I am at a stage of life where my peers are reaching the big milestone birthday of fifty. This past year alone, I had four friends turn this golden age, and 2014 will keep me busy at the Hallmark store buying even more of these very special birthday cards. My husband and several of my lifelong friends will be receiving the AARP cards in the mail, and along with that a lot of jokes about aging.
My mother’s cousin, who has had a history of health problems since his thirties life, has summed up getting older this way, “Every day above the ground is a good one.” Instead of giving people “Over the Hill” gag gifts and items that are black and show that old age, with all of its ailments, is just around the corner, why not celebrate this new stage of life?
Our fifty is not our parents fifty. When my mom and dad were this age, I was already a married woman for several years and my brother had embarked on a successful career. They had children at a younger age, as was the norm for the 1960’s.
For my friends and me, fifty still has us with children living in our homes-and not the adult kind. Our eldest have just left for college-my mom was 43 when I left home to study! My twins are still in elementary school, making me one of the older moms there (although not the oldest). My husband and I won’t be alone until our twins leave for college in 2021 and we can almost cash in our 401K plans.
With life expectancy being much longer than it was for our parents and grandparents, fifty does not mean death is around the corner, but that life is just beginning. A new, child-free chapter fill with adventures together.
The Last of the Baby Boomers
Baby Boomer generation. Baby Boomers were those people born between 1946 and 1964, after he end of World War II. A population explosion of significant proportions occurred and it defined an entire generation.
To be honest, I never felt like I was a part of the Baby Boomer generation. My aunt was born in 1946, so we were considered part of the same peer group. But her childhood and mine were so different, as well as the world in which we grew up. There are some who date this generation from 1946-1960, because they may not remember the war, but they grew up in the era directly after it.
I have often referred to my growing up in Queens, New York my “Wonder Years”, named after the show of the same name. Although others may call me a Boomer, I do not think of myself as one.
What is nostalgia? It is a feeling that we get when we think of things from the past. While not all memories are happy ones, we often feel nostalgic when we think of happy times. Many parents feel a sense of nostalgia when their children have a milestone occasion, like high school graduation. They think to how the years flew by, and maybe even back to their own youthful, teenage years.
A fiftieth birthday present that will be treasured is one that brings back special memories. Thanks to technology, favorite programs and music from our childhoods have been digitally remastered and are available to watch or listen to anytime.
These gifts will take a person back in time when life was simpler. The most challenging thing we faced was finishing our homework or making sure we ate our dinner so we cold watch our favorite show after bath time. Children, aging parents, and job insecurity have overtaken our lives, but these gifts will give a fifty year old a little time off from the real world in which s/he lives.
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