Baby boomers: A 60-something looks back

Next month, I’ll be turning an age that has Medicare-related insurance propaganda piling up on my desk in an attempt to woo me in their door. And the upcoming big “6-5” has got me thinking about the enlightened old days.

Next month, I’ll be turning an age that has Medicare-related insurance propaganda piling up on my desk in an attempt to woo me in their door. And the upcoming big “6-5” has got me thinking about the enlightened old days.

Baby Boomers are my generation. We started out in 1946 (after the enormous struggles of World War II). The war delivered prosperity to the U.S., which then somehow caused more babies to be delivered.

Boomers had many ideas of how a moral nation should treat its people.

Civil Rights Movement. It started in the 1950s, and many Boomers joined up in the early 1960s to help get attention to the need for equal rights.

Vietnam War. Boomers were of age for the draft during the Vietnam War, 1964-1975. The military draft was used as a way of providing enough trained soldiers to fill the ranks in time of war. Males between 18 and 26 were drafted.

Peace Movement. Boomers fought in and protested against the insidious Vietnam War that betrayed our values. The Peace Movement involved anything at the activists’ disposal, including songs, speeches, sit-ins and any other non-violent tactic available.

Many Boomers were Hippies and many Hippies were Flower Children who used non-violent protest. Peace and love, they hoped, would win out at the end of the day.

N.O.W., the National Organization for Women, started in 1966, generally trying to end male-dominance in society. This included reproductive rights for women, economic equality, violence against women and LGBT, and racism.

Women’s Liberation Movement. This movement, revitalized in 1968, also generally tried to end male-dominance in society. This included a broader array of issues, including lesbian rights and an end to the war in Vietnam.

This sounds as though Boomers were always serious. But there was also Boomer Humor that we’ve kept alive over the years.

Our “Don’t trust anyone over 30” has morphed into “Can you trust anyone under 30?”

Now we hear “50 is the new 30” and “60 is the new 40.” (It’s nice to know that I’ll soon be 40-something once again.)

There will always be new Boomer Humor.

“Back in my day, there were nine planets.”

“Inside every old person is a younger person wondering what the heck happened.”

“Growing old is great — considering the alternative.”

“Life is not a dress rehearsal. Enjoy it while you can.”

Then there’s my long-time favorite inspirational quote: “Life should not be a journey to the grave with the intentions of arriving safely in an attractive and well-preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, chocolate in one hand, wine in the other, body thoroughly worn out and yelling, ‘WOO HOO! What a ride!’ ”

Boomers are growing old. There, I’ve said it.

Time is something we thought was long and drawn out when we were children. As we turn into senior citizens, we see that time is short, continually building up momentum — and no brake in sight.

From the moment we’re born, we grow older.

A young person doesn’t know what it’s like to be old. But we older folk do know what it’s like to be young, because we still have all the ages we once were inside us.

Another good part about growing older is that we care less and less about what other people think, and more and more about doing the things we love most.

— Marylin Olds is an opinion columnist and welcomes comments at marylin.olds@gmail.com.

 

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