Categorized | Anti-Aging

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Baby Boomers – Defying the Descent of Dignity in Aging

Aging is an interesting progression we love to imagine means acquiring wisdom. We grow accustomed to being intelligent, attractive, and capable; on ‘top of our game.’ Baby Boomers coined that phrase. We also like to imagine that we don’t need to be attractive or desirable in the eyes of others; that our accomplishments tell our story. And then there’s that aging process that alters our perception!

It creeps up on us, those lines around our eyes and mouth, the sagging jowls and wrinkled neck. Worse is the thinning hair, fallen arches, tiny purple veins appearing on our ankles and ‘age spots’ that dot our arms. Those are cosmetic; the physical signs are even more concerning. There are visits to the doctor where they freely tell you that you are not a spring chicken, hospital visits where they inquire about your living will and organs that refuse to cooperate with the eternal youth Baby Boomers have always believed in and demanded.

Baby Boomers range in age from 52-70 now comprising a group that has changed the planet like none other. They were born at the end of a hard-fought war; winning was in the air. Women worked in factories and discovered they could earn a living on their own. Hope reigned supreme. They grew up in a changing environment where anything was possible. Everything from the space program, videotaping, computers, the internet, CD’s and iPods originated from this group. The world we live in today was created by the beloved Baby Boomers. They dared to dream and defiantly did it. They won and won big; it’s all they knew.

Many have traded their Harley’s, Corvettes and Woodstock music, all insuring they would receive admiring glances from peers and the youth around them, for serviceable vehicles that are easy to exit. There is that dawning realization that all the people around you may notice is your advancing age. ‘They ain’t what we used to be,’ or so they thought. Baby Boomers have enjoyed being the largest retail buying audience for years. They are responsible for advanced anti-aging products, multi-purpose canes and designer diapers you can dance in! They are a confident group of problem solvers with great vision who still make their mark.

There is something brand new in the lives of the Boomers. They have begun to feel the sting of aging. For perhaps the first time ever many feel undesirable, unwelcome and even a little helpless, imagining that no one notices them or recognizes their value. This began when others averted their eyes rather than smiling and complimenting them. leaving them feeling as though the person looked through them rather than at them.

This was intensified as they exchanged their heels and signature style for non-skid shoes and the dreaded elastic waistbands, as comfort and safety override design and desires. It’s galling; a blow to self-confidence that only deepens the fear of being insignificant. All of this comes full circle leaving a trail of increasing fear and the beginning of a serious depression. More than any specific group in our history, the Boomers are defined by their accomplishments. Recouping what has been lost requires delving down deep to find other things that interest and excite you.

Self-doubt causes visible symptoms. We drop our head and look down to avoid seeing our greatest fears reflected in others eyes. Our back literally goes up, even as our shoulders are drooping. We lose the excitement we felt in our accomplishments and soon our step is slowed as we begin to lose interest in what used to inspire us. We have gone ‘under cover’ to avoid being seen and soon we really do become invisible in a crowd.

If this is happening to you, there’s a remedy; hold your head up, make eye contact, engage in conversations with strangers and smile. Dare to be the first to laugh at funny senior mistakes; it allows the world to laugh with rather than at you. A sense of humor bridges all the gaps. Ignore what you have lost and be proud of what you have retained. The world sees what you feel; it really isn’t about the ending, it’s about the story. Write it your way!

A word of caution to those who think this group is going to go quietly into the night… if you see them approaching, step aside. They are sporting golf carts that top 50 MPH on a straight-away! They are still the same.

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