Since landing on the feisty side of fifty, I’ve noticed that my baby boomer buddies are growing increasingly adventurous. No painting by numbers, or Friday night Bingo for this crowd.
We seem to have lost our inhibitions and matured into a bodacious bunch who has wandered into an unexpected second childhood. So far, it is shaping up to be better than the first!
No longer confined by careers
or focused on raising children, are we discovering that a vast frontier looms ahead? It is beckoning us to hone new interests and make new friends. Suddenly, the nest is empty and we are free to do all the things we were too busy or timid to do even a decade ago.
All aboard boomers, it’s going to be a wild ride.
Not being the most adventurous person of my generation, I’m experimenting with semi- wild things like drinking from the garden hose, running with scissors, petting strange dogs and taking candy from strangers. You wake up one morning and realize you don’t give a hoot what others think which can sometimes move you to cross the line on decorum.
On a whim, four of us recently climbed up the giant pony statue which was erected in front of a “gentlemen’s club” over near Mayhew Junction. We didn’t go into the establishment, mind you. We just had our pictures made while we were riding high in the sky and looking ridiculous. (You’re never too old to hurt yourself trying something new.)
Why did we do it? Because someone said we couldn’t. Becoming a dinosaur has its privileges. The sheriff passed by and honked at us. If we’d been fifteen, he probably would have hauled us in.
Not too long ago we had a sleep over at my house – first one since we were 17. At 2 a.m. we all piled into the car and went to Wal-Mart to buy matching pajamas. The check out lady asked if we were the Sweet Potato Queens. We told her we were their first cousins, the Turnip Green Trollops. She asked for our autographs.
Who could imagine that aging would be so liberating? Dare I suggest it is more fun to be a senior citizen than a teenager? Yesiree. We are baby boomers bustin’ loose. We can have the car anytime we want it, and so what if we put a dent in the bumper? We can throw a raincoat over our pajamas at midnight and ride over to the Sonic for a hot fudge milkshake without asking permission.
We are no longer burdened by the overwhelming urge to please others at our own expense. We can share our deepest secrets freely, secure in the knowledge no one can remember them after about 20 minutes. My biggest fear is that one day soon I will forget which comes first…long pants or underwear! By then, I won’t care.
If you’re old enough to have seen “I Love Lucy” or The Beatles the first time around, you are probably on the feisty side of 50 too. Milk it. If you don’t want to go to a party, just don’t go. You can tell them it slipped your mind, and they will believe you.
Through it all, we try to remain faithful to our ideals and strive to give back more than we take. Life after 50 is better than I ever imagined. As Cliff Eastwood said in one of his rough and tumble movies, “Every day on this side of the dirt is a good day.”
By the way, we do not consider ourselves over the hill; we’re just celebrating our peak.