Sunday, January 02, 2011

Boomers Hitting 65

Somethin's happenin' here
What it is ain't exactly clear

Actually it's a lot clearer than we want to admit. Officially, this is the year the advancing front of the Baby Boomers signs up for Medicare. At the rate of 7,000 each day. We're passing the infamous "When I'm 64" and heading into (ssshhh) old age. We are beginning to turn 65. For the next 18 years, each new year will see a change in the demographics. "Young people" becoming "old people."

Stop, hey, what's that sound?
Everybody look- what's goin' down?

That sound is the creaking bones and slowing gait of the Boomers. Can you trust anyone over 30? Can you trust anyone under 60? How times change. We have been the propelling force of so many things over these past 65 years from the building of schools to the "sexual revolution." We have spurred a drive for money and a drive for meaning. We have made marijuana a social (even if not legal) drug. We believe, even now, that we are the center of the universe.

Buffalo Springfield and Stephen Stills penned the earlier words about the 60s in the anthemic "For What It's Worth." In the same era, Simon and Garfunkle looked ahead to, well, to today.

Can you imagine us years from today, sharing a park bench quietly
How terribly strange to be seventy

Old friends, memory brushes the same years, 
silently sharing the same fears

I have a hunch we will be hearing a lot about this new phase of the life of the Boomers. Yes, I will be as guilty as any of the other self-absorbed Boomers writing over the next couple decades. Yes, our successor generations will probably get sick of us. Bear with us as we try to seek meaning in what we have accomplished and what we have been the unwitting cause of.

Perhaps it is a way of atoning. Perhaps it is a way of finally making sense of what, in reality may never make any sense. History will be our judge and call us to task. Allow us this last chance over these 20 some years to at least let our feelings be real.

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