel that telling little white lies to save the feelings of another is just a kindness. Pushing the envelope in how they present themselves, other folks might feel, is justified as it’s nobody else’s business. But, how about when lying becomes a lifestyle.

There are some people who lie about so many things just because they can. When found out, others wonder “why” since it seems so petty and unnecessary. For people engaged in such a lifestyle practice, lying feeds upon itself and becomes pathological. They lie to always put themselves in the most favorable light at any given moment. However, what they fail to understand is that once branded a liar, they remain forever in an unfavorable light.

Then there are those who deliberately withhold significant information under the guise of, “well, I didn’t lie.”  I’ve had that experience a few times in my life with significant others who failed to mention very compelling facts about themselves and kept that deception going for years until I finally found out or they admitted it to me.  Yes, it was information that might have defeated the relationship from the beginning, so I guess they sensed that and kept their secret so I wouldn’t walk away.  It just seems to me that that is no way to have a friendship or relationship–based on falsehoods.  Yet, that behavior goes on with so many.  I wonder if the perpetrators are really content or satisfied with what they have sown.

The trouble with lies is that you have to remember them and keep feeding them. To the practitioner, it must become an exhausting endeavor, like the juggler spinning plates on a stick, running from one end of the line to the other to stoke each twirling disc as it begins to slow down and threatens to crash. What an unenviable position. Consider carefully the consequences before telling a lie. Is it really worth it?

***

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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Filed under active seniors, Baby boomers, gerontology, health and wellness, healthy aging, longevity, reinvention, retirement, seniors, successful aging, wellness

Tone It Down

Final Book CoverThis blog is written by Lee Gale Gruen to help Baby Boomers, seniors, retirees, and those soon to retire find joy, excitement, and satisfaction in life after they retire. Her public lecture on this subject is titled: “Reinventing Yourself in Your Retirement.” Her memoir, Adventures with Dad: A Father and Daughter’s Journey Through a Senior Acting Class, is available by clicking here Amazon.com. Click here for her website: http://AdventuresWithDadTheBook.com

CHITCHAT:  I will be giving free public lectures titled: “Reinventing Yourself in Your Senior Years” on the following dates, times, and locations (RSVP REQUIRED):

July 19, 2018, 10:30am, Covenant Village of the Great Lakes Retirement Community, 2510 Lake Michigan Dr NW, Grand Rapids, MI 49504 (616) 259-0408, www.covenantgreatlakes.org/events

October 16, 2018, 1:00pm, The Holmstad Retirement Community, 700 W. Fabyan Pkwy, Batavia, IL 60510, (630) 239-1133,  www.theholmstad.org

October 17, 2018, 10:30am, Windsor Park Retirement Community, 124 Windsor Park Dr, Carol Stream, IL 60188, (331) 218-3637, www.windsorparkillinois.org

October 19, 2018, 10:30am, Covenant Village of Northbrook, 2625 Techny Rd, Northbrook, IL 60062, (224) 412-8421, www.covenantnorthbrook.org

Now, on to my blog:

Blowing animal hornWhy do some people feel that it is their place to tell others how to behave? I can understand if the person is in a position where that is expected such as a teacher, employer, parent, etc.  But, what about when the teller is simply a peer who has decided to take on that role?

I had an experience not too long ago where I was on a tour of an historical house with other people from a group I belong to. At one point, the entire group was crowded into the bathroom while the docent discussed  various features. When I noticed an odd looking metal tank over the bathtub, I put my fingertip on it and asked the docent, “What’s this?”

One member of the group who I barely knew stated in a loud, scolding voice, “Don’t touch that; that’s an antique!” Her manner and resonant baritone caused everyone  in the group, about twenty people, to turn around and stare at the miscreant–me.

Technically, she was correct. I should not have touched it. I did so without even thinking.  However, this woman’s delivery and self-appointed authoritarianism was completely out of line. She treated me as though I were a misbehaved child.

What she might have done was take me aside privately after the fact and mention in a calm, nonjudgmental voice that it is not advisable to touch antiques as the oil from skin can be harmful to them. If someone behaves that way toward you, you might take them aside and in a calm, nonjudgmental voice, notify them that you are not interested in their unsolicited opinion of your behavior.

If you position yourself as an uninvited judge of your peers, tone it down a notch or ten. No one is interested in being judged or dominated by you. If you find yourself being ostracized by others, and you have no idea why, perhaps that is the reason. How would you like it if somebody behaved that way toward you?

