Sunday, November 16, 2008

Mantra for Boomers

“It may be insane to live in a dream, but it’s madness to live without one!”

I don’t know who said that. I saw it in print with the tag ‘unknown author’.

I cut it out and tacked it to my cork board thirty years ago. I had it put on a plaque for my niece when she graduated high school, my character, Grace Marsden, has it on her bulletin board, I use it on my email signature and I’ve said it to my son from the time he was a toddler.

Perhaps I should have been shouting it to my peers. I see friends approaching retirement and fretting (yes, I still use that word) about what they’ll do—not financially (although that’s an issue) but physically when they no longer march to the tune of gainful employment. My friends, as I am, are the Boomer generation, a group which has been tagged as those ‘living to work’ therefore defined by an employer, a position, a title.

Have we been working in dream jobs or defining careers? When we leave those careers, as 70 million of us will over the next ten years (the rate of one boomer retiring every 8 seconds), what will we do to re-define who we are?

Will we succumb to a sedentary life style that our parents most likely embraced after years on the assembly line or in the secretarial pool?

Nope, I think not. We are the children of the sixties. We dreamed first, grew up fast, worked hard and I hope will retire to dream again.

Luisa Buehler
Boomer at Large

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