I have lost count of the times I preface a statement with, “at this stage of my life”. I do believe that one glance identifies my particular stage; therefore, mentioning it probably is redundant. So, by way of introduction, I simply say I am a Baby Boomer. Yes, one of those seventy-six or so million babies born between 1945 and 1964.
We came of age in a time where everything seemed of consequence on all fronts and levels, living as no generation before us had. We saw the world change before our eyes, because television had arrived in almost every home, and those things we saw not only changed our world, but they also changed us forever. Was it due to all we witnessed and experienced that we became the actual catalysts for even more profound changes nationally and internationally? I think, yes. So much energy, so much possibility, so much commitment; of course we changed the world!
And then we grew up; moved forward creating lives of which our parents and grandparents only dreamed; worked hard; made nuclear, single-parent, and extended families; reinvented ourselves over and over again, becoming better or less honorable versions of our authentic selves with each decade.
Now, we have moved into retirement, or are approaching it. What a surprise experience this has been, or can be for those of us marching toward it. I am one who has retired, already. My life never has been ordinary, so it is not a surprise to me that these days are filled with anything but common and ordinary events and experiences.
I think at one time I may have envisioned leisurely strolls down a quiet lane, books, solitude, rest. However, in the two years I have been retired, I have not found that vision to be my journey. Instead, I live in a household of six people, three of them grandchildren, twins aged four, and one more aged six. I have read my living arrangement is a new demographic; retired parents moving in with children and grandchildren, all sharing their lives in a fresh and dynamic way. It is fresh and it is dynamic; however, it is not new. Often our parents, grandparents and great grandparents lived just this way, and families thrived. So, I submit this is an arrangement that could be revived on a larger scale. It is not so much innovative, but more reminiscent of a time not so long ago where families loved each other and cherished the time they were given together. And now that I am at this stage of my life…oh, I said it again; I am grateful for where I am, and the path that brought me here.