 ***

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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Keep Your Promises

Final Book CoverThis blog is written by Lee Gale Gruen to help Baby Boomers, seniors, retirees, 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, Adventures with Dad: A Father and Daughter’s Journey Through a Senior Acting Class, is available by clicking here Amazon.com. Click here for her website:  http://AdventuresWithDadTheBook.com

CHITCHAT:  I will be giving free public lectures titled: “Reinventing Yourself in Your Senior Years” on the following dates, times, and locations (RSVP REQUIRED):

July 19, 2018, 10:30am, Covenant Village of the Great Lakes Retirement Community, 2510 Lake Michigan Dr NW, Grand Rapids, MI 49504 (616) 259-0408, www.covenantgreatlakes.org/events

October 16, 2018, 1:00pm, The Holmstad Retirement Community, 700 W. Fabyan Pkwy, Batavia, IL 60510, (630) 239-1133,  www.theholmstad.org

October 17, 2018, 10:30am, Windsor Park Retirement Community, 124 Windsor Park Dr, Carol Stream, IL 60188, (331) 218-3637, www.windsorparkillinois.org

October 19, 2018, 10:30am, Covenant Village of Northbrook, 2625 Techny Rd, Northbrook, IL 60062, (224) 412-8421, www.covenantnorthbrook.org

website: http://AdventuresWithDadTheBook.com

Now, on to my blog:

OathWhen we make a promise, it’s a commitment to do what we pledged we would do. It can be something as simple as meeting someone at a specific time and date, or something as large as paying for someone’s college education.

Because promises historically have been misunderstood or deliberately rescinded, society has created oath taking.  In America, this usually involves raising your right hand and swearing, often on a revered object or person, to keep a promise be it telling the truth, fighting for your county, etc.

Going further to insure keeping promises, the law created an instrument called a contract. Often, when we enter the complex and important promise relationship, we sign a contract binding us to follow through on what we promised. If it doesn’t go smoothly according to the plan, we have courts of law with judges who will hear evidence and decide on how the promise should be interpreted and what each party is obligated to do.

In our private lives, we don’t have courts of law to force us to fulfill our promises, we only have our word.  Others to whom we have made promises, depend on them and might even make life altering plans according to the terms of our promise.

Are you a person who follows through with your promises, or are you one whose pattern is to break your promises when you want to manipulate the situation, when you get angry, when you’re not in the mood, or for a myriad of other reasons that suit you at the moment?  If you fall into the former category, those in your life most likely trust you and value their relationship with you. If, instead, the latter classification describes you, those in your life probably don’t trust you and avoid ever depending upon you or making promises themselves that you might depend on. Worse yet, they might break promises made to you without a second thought as that has become the established modus operandi of your relationship.

Being pegged as one who can’t be depended upon to keep your promises, you isolate yourself to a lonely cave.  So, if you have no clue as to why people in your life have withdrawn from you, take a look at your own behavior and see if part of it involves failing to keep your promises.

 ***

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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Retire Toward Something

Final Book CoverThis blog is written by Lee Gale Gruen to help Baby Boomers, seniors, retirees, and those soon to retire find joy, excitement, and satisfaction in life after they retire. Her public lecture on this subject is titled: “Reinventing Yourself in Your Retirement.” Her memoir, Adventures with Dad: A Father and Daughter’s Journey Through a Senior Acting Class, is available by clicking here Amazon.com. Click here for her website: http://AdventuresWithDadTheBook.com

CHITCHAT:  I will be giving free public lectures titled: “Reinventing Yourself in Your Senior Years” on the following dates, times, and locations (RSVP REQUIRED):

July 19, 2018, 10:30am, Covenant Village of the Great Lakes Retirement Community, 2510 Lake Michigan Dr NW, Grand Rapids, MI 49504 (616) 259-0408, www.covenantgreatlakes.org/events

October 16, 2018, 1:00pm, The Holmstad Retirement Community, 700 W. Fabyan Pkwy, Batavia, IL 60510, (630) 239-1133,  www.theholmstad.org

October 17, 2018, 10:30am, Windsor Park Retirement Community, 124 Windsor Park Dr, Carol Stream, IL 60188, (331) 218-3637, www.windsorparkillinois.org

October 19, 2018, 10:30am, Covenant Village of Northbrook, 2625 Techny Rd, Northbrook, IL 60062, (224) 412-8421, www.covenantnorthbrook.org

Now, on to my blog:

