- Aging & Longevity
Boomers Earnestly Ask What Is Next In Their Lives
Some of us are either nearing or have just reached the big 6-0! You are now wondering if you liked your life thus far. Well, you are happy with your life choices so far? Well, are you? Did you set out to accomplish what you have visualized doing? Or yet, did you fall short of achieving your dreams and accomplishments?
As children, we believed that life would go on forever. We were quite content in our unique universe. The future was so far off, we were just happy playing in the backyard, looking at television shows such as THE LUCY SHOW, BEWITCHED, MY THREE SONS, and MIGHTY MOUSE. Oh, how simple childhood and .....well, life were at that time. Our main concerns at the time were attending school, making good marks, and making our parents happy. Everything was supplied to us and all we had to was concentrate on studying, playing, and just being a child!
We were told by our parents and teachers to the best at whatever we wanted to be. We are also told to do our best in school because that meant a bright future in terms of college and career. In the 1960s, society was changing. Avenues were being opened that were not previously opened. The world was changing!
The future and the world was ours for the taking. The future, in our eyes, looked very bright. Naturally, we were full of exuberance and believed that there was nothing that we could not do and/or achieve. We were very optimistic that we would achieve what we were intent on achieving and/or die trying!
As adolescents, we thought that we knew it all. We believed that no one, especially parents and/or other adult authority figures, could tell us anything. We viewed our parents and other adults as quite stodgy and totally out of it. We knew that we were the future while they were definitely rooted in the past. We loved Frank Zappa, The Temptations, and The Rascals while they adored Frank Sinatra, Peggy Lee, and Della Reese. To our parents, we were from another albeit strange planet and vice versa. Yes, there was a generation gap to be sure. We did not understand our parents and our parents definitely could not comprehend us in the least!
We were thirsty for experiences. The world was changing at a faster pace than usual. There was dissention over the Vietnam War. Many of us protested the inanity and injustice of the war. We wondered why? We saw the injustices of America and wanted to change the society for the better. Many of us saw the hypocrisy in our parents' values and mores. We also felt that their beliefs were totally passe.
Hello, young adulthood. It was time to enter the real world of work. What an exhilaration and a shocker. Now, things were not what they seemed. Even though we were idealistic, we became more realistic as time progressed. It was now time to think about finding and advancing in a career. Perhaps, choosing a more realistic area of study pertaining to the career in question.
Despite of getting down to brass tactics, young adulthood for us was more leisurely than it was for our parents. No longer did one had to marry as soon as one reaches young adulthood. There were more lifestyle options available. We discovered ourselves so to speak. We concentrated on our careers, self-discovery, and/or relationships.
Some of us had great jobs/careers initially while quite a few of us had less than desirable beginnings but explored options until we had the jobs/careers of our choice. We were becoming those dreaded words..................responsible grown ups. Yes, we eventually become more committal in terms of lifestyles and/or relationships. Quite a few of us even got married and had children.
Yes, we were grown ups but we vowed never to lose touch with our youthful exuberance. We will always remember what we once and intend to keep that magic! We may be fully adults but that does not mean that we will become Mr./Mrs./Ms. Graypants, never! Come on, now people, please!
Middle age! What do you mean middle age exactly and by whose standards? Yes, we were becoming middle aged. Unlike our parents who viewed middle age as the last go around in youth, we viewed middle age as an evolutionary phase. We were quite happy and content with our supposed middle age. Many of us were absolutely thriving in our careers and lives.
We were not desperate middle age people. Au contraire, we were exploring life in all its juicy options. Remember when we were children and considered the world to be our oyster. Well, we had the very same attitude, except now we are quite a bit older now. There were so many venues and options to taste, savor, and explore! We were not about to settle down, no way! Life is for the living anyway. Middle age- doesn't mean a thing to us! We still got that groove!
Oh no, now here were those dreaded words which let one knew that he/she was middle age-ma'am, sir, and/or mister. Where did those words word came from? A young, baby-faced person looked at you quite deferentially. He/she said that word and you looked around, wondering who was he/she talking to. You claimed that you were certainly not a ma'am, sir, and/or mister. No way in the tenth circle of hell!
You suddenly looked around and realize that everyone was younger than you. Then it hit you- you graduated into being THAT age. Well, welcome to the second exciting phase of life- you have approached that particular stage of life. middle age.
More wonderous news hit us! Our bodies were starting to fail us. We started to have aches and other mishaps which never occurred before. Some of us had natural global warming so to speak. Many of our bodies changed like the weather. Surprises to the multillionth degree- we never knew what hit us!
Now, there was the generation gap in reverse. Yes, teenage and young adult children could be so..........well, incomprehensible at times! They were now looking at us quite bewildered- the way we looked at our parents. Egad, the music our children were listening to........well, could be quite indescribable! Rap, hip hop- would you please explain it to me! Help!!!!!!!!!!!!
We could never understand some of the ways our children dressed! What were they wearing and what planet were they from? Deja vu, folks, remember something? Something a long time ago? Egad, we were turning into ..................our parents! Oh no a million times!
There were our parents. They were either old or becoming old. Some of them needed us to be the parent. They seemed so tiny and fragile. Their age started to remind us of their impending mortality. If we did not make amend, we realized that we had to start doing so before it became too late to do so. We also begun to understand and appreciate our parents much more than before.
Now we are older. Yes, it is inevitable, isn't it? Most of our children are either in their late teens, young adults in college, and adults who have left home to establish their own lives. Many of us are at the top of our jobs/careers. Some of us have retired, been retired either voluntarily or otherwise, and/or near retirement.
Those who have retired who either content with their situation or looking to establish second careers. We do not intend to stop until WE wish to do, not earlier! If we do not wish to work at another job, we are establishing our own business and/or doing some type of creative work! We do not see retirement as a pretext to stop being useful. We intend to be useful-yes, be useful or die!
Many of our parents are dying. That is sad. We are becoming no one's children. With many of our parents dead, we are slowly becoming the standard bearers. It is quite shocking to believe that many of our parents are no more. However, that is a part of life. They have imparted their lessons to us. They have lived and now have moved on into another form and reality.
Now there are visitors. Yes, visitors such as arthritis, sciatica, and other pains and bodily shortcomings. Of course, we alleviate these ailments either holostically or traditionally. We refuse to let pain deter us from living/enjoying a full and fruitful life. Pain, so what, let us proceed and move on please!
In conclusion, yes, we are getting older. However, we are still full of exuberance regarding life. We adamantly refuse to settle down. The concept of settling down is not in our vocabulary. We will continue to groove and intend to do so until we pass on from this earth! A suggestion: put on a fuschia bikini or a light blue speedo, put on some Rolling Stones, Martha and the Vandellas, and Mitch Ryder and the Detroit Wheels and start frantically jamming! So what if your children look at you, wondering if you have completely lost your mind. Just dance like it is 1966- move to the music and go into out of space! Peace, brothers and sisters and always groove on!