By the true definition of the term, I am not a boomer – but sometimes I think like one…and sometimes I even look like one. The last generation of boomers were born in 1964 and fortunately I was born one year later. That puts me in the first generation of Gen Xers. But that’s not what this Friday Reflection is all about.
Whether you’re a 2nd Gen Boomer or a Gen Xer, you’re now getting into your early to mid-fifties and by some people’s standards you’re old.
Like really old.
Suddenly you’re feeling pain when you wake up and it’s not going away as soon as it used to. If you exercise regularly, you’re realizing that it’s taking longer to heal after a vigorous workout. However, at times it can be innocuous things. Like my son asked me to mend a favourite t-shirt of his; and yes, you guessed it I had to ask him to get the thread through the needle. At which point I felt impelled to recall how I made fun of my own parents when I was asked to do that very thing. To which the response was muted laughter. Apparently, he’d heard that one before. Yep. So maybe you’re finding that you’re repeating things. Then you wonder “have I gotten so old; I’ve run out of things to say?”
But that is not even the end of it, you’re thinking about how you wish that those annoying scientists find a way to prolong life in your lifetime. Or maybe you’re a pessimist and you’re seeing this as an inevitability. Either way, about five years ago your outlook on life changed and the pandemic in 2020 and 2021 probably highlighted the fragility of life even more for you.
This is the reality of life.
Whether you believe in an afterlife or not, the reality is that rich or poor we will all someday die; and the hard truth is that on this plane of existence that would be the end of you. Those you loved will never know the joy of your presence ever again. That’s the finality of death. Try as hard as you may to work your mind and your heart around it, but chances are that you will never get over the initial fear of dying.
But what you should never do is stop living because of that fear. If anything, use that fear to ensure that you leave the world a better place. Even if it’s for ONE person. I started writing again in my early fifties. In two years, I produced two books, wrote dozens of articles for my town’s newspaper, started writing this blog regularly and just finished a third series of books. All in a three-year span.
So, what I’m saying to you is this. It doesn’t matter how young or old you are – live your life. Chase your dream. Fulfil your destiny…and if you’re a Boomer or Gen Xer be the version of yourself that would make your younger self proud. In so doing you will leave your legacy in the hearts of those around you when the inevitable happens, and that’s a very comforting thought.