Retirement SignToday, I have a guest blogger, C. Hope Clark, an award-winning writer of two mystery series (Carolina Slade and the Edisto Island mysteries). She speaks to conferences, libraries, and book clubs across the country, is a regular podcaster for Writer’s Digest, and is also the founder of  FundsforWriters.com, an award-winning site and newsletter service for writers. www.chopeclark.com  To read the Featured Article I wrote and she published in her newsletter four years ago, click here: Promoting Your Book. I find Hope’s thoughts enlightening.  Here is her post:

Retire Toward Something

When I was administrative director of a federal agency in South Carolina, one of my departments was Human Resources. We employed between 200-300 people, and I could at any time tell you who was eligible for retirement. Each and every time one approached me to talk about putting in their papers, I asked, “Why are you retiring?”

“I’m tired of this job.”
“I just don’t find the get-up-and-go in me anymore.”
“So I can sleep as late as I want.”
“To fish.”

When the answers appeared vague, I would show my concern. “Don’t you have plans for all that spare time you’ll have on your hands?”

Most said they wanted no plans. Only a handful had orchestrated a new direction for their next life. The ones without direction usually aged the fastest.  It pained me to hear of someone’s demise within a year of leaving us. Every one of those I heard of, had no plan.

I called it retiring to rot.

It’s a pipe dream to think we want limitless free time without obligation. Human beings need missions. Those missions don’t have to be corporate-level strategies. They can be goals like:

“Traveling to 40 states in three years.”
“Writing a novel and getting it published in two years.”
“Going back to school for a degree in ____.”
“Opening a small business.”
“Building a house.”
“Volunteering for charity.”
“Running for office.”

I also call it retiring TO something instead of running FROM their work. The same goes for anyone who quits a job. They might not like the employer, but without someplace to land when they take the leap, they often crash. Freedom doesn’t mean just sitting around. Freedom means freedom to pursue other interests.

Of course, if you don’t like your choice, you can change direction. You are free to morph as you please. What’s important is that you not feel lost, only eager to try novel ventures.

I worked 25 years with the federal government, but because I was writing on the side, and thoroughly in love with it, I took an early retirement at age 46. I was also royally fed up with the bureaucracy and politics, but I refused to leave until I had my ducks in a row to leave FOR fresh purpose.

On that last day the technician on my staff, who also served as my secretary, walked me to the parking lot, helping me carry boxes. I was touched at the tears in her eyes.

“You let them get the best of you,” she said.
“Honey,” I said. “Don’t you see that I’m the winner here?”

She was so ingrained with the concept you worked until you were spent and in your sixties, that she thought I’d lost some sort of competition. Instead, there I was, walking on air, while she interpreted it as walking away. I recognized the open door of opportunity and ran through. I’ve been writing full-time for 15 years now and have never regretted one single day.

The freedom was exhilarating and dizzying, but I moved forward with a freelance career, writing for magazines and online, with goals. I started a newsletter for writers about paths for writing income and morphed into a website owner and editor.

I escorted a published author to a book signing at the request of a local bookstore, and the author asked what I wrote. I replied I did commercial freelance work and ran a website, and she prompted me to return to a novel I put on the shelf four years earlier. While dusting it off was painful and the rewrite intensely time consuming, I vowed to make it worth publication.

After 72 queries to literary agents, I landed one. Eighteen months later, I had a publishing contract. Today, I’ve published two nonfiction books and eight mysteries and won a handful of awards. Writer’s Digest hires me to do webinars for them. Conferences, libraries, and book clubs invite me to speak, teach, and sign books. I’ve had a close call for a cable television series, but my second agent isn’t giving up the effort to make that happen.

No, I didn’t have an English degree or journalism training. My degree was in agriculture. I just loved to write and decided that the second half of my life would be utilized pursuing what I enjoy. The key word there is pursuing, not waiting for life to drop opportunity in my lap. The waiting is what kills us early.

Reasons why we retire TO something rather than run AWAY from something are these:

  • The idea of a mission keeps us physically and mentally more active. Want to stave off Alzheimer’s? Stay busy.
  • Pursuing a dream you’ve delayed can rejuvenate you and lengthen your lifespan. Positivity and purpose matter when it comes to health.
  • Leave to enjoy achievement in a fresh direction. Show you have much to offer the world.
  • To set an example to your children, and their children. Regardless your age, family is watching. Those coming up behind you are taking notes on how they want to spend the rest of their lives.

