At a recent conference celebrating the recognition of June as Seniors Month, the Keynote Speaker quoted a phrase that we absolutely fell in love with. Talking about the stages of life, he referenced the term “Seenager” and his rather humorous explanation really resonated with the crowd.  What is a Seenager? In honor of Seniors month – we’ll explain.

As a society, we love labels. Sociologists and others who study these kinds of things (particularly marketing professionals always looking for a way to sell us stuff!) enjoy defining specific groups of people as a way of identifying, classifying and providing context for any discussions about the behaviours of those groups. As such, over the past 50 years or so, groups of people in society have been labelled as belonging to the baby-boomer generation, or to Generation “X” or Generation “Z.” Perhaps you’ve been labelled as a Millennial. Maybe you are a post-war baby or a depression era child. More than likely, if you are reading this blog, the one term today’s seniors are most familiar with is “baby boomer.” Loosely defined by certain years, a baby boomer might include anyone born between 1946 and 1964. For some families this all-encompassing definition might mean both the parents and the children are baby boomers and that seems just a little strange! This generation has also been labelled as hippies and yuppies, has experienced Woodstock and the Vietnam War and both boom and bust economies. Despite these wide variances in both years and in experiences, this current definition of baby boomer seems pretty accepted and widespread.  For some, however, as the guest speaker at our seminar noted, it’s a definition that just didn’t seem to fit – either their lifestyle or their experiences. Enter the new definition of “Seenager.”

We tried hard to find the original source of this funny look at being “Senior” but most references quoted “source unknown.” Perhaps the definition arose as a result of a group of friends all brainstorming over a beverage or two, or as they shared a meal on a backyard patio. We can picture them chatting and laughing as they comprised this list. Wherever (and however) this witty view of seniorhood first developed, we hope you enjoy the read. Maybe this definition, more than any of the others we’ve referenced, really resonates with you.

If this applies to you, you might be a Seenager ….. (AKA “Senior Teenager.”)

  • You have everything you ever wanted as a teenager – it just arrived about 50 years late.

  • You have no curfew.

  • You have a driver license. You can go wherever you want, whenever you want!

  • Your driver license is your ID and gets you or your friends into the liquor store AND into any bar you want!

  • You have your own place and you can hang anything you want on the walls.

  • You don’t have to go to school or work and you get an allowance from the government!

  • You don’t have acne and for the women in the audience – you’re not afraid of getting pregnant and hormones and hot flashes are pretty much a thing of the past.

  • You can eat junk food whenever you want – unless indigestion is an issue!

  • Life is good.

If you think you might be a seenager there has never been a better time to embrace the sense of optimism this particular definition represents. If budget from your “allowance” allows – now is the time to see the world, explore and try new things. If your physical health permits, choose one new thing to do and give it a try in honor of June being Seniors month. It doesn’t have to be zip-lining or a roller coaster – it could be something as simple as going out for sushi if that’s something you’ve never done before. Even better, gather a friend or two to join you in the adventure. After all, that’s probably what you would have done when you were a teenager!

Written by Sheralyn Roman

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