Steve Charnes works out at a senior center in Columbia, S.C., in 2014. Experts say that baby boomers want to stay in their own homes as long as possible. A way to do that is with the “village concept,” which is catching on in South Carolina. Virtual villages are member-run associations set up to help members with transportation, home repairs, and social connections. (Bruce Smith/AP).
What is in the hearts and souls of baby boomers in 2017?
Many boomers are looking for the path forward; it’s a generation with a rich history; most of them today are looking for health and happiness — in the here and now.
There are three things at play for those born between 1946 and 1964:
- The way we were
- The events of our time
- The vision, mission, goals, and objectives of our future
As part of their fund raising efforts, PBS recently aired a documentary on The Mamas and the Papas. The music was rich, the songs still wonderful, and the memories of the times were pronounced.
Baby boomers viewing this documentary must have felt as if they had been temporarily transported back to a different time.
The schedule of daily life as a typical baby boomer today may begin with getting up early to exercise, followed by calling one’s elderly mother to see how she is doing. This is just part of the care giving mode of operation for many boomers today.
Yet, something is missing from this snapshot of modern day life for baby boomers; where the main focus is on the present with an occasional glance back to the past.
What is missing are the hopes and dreams of baby boomers’ ever elusive bucket list.
Once upon a time, boomers got up, went to work, and thought to themselves, “When I retire or work less, or maybe even after a second career, I will be outlining all the places I want to go. I will then travel and see the world.”
You realized that maybe it won’t be in a Chevrolet, as the advertising slogan once recited, but you thought that you’d find a way to see all the places that were in your dreams.
However, a new culprit in the lineup for baby boomers seems to be interfering with the fulfillment of these dreams, it’s . . . being overwhelmed.
The inability to relax and the continued measures of responsibility are making life less about “Trivago,” and more about “A Place for Mom.”
Of course, baby boomers are not defined by one size fit all.
As an example, there is the woman from Ohio — who is not just the typical grandmother — she is actually raising her 3 year old granddaughter as if she were the mother.
And then there is the molecular biologist from California who is no longer doing ground breaking research or trying to plan out a dream trip to Patagonia, because she is now caregiver in chief.
This brilliant scientist is a wonderful researcher, and her hiking passion remains fierce, but her love for her elderly mother makes this boomer’s life about one key priority: the well-being of her mother, the woman who is responsible for making this baby boomer the woman she is today.
As baby boomer couples look at the map of life (or perhaps more accurately, life with GPS), they wonder, “Will I be able to go on that special fall trip this year?” “Will we be able to stay in our home?” These questions do not result from financial difficulty, but from the need to move in with and take care of that elderly parent.
Many between the ages of 53 and 71 are in the battle for the heart and soul of their generation. It is a battle for the way they want to live versus what they simply feel they need to do.
Baby boomers dispel rumors that they are selfish. In fact, many baby boomers are more accurately defined as selfless.
Baby boomers clearly show that they don’t run away from responsibility.
They are focused on the need to do the right thing for elderly parents, for their children, for their grandchildren — and for all of their loved ones.
Somehow baby boomers will find the fabric of their generation.
Once upon a time, it was about the Mama’s and the Papa’s “California Dreaming.”
These days, “Monday, Monday” is in play. Whether it is the song, or simply getting up every Monday for the greater good.
As baby boomers read this column, they know that whatever issue they are facing; whatever responsibility they are involved with — they are not alone.
Baby boomers have heart and a soul. And they fully know what’s important in life!
By Rick Bava ,Thursday, 06 Apr 2017. Bava founded and was CEO of the Bava Group, which became the premier communications consulting firm serving the Fortune 500 community. Bava became known for his popular blog columns “Rick Bava on the Baby Boomer Generation.” He is the author of “In Search of the Baby Boomer Generation.”
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