Boomer Man - Over & Out

The term for "used" boomers is "burnout". Recently I came to the realization that I fit the definition. I haven't worked seriously for a couple of years during which time I assisted my late Mother who was slowly succumbing to a series of illnesses. That endeavour taught me the value of how we use the time we have. It wasn't some great epiphany, rather more of a slow simmering of awareness. I won't detail all the machinations of philosophy through which I trod to get there but I got there.

So here I am, Mr. Burnout. Spent my whole adult life working 60, 70, 80 hours per week, no vacations, lots of stress, struggling, neglecting my family (of course it was all for them so they won't mind) . Anyway the point I wish to make is that it seems we use an awful lot of lifespan in the pursuit of making money to buy things to satisfy our wants until the next thing comes along and we need more money to satisfy that new urge, etc. Its only now that I am learning the value of money and its uses. Of course now I don't have any but it doesn't change the lesson. Wise use of time and choosing whats actually important are paramount to a life of wellness.

When I lived in Europe, the UK, Africa, Australia and elsewhere, I watched no television and rarely went to a movie yet had no spare time as I was so busy with social relationships. Friends, co-workers, family, even people I didn't know would meet at a local watering hole or cafe and spend the evening in deep discussion of life, religion, art, politics, and love. We would eat, drink and listen to one another's stories. For daytime fun beyond work we would hike, ski, walk, bicycle, shop, even drop in on a friend, totally unannounced. I realize that it was a different time and place with a different culture but the lesson to be learned from this "foreign" lifestyle is that most societies outside the U.S. probably communicate better than we do despite all our twittering and facebooking. Communication, direct and in person is a valuable asset. You can't buy it, this is a DIY job. Remember this is how you develop friendships and create relationship activities which are essential to your wellness. Having even but one friend with whom you can share and vent is worth more than money in the bank. Its a savings account for your mental well-being. Spend time with friends and family.

This should be followed with the "less is more" - "need versus want" doctrine. These are the rules for spending money. Decide that having less to attend will permit more time and money for other pursuits. Always ask yourself if you really need a purchase or whether you just want it. Buying something you only want is always a temporary reward. Money is for maintaining your health and providing for the basic necessities of daily living. It has no other valuable use. Despite everything money can buy, it cannot buy happiness. Yes I would love to win the lottery or find a treasure and yes I know its a cliche that money isn't everything. But money cannot be one's all consuming pursuit in life. Once you make the commitment to the aforementioned money-rules, its as if someone gave you a double dose of oxygen. As the need to make money declines so will the desire. Wellness follows as you find new, more spiritually rewarding interests.

Whether you have burned out, lost a job, have financial problems or recognize the need to downsize, you may discover a wealth of good living by living more with less. Learning to place importance on reducing your stress and improving your health, interacting with others and finding friendships will serve you far better than money. Wealth and wellness are a proprietary state where you determine what is valuable.


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Comments 11 comments

burning bush profile image

burning bush 5 years ago Author

James, I admit its always easier to give advice than to follow it. It is a job every day to stay "up" but learning to find satisfaction in more ethereal ways can strangely feel pretty good. Same game... just new rules. Take care of yourself and thanks for your commentary.

James A Watkins profile image

James A Watkins 5 years ago from Chicago

Great article. I have learned the very lessons you outline here so well. I was poor most of my life, playing music in a rock band for twenty years. Then I went into business and was blessed to become almost well to do. It all crashed after 14 years—two years ago—and I haven't had a real job since. I just write on HubPages. I lost everything I had. It's OK. Things are a whole lot less stressful now.

fucsia profile image

fucsia 5 years ago

Wise words! thanks...

burning bush profile image

burning bush 5 years ago Author

Thank you scheaden for your kind comment.

scheaden 5 years ago

Beautifully said and it's true.

burning bush profile image

burning bush 5 years ago Author

M Twin, I am happy for your success at overcoming an illness. I am sorry your health had to be the learning experience but now you can look ahead to riches more valuable than money. You take care of yourself... and your other self. :)

Minnetonka Twin profile image

Minnetonka Twin 5 years ago from Minnesota

I really see this after surviving an illness. I didn't and couldn't work for a long time. Now that I can work, I have a much better perspective on what I need and what I want. I look back at how chaotic my life was when I thought I had to work work work. It's like we miss out on life's beauty when we are thinking money and working are something to attain. I have never been happier now that I see things more clearly.

burning bush profile image

burning bush 5 years ago Author

Pearl Diver, I am happy you found the time to be here. It is easy for me to sit and postulate about life blah blah blah, but I sincerely offer these thoughts because things take on an entirely new look when the future gets closer and closer. While not earth-shattering news, it is food for thought. Thanks for listening.

Bobbi, as always you are able to put my random thoughts into an articulate concise message. We do place way too much emphasis on making the goal and not enjoying the play. Fortunately most Americans have never known deprivation. Our parents who went through the depression era are quiet voices today and modern war has not touched our soil. The closest we have come to great loss would be the devastation of hurricanes and earthquakes. Imagine an entire generation of such misery and you can start to understand the importance of family, friends, social awareness and community. Sorry, once I start its hard to stop. Thank you for adding to my rant o' the day.

John P., You are so right but I suppose one could equally say that while youth is wasted on the young, wisdom is wasted on the old. :)

John Paterna 5 years ago

If we could only learn these lessons a lot sooner in life, we'd all be happier and healthy. But as the saying goes: "Youth is wasted on the young." Great Wisdom burning bush!

BobbiRant profile image

BobbiRant 5 years ago from New York

Yes, when we separate the 'needs' from the wants, we narrow down our possessions considerably. We sometimes get to a point where the things own us, not the other way around. When Americans talk of America becoming a Third World country, they mean Any lack of toys means deprivation to a whole generation. Great insight here, great hub.

Pearldiver profile image

Pearldiver 5 years ago from Tomorrow - In Words & NZ Time.

Sorry it's taken me so long to get to read your excellent work, but I have been working long hours too and well, never Made the Time! Well written and gives an accurate account of several of those living phases that we all go through, yet for some reason, don't identify until we Stop and take in the view. Thanks for sharing your talents BB.. Glad you allowed yourself to stop. Take care

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