And don’t let anyone tell you differently. Because by the time we get to mid-life, we’ve been tempered by the fires of life. We’ve gone to school –sometimes university and sometimes the School of Hard Knocks—and we’ve learned by experience. At our age we’ve seen more, done more and are more--we’re better than we’ve ever been.
So when I read advice that exhorts midlife people to do more and be more, to take on gratitude challenges, when I see blog posts and essays that imply we are not OK as we are at this stage of life, well, I’m puzzled. How can that be?
Many Baby Boomers I know have a high-volume life already. We are working at second careers or maybe still in our original careers, now seasoned professionals. For many of us, that grey hair means we are focused and contributing at a higher level than ever before.
Can we be any more focused?
Bucket list in hand, we Boomers are exploring new hobbies that we didn’t have time for while raising families and climbing the corporate ladder. Some of my peers have taken up scuba diving for the first time, zip-lined and jumped from airplanes wearing a parachute. We’ve taken cooking classes in Italy, learned to play the guitar and attended rodeo classes. We’re building smaller houses to suit this new stage in life and moving to interesting communities.
What additional activities should we be taking on, exactly?
My friends (and I) are using our older years to travel the world. We have traveled to Africa on safari, gone penguin-watching in Antarctica, visited temples in Bali and and gone to the Pushkar Camel Fair in India, to name just a few of our exotic destinations.
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Is there a way to turn up the volume on lives like this?
It’s not all about us, either. We’re volunteering for and donating to causes that range from elephant sanctuaries and humane societies to cancer organizations, children’s charities and educational foundations. Gratitude is what drives our interest in giving back.
Would a gratitude challenge make us more grateful than we already are?
Whether we’re rich or not so much, the quality of Baby Boomer lives seems pretty high to me. We’re vibrant, active, involved and that’s happening at both practical and spiritual levels. So at this stage of our lives, why shouldn’t we kick back and enjoy it?
I’m happy with my life and so are most of my friends and a social media challenge isn’t going to make it any happier.
As that book from our long-ago youth told us: I’m OK, You’re OK.
And don’t let anyone tell you anything different.
Carol Cassara is a writer and ordained minister who believes in living fully in every color of the rainbow. Her essays have appeared in Skirt! magazine, the Christian Science Monitor, several Chicken Soup for the Soul anthologies, on public radio and other venues. After a long career as a corporate communications executive, she is enjoying having more time to write, travel and just enjoy life. When she's not traveling the world, she lives in the San Francisco Bay area with her husband and crazy little maltipoo. Her daily blog inspirations for creating our best lives can be found at www.carolcassara.com.