And you thought you were simply aging. The candles on the cake told it all. But not really…
There are many ways to tell your age. You can stare in the mirror and repeat, “I am 39” 50 times. That was Jack Benny’s way of keeping himself forever young - for those of you who remember comedian Jack Benny from live television, movies or because your mother once mentioned he was a pretty funny vaudevillian actor and comic in the 1950s.
Birth certificates and passports are old stand-byes. They are very black-and-white and logical about your true age.
But as aging specialists have dabbled in the new art form known as ’50 is the new 30’ (with various forms of the mantra), ground-breaking information about the different generations , their contributions and their needs– particularly mine, which is Baby Boomers-appears regularly in media headlines.
To be brief and refrain from making this blog into a book (I have one of those coming out, too), baby boomers are those 77, 78, 79 or 80 million infants born between January 1, 1946 and December 31, 1964. To be fair, I’m publishing all estimated birth levels I’ve ever read about the exact number of baby boomers born during these 19 years. I usually quote “nearly 80 million” boomers in the articles I write.
Very briefly, because of our enormous birth explosion, baby boomers have defined, refined, and redefined and sometimes reformed everything and everybody that came before them: culture, family values, lifestyles, marriage and divorce, health care, finances, sexuality, politics, women’s rights, civil rights, retirement (outdated word?), music and whatever.
As we’ll learn in a future blog, there are three baby boomer generations-in-one-generation: leading-edge boomers, which I call ‘home’ (closer to ‘new senior’); middle boomers and trailing-edge boomers, who don’t understand what the other two groups are doing anyway. Some of you could probably care less, but there are valuable lessons and descriptions to be learned from each of these groups.
How else can we define our age? There are four ways I personally know of: chronological age (candles on the cake); anatomical age (physical health, vital signs, etc.); emotional age (including abilities to handle traumas, conflicts, stressors and everyday life changes); and social age (how well we engage ourselves with family, friends, neighbors, social groups).
If you are confused, there is also a humongous amount of information available on television infomercials and the internet about positive aging, anti-aging, increasing longevity, postponing old age, increased involvement in daily living and the like.
Yes, we’ve merely scratched the surface of a topic that most people don’t get ecstatic about talking about or care to delve into. I, myself, am a student of aging, which sounds interesting on the surface.
If all else fails to get you excited, remember 2011 is the first year that people turn 65 at the rate of 10,000 people daily. Age is coming to get you – no matter how hard or easy you make it!
Sharon Sultan Cutler has owned a home care and nanny agency, had a telephone help hotline for senior advice, created Long Island’s first 50-Plus Expo, created Senior Seminars and Conferences, and has an online magazine called www.MatureResources.net