I’ll Tell You What I Want…….
As we age, many find we have fewer and fewer inhibitions about sharing what we want out of life. It’s most likely a result of spending many years conforming to the norms and expectations of the world around us. Go to school, have kids, buy a house and get a good job. Across all cultures and perhaps – for baby-boomers more than any other generation – the goal was “to do better” than the generation before us, the generation who lived through a world war and other significant world events, and who therefore channelled a great deal of their energy into our “success.” Now that we’re older adults, to quote the Spice Girls hit from 1996 (25 years ago folks!) it’s now time to “tell you what I want, what I really, really want!”
We’ve worked long and hard and hopefully, with a bit of luck and good planning, it’s now time to enjoy the fruits of our labour! It’s time to put down the work tools and pick up the hobby tools. Whether you like to garden, tinker on old cars, learn new skills like a different language or how to paint, it’s your time to indulge. Retirement is also a unique opportunity to make and explore new friendships with like-minded older adults who share your passions, not just a desk across the office. A tool like Amintro can help. We offer an online platform that’s easy to use, free and connects those 50+ with others in their community.
This is probably an obvious desire. Throughout our lives we hope to enjoy good health and in our senior years we are no different. Perhaps we put an even greater emphasis on staying fit, eating well and on enjoying both indoor and outdoor activities that keep us moving. It can be as simple as walking daily. You might scoff at the findings but study after study tells us that walking a minimum of 30 minutes a day will achieve the following:
- Burn calories, possibly contributing to weight loss or at least weight maintenance
- Boost cardiovascular and pulmonary function
- Reduce blood sugar
- Improve joint pain and related muscle and joint stiffness
- Lower joint stiffness
- Boost immune function
- Help improve mood, stave off depression, reduce anxiety and may just extend your life!
Relationships and Community
Social isolation is a factor as we age. Losing a loved one, moving from the family home to an apartment or seniors residence in a different community, each can contribute to the potential of becoming more withdrawn and isolated from friends and family. Just because we’re older doesn’t mean we prefer to be alone! Older adults are looking to maintain relationships, form new ones and finding ways to contribute and give back to community now that they have a little bit more time on their hands. Look into volunteer opportunities where you live. You have skills, knowledge and experience gained throughout a lifetime of contributing to society – don’t stop now!
Independence and Respect
A comedian named Rodney Dangerfield once said, “I don’t get no respect.” It was part of his often self-deprecating monologues and while he might have been from a generation a bit before our time (depending on how “senior” you actually are) he’s not wrong about the lack of respect sometimes shown to seniors. In a “funny, not funny” episode of Grace and Frankie not long ago, the character of Grace, played by Jane Fonda, literally screamed out for attention in a store yelling, “Do you not see me, do I not exist?” Driving away she then stated emphatically, “I’m sorry, I refuse to be irrelevant.” That’s US! Whether we’re called older adults, seniors, the “silver tsunami” or any other of the many euphemisms often attached to getting older, we refuse to be silent, ignored or disrespected. The boomer generation is more tech-savvy than ever before, is poised and ready to travel and experience the world, has money to spend and is living a healthy lifestyle that enables full participation in society. Now all we need is to be shown some of that respect we so richly deserve. Who’s with me?!
We have aged during a time when significant changes have taken place in the world around us. We’ve gone from telephones to cell phones, simple calculators to laptops that have more power within them than the first computers that helped launch rockets into space. In fact, if you own an iPhone THAT TOO has more power (technically speaking) than computers used during the Apollo missions. We’ve proven we are adaptable to change and hey – we created a lot of the technology younger adults accuse us of not understanding or embracing! This is our time, we’ll tell you what we want, what we really, really want – to enjoy it!
By Sheralyn Roman, Amintro contributor and Baby Boomer