Maybe it’s the space of more years from then until now – now that I’m 31 that lends itself to greater moments of nostalgia, but I certainly find myself reflecting more, reminiscing more, remembering those glimpses of younger years that come back when triggered by a song, photo, scent, or even just seeing a product in the grocery store (i.e. “My sisters and I used to eat those all the time when we were kids”).
Although those earlier years are full of fond memories for me, I don’t think I’d go back if I had the chance. There are special people whom I wish were still here, but I am happy with the stage of life I’m in. There are new challenges, but there were challenges back then and I’ve since overcome them. Re-living the past wouldn’t mean you only get to re-live the good stuff, right?
In early February, I had a lovely chat with a blogger on the other side of the world. Thanks to the wonders of Skype, I, in my living room in York, Pennsylvania, connected with Radha Sahar of Baby Boomer Girl, who makes her home in New Zealand. Radha was in her studio, and although it was about 2:00 in the morning there (“I’m an owl, and my man’s a lark,” she explained, in her charming Kiwi accent), she serenaded me with one of her newest songs on guitar.
Radha writes music about baby boomers, for baby boomers. She’s not interested in making music that is nostalgic, or reminiscent of boomer’s younger days. There’s plenty of that out there already. “I want to sing about what’s happening right now,” she said. Real-life stuff, the highs and lows, which are facing boomers in the present – new loves, weight gain, new adventures, forgetfulness, medications, grandchildren, and more. Check out the thought-provoking lyrics to “Growing Younger.”
She’s quite feisty too, and likes to think of herself as a “post feminist punk rocker,” kicking rocking chairs to the curb and carving her own niche by making the music of her generation. I think it’s fabulous. Sure, everyone loves an oldie but goodie now and then, but I’ve often wondered what kind of music they’ll be playing in nursing homes of the future, and Radha and I had a great discussion about that, too. The current generation of senior living community dwellers is probably still listening to Glenn Miller and the like, but when I get there, will they be playing Britney Spears? Madonna? The Jackson Five?
Radha attacks the issue of changing boomer bodies head on in her most recent post, Have a Body Like an Avatar Alien! Part 1. It’s a humorous yet insightful look at losing weight/toning up by caring for your body and the earth simultaneously, and “returning to your, natural, unrefined, radiant self.” I know that Baby Boomer Girl practices what she preaches. Do good, feel good, and embrace your new boomer body!
So many people absolutely dread the day when they get an AARP membership card in the mail. Just because it arrives doesn’t mean that life is over. Who knows? The boomer years, or even the golden years, could be some of the best years of your life. Why not look forward to that adventure? Sure, you could get cancer, or dementia – neither of which are desirable conditions – but you might not get either one, so it’s certainly not worth whittling away the present with worry. Sure, you might have to postpone retirement another five years. Maybe your body doesn’t look like an Avatar Alien anymore and it absolutely depresses you. But as I said earlier, each stage of life brings new challenges, and many new joys along with them we tend to forget about that part.
So love where you are, no matter what your age each stage of life is an adventure to be treasured, lived to the fullest, to be beautiful inside and out. And speaking of beautiful inside and out at any age, look for a future post on this amazing photojournalist, Robbie Kaye, and her fascinating project on senior women and their beauty rituals at http://twitter.com/BeautyofWisdom or http://beautyofwisdom-robbiekaye.blogspot.com/. Amazing stuff, and I have Radha Sahar (yes, even boomers/seniors use Twitter, and many use it better than this 30-something!) to thank for pointing me in Robbie Kaye’s direction.
Sound off! What do you love about being your current age that perhaps you didn’t expect?