The Baby Boomer Generation is a source for trends, research, comment and discussion of and by people born from 1946 - 1964.
Covering issues on the Boomer Generation including original content for Boomers, bulletin boards, user comments, Sixties and Seventies music, Baby Boomer culture, health and coverage of issues for "Aging Hipsters."
September 19, 2013
Boomer Women, Will We All Be Bag Ladies?
I thought it was my private dirty secret, the fear that I would end my days as a bag lady, stockings rolled down around my ankles, sitting on a curb and yelling at passers-by. But according to Lisa Schwarzbaum's article in the New York Time's Magazine, a survey by a life insurance company found that nearly half of all American women share that same fear.
I don't know whether to feel relief in a shared irrational fear or sadness that it's especially rampant among Baby Boomer women. We are the generation, after all, that was raised on a mixed message: as a female, you can be anything you want. You can grow up to be a doctor, lawyer, Indian chief. However, you don't really need to prepare for a professional future since you'll probably be a housewife and mother. I've carried around the bag-lady-to-be persona buried deep inside for a long time, although she really started screaming for attention when I got divorced and realized I was one good divorce lawyer away from sleeping in my car. I exaggerate, but you get the point. Based on Schwarzbaum's recap of Woody Allen's new movie, Blue Jasmine, I'm considering gathering a coterie of baby boomer women friends to see it together, but we might just run screaming from the theater. Ladies, fess up please--anyone else share this nagging nightmare?
An article in the Times features an exhibit by photographer, Vicki Topaz, of magnificent silver-haired women. Women who also have something to say about their gray.
I go back and forth on the issue. I love my natural-born color and would be sorry to see it go. But going it is and I've artfully hidden the gray strand by strand. But it's a pain in the neck. It's time-consuming. And it reminds me of my grandmother, who died an improbable shade of blonde in her 90's.
So, ladies, what's your stand on silver? Men, let's hear your take, too.
Each year when my birthday rolls around, I do a little accounting, or, as the Indigo Girls say, "every five years or so I look back on my life and have a good laugh." 60, 61, 62, 63...big freakin' numbers. Some of us struggle with it, some celebrate it. What are your coping strategies--or joyful noises--as these birthdays tick by? In the meantime, my favorite birthday song.
If this article on HuffPo is to be believed, we Boomers should probably not be smoking pot. First of all, it actually is stronger than in our day--about 10% THC, compared to 2-3% in the 60's.
Also, our aging bodies may have a bunch of ailments, for which pot is not a benefit, such as high blood pressure and cardiac issues. As our medicine chests fill with pills for this and that, pot may also be contraindicated with other medications. Apparently that hasn't stopped us: marijuana use in adults has been increasing steadily.
Who can blame us? Ravaged retirement benefits, unemployment, aging symptoms, life in general--sometimes we just need a little recreational relief. Of course, pot also has proven benefits in cancer treatment and other illnesses.
Are you still toking? Or lighting up again after a few decades of responsible adulthood?
Wondering what to do with new-found time? You don't have to be an Appalachian Trail through-hiker to experience the American Discovery Trail. The 6800 miles of cross-country trail is designed to allow hiking, biking or horseback riding for small chunks of time, linking up to small town, parks, cities and wilderness areas.
One Boomer couple did 5,000 miles over a year, with the simple cause of Kindness. describes the many acts of kindness they experienced on their journey.
There were --quoted here as saying:
"Baby boomers form a new demographic for those experiencing financial difficulties," writes Sinclair. "Many baby boomers have lost their jobs to a younger work force and can no longer find comparable employment...Tap into your passion. Maybe you won't regain the same level of economic success, but you just might stumble on the key to happiness...or kindness."
If you only think of Daryl Hall as the good looking one in the boomer-era duo, you haven't been keeping up. Check out his web show, Live From Daryl's House, where he hangs out with and plays with a wildly diverse collection of musicians--everyone from Smokey Robinson, Keb Mo and Todd Rundgren to a bunch of younger artists you might not have heard of. Great listening and watching!