I just read an article, A Baby Boomer’s Guide to Stress-Free Aging by Ryan Rivera that stated that, “Baby boomers have been content to be behind the scenes as of late.” While I respect the author’s opinion, I must respectfully disagree. Or, perhaps, it’s best that I say we must know vastly different Baby Boomers.
Being a Baby Boomer myself and having many Baby Boomer friends, most of who are life long friends, I feel safe saying the Baby Boomers I know just aren’t the type of personalities, as a whole, to stay behind the scenes. More to the point, they are looking forward to doing so much more now that they are reaching the point in their life when they’ll (hopefully) have time and resources to do the things they’ve always wanted to. In our discussions we’ve talked about travel, writing a book, running for political office, starting a business from a lifelong hobby, learning something new, taking classes, getting another degree or a first one. There hasn’t been any mention of sliding into obscurity or isolation.
Further along in this same article, the author says these same Baby Boomers are also suffering from stress and anxiety from worrying about growing old. That they are anxious about “what’s around life’s corners.” Really? I’d be interested in where he got his data to make this sweeping statement. There may be some Baby Boomers (and many who are not Baby Boomers) who are worried or anxious about “what’s around life’s corners’, but I suspect it’s got nothing to do with being a Baby Boomer and more to do with the individual and their individual approach to life. I take issue with this blanket approach to Baby Boomer psyche. We are as individual as any generation before us and will probably be more or at least as individual as any that will follow.
Mr. Rivera does provide some good advice on ways to approach aging and enjoy your Baby Boomer Golden Years: good financial planning and a positive attitude. He follows these bits of advice with more advice that I’m not as comfortable with, although I guess it depends on the individual. If he were talking to me, I’d be insulted, but that’s me. Others might find it helpful for them.
He recommends what he calls Healthy Denial which he says is to ,”deny the things that dread you.” He further states that, “healthy denial is one of the great ways for seniors to age gracefully.” He also recommends to, “accept that there are changes that are inevitable and that would make older people less stressed and grow gracefully in the process. Aging gracefully means that you should expect that things change and those who can easily adjust will avoid being overwhelmed which often result into depression, fear and anxiety.”
I guess it’s more a manner of approach than of disagreement. I prefer to approach aging head-on, no holds-barred, wringing out every last drop! I’m ready to admit I may not do it as gracefully as I could, but I guarantee I’ll be laughing and singing every day. I just can’t see why anyone would want to slow down any sooner than we have to…but again, that’s just me. We all have to do this in the best way for us.