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Tag Archives: boomers
Ask any Millennial what they’ll live on when they retire, and they’ll look at you with a blank stare. First off, they are young (oldest are 35), so age 65 seems a lifetime away. Secondly, most of them are occupied with just getting by, an outcome of living in the gig economy, in which saving is unlikely. And we (the Silent generation and older Boomers), were like that too—someone out there would look out for us, things would turn out. Furthermore, most of them are convinced that retirement with a pension is a thing of the past.
The baby boom still resonates in our society. So much has been said and written about the boomers, with constant speculation about what they will do next. With so much attention centered on them, and especially on their numbers, no one gives much thought to the women who were responsible for them—their mothers.
These were the women who grew up during the depression of the 1930s, coming of age just as WWII was ending—women who would be in their seventies or eighties now. They were in their twenties and early thirties when soldiers came home from the war, yearning for stability, ready to marry and settle down. These young women were unknowing recipients of new and constricting expectations, some imposed by a society tired of self-denial and war, and some imposed by corporations capitalizing on a nation’s desire for the safety and comfort of family.
Defeating Ageism – Are Boomers Taking All the Credit?
I’m within spitting distance of being a Boomer, but I’m not proud of what some Boomers have been saying about the gains being made in addressing & defeating ageism. A lot has been happening around this thorny issue. Two or three years ago, there was barely a ripple on the topic in mainstream media, only an article or two in a newspaper or blog. Suddenly it’s everywhere, on Twitter, on Facebook, in pod casts, videos and blogs. It’s as if a faucet has been turned on and these ideas, which used to be relegated to the back pages—old people going on about being laughed at, ignored and excluded—have become a self-sustaining newsfeed.
I smile as I think about one of my senior friends, Marlene, driving her car toward our favourite coffee-house. She’ll be speeding just a little—not as much as she used to, though. I’m already sitting at our favourite table, with my cup of black, no sugar, no cream, in front of me. I’ve been waiting for a few minutes, and take out my iphone to check the time. I’ve already done this twice. It’s not like her to be late. I take my coffee to a window, and stand there, so I can see her car approach. If only she had a cell phone, I fuss, I’d phone her and know her progress. I’ve already phoned her home, and she wasn’t there. I’ll wait a few more minutes and then leave, I decide, assuming she has forgotten. My mind wanders back to the last time I saw her. She was wearing a new blue summer jacket, I remember. It looked good on her. Summer, I realize with a jolt—it’s been months since we met up for coffee!
Sixty is the new forty!
You’re not getting older, you’re getting better!
15 ways to look and feel younger!
Five tips to stop the dreaded middle-age decline.
This super star model is 62, but easily passes for 39.
And this, my favourite:
“8 signs the incontinence aisle isn’t far off!”
Aging is bad.
You can fight it or you can laugh it off.
These slogans and headlines are culled from our contemporary literature—blogs, news items, and advertising that are the vanguard of our current thought. They urge us to deny the power and reality of aging. They admonish us to look and act young, and if we can’t, at least don’t look and act too blatantly, obviously old!
On one hand, they tell us that aging is horrible, it will diminish us, make us weak and ugly. We must fight it at all costs!
On the other hand they tell us that it isn’t that bad, if we just look at the bright side, if we just use nicer words, if we can just stay sweet, compliant, invisible.
As a Boomer or Pre-Boomer, who is 65 and over, you are more conscious of your health and well-being than ever before. Gone are the days when you over-indulged in food and alcohol, when you took reckless chances with your safety, and when you ignored your body’s need for exercise. As one of the Lucky Few, you have planned for the future and have your financial house in order. Retired now, as most of you are, you have the luxury of thinking about the meaning and level of happiness of your life.
Long life is our greatest achievement. We, the Lucky Few, have lived longer than all previous generations.
In “Redesigning Long Life“, the Stanford Center on Longevity reports,
Over the next 30 years, the US population age 65+ will double from 40 million to 80 million, and the share of old people will increase from 13% to 20%. By the time the last baby boomer turns 65 in 2029, one in five Americans will be age 65 or older. By 2032, there will be more people age 65 or older than children under 15.
“nothing makes me so sad as when I go into some little old dear’s home…”
Not only was the woman in question referred to as “dear”, (see my article, “Don’t Call Me Dear”) she was further insulted by the use of one other cringe-worthy adjective, “little”. The ”old”, I decided, could stay. It was the only acceptable term in the whole reference.
As you age, losses come in many guises, a friend or loved one may die, you might lose your financial power, or you might lose your independence. These losses are major, and your recovery may require considerable effort, such as going for counselling or retreating from life for a while.
My research for this post took me to Cassini, Dior, Balenciaga, Chanel, and back to Cassini. Images for the fashions we wore as young women in the 1950s just don’t resonate accurately with the pictures I see in historical references to the designers.
Long before we saw the fashions, we were attuned to them as part of magazine and newspaper publicity featuring runway models and designs. By the time the clothing arrived on the racks at Hudson’s Bay, Renfrews, Simpsons or in the pages of Eaton’s and Simpson-Sears catalogues, they were no doubt at least one or two seasons old.
Yesterday morning, before I had my coffee I opened the fridge door and stood there. “What am I doing here?” I wondered aloud, (not to be mistaken for “Why do I exist?). It took me a few seconds to remember the item I wanted, and I moved on to make breakfast. But it stuck with me. A few days ago I found my socks in my make-up drawer, and last spring a tax rebate disappeared forever, it seemed. Well, I humphed, at least I didn’t find the eggs in the freezer, and the frozen pizza on the piano!