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Boomer's Lament

Updated on September 18, 2012

Retirement Today

I am at the crossroads of where family guy-bread winner-giver meets me, me, me. As I begin to see the future no longer as an infinite but rather a finite, there is a new sense growing within to make the most of this finite future by pursuing a far more self-indulgent course. While not really comfortable with this new awareness, I try to convince myself it's a good thing.

Being selfish or at least putting myself first has not been my mantra since leaving teenager-hood. While one normally wouldn't argue that one's time on the planet is limited and even though we all like to say "live for today", the truth is that, at least for me, its hard to really believe that I am going anywhere otherworldly. In fact I may decide not to go. Why should I? If I choose the infinite future, I won't need to complete a bucket-list and I won't feel compelled to take advantage of every moment in fear of there being no more to come.

On the other hand, if we live life as if there is no tomorrow, will our life not be more fulfilled? To me, this is the boomer's lament. As the baby-boomer generation nears seniority we all must decide how to spend the remainder of our time. Admittedly, we probably can't choose to go or not, but we do have some choice in how we get to that point.

If 50 is the new 40 and 65 is the new 50 etc. etc., there is a lot of stuff we boomers can do. Most of us have likely lived an adventure or two and shared more than one story which we wouldn't want passed down. These escapades and lifestyles have made boomers the youngest people ever to become seniors. Unfortunately, more lamenting... we lived longer, played harder, and "just did it" until we ran out of money, not strength. Now we are of the age when we can be me,me,me again but have neither the money nor the will to take advantage of it.

Obviously there are some who have the will, strength, and bank account to support a super-duper "retirement", but for the rest of us, we must decide how to live long and prosper without the benefit of knowing anyone who has gone there before.

To sum it all up, do we continue a life of family and giving or live for ourselves like there is no tomorrow or try to find some compromise which doesn't satisfy either desire? AND how do we keep going without any means or do we spend our time working to earn money to keep working to earn money until our time comes. Boomer's lament.


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  • burning bush profile image

    burning bush 7 years ago

    Kathy, I would definitely consider you a boomer. You have a very realistic outlook on life and who can really say what is right or wrong as to our mode of living. I think its great that you are reliving your dream. Whatever one's philoshophy or circumstance, you need goals and activities to keep you "alive". Admittedly its often difficult to practice what we preach. Anyway good for you and thanks for sharing.

  • Kathy Green profile image

    Kathy Green 7 years ago from Middle Tn

    I missed being a boomer by one year - born in 1945, you do the math. :-) I still feel like that 25 year old woman trapped in a wrinkled body. Lamenting in not in my vocabulary tho. I, too, have had ups & downs, bumps and crashes and more than one restart but my philosophy has always been, "no matter what happens,good or bad we need to learn something from it". I still have lots of energy, good health, no money (but what the heck),a part-time job I like and am starting a new venture at 65. I'm reliving a dream that crashed due to circumstances beyond my control. I'm starting a small nursery business again. Leveled the pad for the greenhouse today! I probably don't live each day as if it were my last but I usually go to bed happy and wake up looking forward to what God will send my way.

  • Lamme profile image

    Lamme 7 years ago

    The nagging doubts of so many boomers. I just keep moving forward each day hoping I've made the right choices. Thanks for the thought provoking hub.

  • ethel smith profile image

    Eileen Kersey 7 years ago from Kingston-Upon-Hull

    Oh I know so much what you mean. Strive for a happy balance.

  • saddlerider1 profile image

    saddlerider1 7 years ago

    Burning I read your profile and I followed a similar path of success and failures along the way, and I think many boomers out here will share the same thoughts. However I have always been a fighter and a doer all my life and this older warrior is not quite ready to close the barn doors.

    I agree totally here with your Boomers Lament and plan on keep doing and doing until my health does not allow me to do anymore. At this moment in time I am in good health and I hope to continue to live my life every remaining day of my life.

    Age is just a number as you described, I feel young and act young and fortunately with a lot more maturity and experiences to share with everyone who I come into contact with. Thank you for following me as I will you. Keep hubbing and be a booming boomer, keep your sense of humor and living will be a lot more easier. Peace my friend.

  • Joni Douglas profile image

    Joni Douglas 7 years ago

    your rants as you describe them are thought provoking. To lament maybe a waste but to take stock certainly isn't.

    Great hub.

  • burning bush profile image

    burning bush 7 years ago

    Peggy - I recently lost my parents too. That loss along with the passing of friends was likely the catalyst for my current "state of mind". You are absolutely right how it changes your perspective and priorities. Its a shame, at least for me, that its has taken so long to learn what is really important. Thank you for your kind commentary and for reading my rants.:)

  • Peggy W profile image

    Peggy Woods 7 years ago from Houston, Texas

    I'm also a "boomer" and having just recently lost my mother to death, I am the last person alive from my immediate family. I am giving a bit more thought to what is truly important in life and am less worried about the small things. In general, one gains greater perspective about things because of life experiences as one ages. Sharing with and caring about others is important. Nothing can be taken with us into the next life! That is certain if nothing else is apparent in a sea of uncertainty.

    Forget the "what ifs" and lament not, but live, love and laugh as much as you can with the time left. That is my intent.

  • jill of alltrades profile image

    jill of alltrades 7 years ago from Philippines

    I also belong to the boomers so I can identify with your thoughts. I am not one for lamenting though. I just take each day as it comes and make the most of it. I told my friends that at my age I will only do the things that make my heart sing. That's why my first hub here is titled "song in my heart".

    Great hub!