I started a YouTube page this weekend – and was scanning YouTube for other boomer-related channels – not much there except quite a number of channels that talked about Boomers being the “entitled” generation, being spoiled, having it all – what to do with all your retirement wealth … and it made me think – How many of us Boomers are where we thought we would be financially, emotionally, spiritually, with our relationships, with our kids, with retirement ..
My personal take based on my experiences are:
- FINANCIALLY – Unfortunately the industry I love was not one in which there were vested retirement systems for mid-level and management positions. When 401-K programs came along, I was too busy raising a family on one income to have anything left over after rent/mortgage and groceries. I’m still living paycheck to paycheck and seriously grateful that I have a small pension from a position I had for 5 years in the early 2000’s and social security from working for 49 years now.
- EMOTIONALLY – What day, what minute are you talking about? I work in a very results-oriented business with a great deal of stress to perform; I have two adult children and an adult grandchild with genetic mental illnesses, all three of whom are struggling. I live in a regular, if not at times constant, state of anxiety.
- SPIRITUALLY – It is my earth-centered spiritual base that keeps me …. grounded. This is the calmest area of my life. If I didn’t have this, I hate to say where my head would be.
- RELATIONSHIPS – Once widowed, twice divorced – for someone who’s most important driving forces in life are family, this is an irony. The widowed comes from my kid’s father who – for all intents – gave up on life. The first divorce was simply a brain fart – a stupidity on my part. The second divorce was someone who simply couldn’t grasp having family suffering from mental illnesses and the amount of time and energy, like it or not, it takes. I love him – we just don’t agree on child/parent relationships and the different forms they can take day-to-day, year to year. We even have created a kind of unique relationship – we do things together, spend time together, in a separate life kind of way. Non-traditional, but, hey, who needs tradition?
- KIDS – read 2 adult children with bi-polar disorder, anxiety disorders, PTSD primarily from their bi-polar father and other traumas; and one grandchild with anxiety disorders, bi-polar disorder and schizo-effective disorders likely caused by oxygen deprivation at birth. I MAY BE WRONG, but I’m not the kind of mother who is capable of abandoning her children. My adult children are both loving and caring individuals with issues they did not create or ask for. My daughter also has been a single parent struggling to do the best she can with her son with little or no input other than criticism from her child’s father.
- RETIREMENT? Maybe by next year – it will be semi-retirement – small pension, social security, and a home-based wedding & event management company where I can pick and choose the jobs I will do –
But my amazing, retired BABY BOOMER existence will never be affluent, fun-filled years of carefree travel – that simply wasn’t in the cards for me. And that’s ok – I wouldn’t trade my kids and my life for anything. It just takes a little more effort.
So my question for you is …. what does your Baby Boomer life look like? What you thought it would be? Better, lesser? Are you happy, contented, unhappy, fearful?
What are we?
Namaste – I honor your life –