Decide what would make you feel whole and happy and strike out toward it. Only then do you leave something else behind. With all that energy and enthusiasm of using freedom as you’d like, on your terms, you’ll find you’ve never felt more motivated in your life.

Hope Clark Photo

C. Hope Clark’s newest book is Newberry Sin Beneath an idyllic veneer of Southern country charm, the town of Newberry hides secrets that may have led to murder.   https://www.amazon.com/ gp/product/B07BYD5T4P/

When a local landowner’s body, with pants down, is found near Tarleton’s Tea Table Rock—a notorious rendezvous spot, federal investigator Carolina Slade senses a chance to get back into the field again. Just as she discovers what might be a nasty pattern of fraud and blackmail, her petty boss reassigns her fledgling case to her close friend and least qualified person in their office. Forced to coach an investigation from the sidelines, Slade struggles with the twin demons of professional jealousy and unplanned pregnancy. Something is rotten in Newberry. Her personal life is spiraling out of control. She can’t protect her co-worker. And Wayne Largo complicates everything when the feds step in after it becomes clear that Slade is right. One wrong move, and Slade may lose everything. Yet it’s practically out of her hands… unless she finds a way to take this case back without getting killed.

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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.

Second Photo (modified by user) credit: ota_photos on Visual hunt / CC BY-SA

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Filed under active seniors, Baby boomers, gerontology, health and wellness, healthy aging, longevity, reinvention, retirement, seniors, successful aging, wellness

My Body Won’t Cooperate with My Lifestyle

This blog is written by Lee Gale Gruen to help Baby Boomers, seniors, retirees, 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

CHITCHAT:  I will be giving free public lectures titled: “Reinventing Yourself in Your Senior Years” on the following dates, times, and locations (RSVP REQUIRED):

July 19, 2018, 10:30am, Covenant Village of the Great Lakes Retirement Community, 2510 Lake Michigan Dr NW, Grand Rapids, MI 49504 (616) 259-0408, www.covenantgreatlakes.org/events

October 16, 2018, 1:00pm, The Holmstad Retirement Community, 700 W. Fabyan Pkwy, Batavia, IL 60510, (630) 239-1133,  www.theholmstad.org

October 17, 2018, 10:30am, Windsor Park Retirement Community, 124 Windsor Park Dr, Carol Stream, IL 60188, (331) 218-3637, www.windsorparkillinois.org

October 19, 2018, 10:30am, Covenant Village of Northbrook, 2625 Techny Rd, Northbrook, IL 60062, (224) 412-8421, www.covenantnorthbrook.org

Now, on to my blog:

Dog under print blanket

My body is getting more and more uncooperative as it and I grow older together.  Where is that gal who could ski all day and boogie into the night?  Where is that woman who could travel the world, exploring other cultures from early morning to late in the evening?  Where is that multitasking me who could work full time, raise children, run a household, and still squeeze in friends and fun–all at the same time?

These days, corpus meum seems to have a mind of its own independent of my thoughts and desires.  Regardless of what I direct it to do, it does its own thing.  It has cramped my style more than once.  It’s so hard to accept that I’m no longer in control; I want a divorce!  I’ll find a new body that is much more in sync with how I envision myself.

I’m in pretty good health, but small, irritating things are happening to my body.  When I finally accept and cope with one, another springs up.  When I think I’ve got everything pretty much under control, MB morphs and “wham,” it’s another change I have to incorporate.

Friends and acquaintances tell me the same thing is happening to them.  What to do, what to do?  Well, we can try railing to the wind and lamenting our lot.  Dumping on anyone who will listen is another possibility.  Hunkering down with the covers over our head is a third way to go.  Unfortunately, those options only waste time and put off the inevitable of accepting and becoming comfortable with the new you.

New You doesn’t have the energy level that Old You had.  NY gets tired more easily.  NY doesn’t bounce back so fast from illnesses, upsets, or just about anything else that comes your way.  NY can become a true PIA (pain in the ass).  Nevertheless, NY is all you have, and you can’t go back to OY no matter how much you wish it, how much you try, how much you rail.

So, you have two choices: accept NY, come to terms with your aging body, and embrace all the things you can still do, or reject NY and be miserable.  And remember, if you opt for the latter, you can always segue into the former.

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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: Eric.Ray via Visualhunt /  CC BY

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Filed under active seniors, Baby boomers, gerontology, health and wellness, healthy aging, longevity, reinvention, retirement, seniors, successful aging, wellness