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Are we really getting better and was life before 50 just the dress rehearsal? Or are we baby-boomers kidding ourselves, just like we were about that fact that women could do and have it all… perfectly, without missing a thing?
It is Memorial Day Weekend and I’m sitting here looking around my office, that has never gotten completely unpacked or organized, primarily because menopause set in about the same time we moved here, and I’ve never had the energy or even interest to really dig in and decorate; something I would have had done in a week before this stage set in.
I’m also contemplating my place in the scheme of things and accomplishments, or lack of, since the big "50"… I’m really wondering if growing up somewhere between Fantasyland and a purple haze with the eternal optimism of a generation that "grew-up" out of a culture of flower children, rallies to change the world, and social revolution, while maintaining pure hearts steeped in the breezes of a "Summer Wind" and the traditions of "the Greatest Generation" with tunes of more carefree days by the Beach Boys, early Beatles, and Motown in our heads is both our strength and downfall?!?
I see so many of my friends and associates fighting the waves of exhaustion and disappointment, with no real possibility of retirement or feelings of true accomplishment. There is probably no generation that dreamed bigger, felt more socially responsible and craved everything that life had to offer, than ours. Yet everywhere I look… I see and hear whispers of emptiness, people struggling with heavy financial burdens, and many feeling they never managed to get a good grip on the brass ring while being sandwiched between spoiled and ungrateful children and parents that need to be taken care of because their retirements weren’t enough or lost… and many also now raising their grandchildren.
We started adulthood with our country in a confusing and unclear war. We are entering our second half embroiled in another confusing and unclear war. The United States of the late 1960’s and early 70’s was in turmoil. The United States of the new Millennium is in turmoil. When we all graduated we knew the best was yet to come and we would make a difference. Most of us still believe the best is yet to come and are expecting to make that difference.
Life here in the OC, where I live is perhaps more expensive than in most other places and maybe a bit more complicated, but I think the problems and conditions of my generation, the baby-boomers, is generally pretty much the same everywhere.
We are all still dreamers as a group, just a little tired and a bit tattered around the edges, but mentally always looking for the perfect wave…