Boomers, Have You Shared A Smile Today?

There have been articles written about boomers volunteering while finding their purpose.  Many are uniting in different causes to assist and help others.  By doing this some are expressing a more fulfilled life.  Boomers are being creative and getting involved in ways to change not only their lives, but the lives of others.  It is as though our hands are uniting as one.  Some people are touching lives in large ways and some in small.  The important thing is that they are doing it!  More and more I notice this going on around me, as I am out in public places.  It seems like I notice this a lot at my local grocery store.  I will share what I heard from my grocery store trip this week.

As I was standing in line to check out, the cashier, who appeared to be boomer age, was talking with the customer in front of me.  She was telling the customer about a motivational seminar that she had attended at the St. Louis Cervantes Center the day before.  At the center she had heard motivational speakers share their experiences. One speaker told stories of how folks united during 9-11.  The cashier had really been touched by the stories that she heard.  The customer in front of me, enjoyed the story and begin to smile.  It was good to see a boomer bringing a smile to another’s face.

Then it was my turn to check out.  The older gentleman bagging my groceries was listening attentively.  I began to share with the cashier about how I write stories on boomerplaces.com.  I also was able to tell her about my interest in helping others during my retirement age years.  She said, “I have been thinking about when my day comes to retire, but for today I am trying to find my purpose.”  Bingo, I thought to myself.  She had just expressed the magic word, PURPOSE! I then suggested a couple of books that I had read regarding the subject.  She wrote the names down and thanked me.

My groceries were bagged and it was time to be on my way.  The elderly lady behind me continued the conversation with the cashier as they both smiled.  The gentleman that had bagged my groceries was now smiling. He followed me out of the store to gather up grocery carts.  He appeared to have a new spring in his step as he offered his assistance to a couple of boomer age ladies.

I thought to myself, ” So this is how it is done.  Just a simple smile, a positive comment, and a small offer of help can begin the process of each of us finding our purpose as we share with each other!  It is one life touching that of another, one hand helping and each person showing interest in fellow human beings.

One never knows how a smile, a positive comment, a show of respect or interest might just be that one thing that will turn into that big purpose that will change the world.

Boomers Road Of Life

Roads carry us to many places.. We travel them daily, weekly, monthly, and yearly. They get us to where we are going. Some have many curves, hills, mountains, peaks, valleys, and detours. Others may be narrow, wide, whining, smooth, or rocky. If we stay on a road sooner or later we get where we are going. Depending on conditions as we travel, we may have to vary or change our course. We may have to stop many times and review our maps. There are even times when obstacles may arise and we may have to choose a different direction to reach our destination. At times we may speed quickly while other times our travel goes very slow depending on many conditions at the time.

Just like the roads that we travel daily, Boomers travel the road of life. We have experienced rocky places,curves, peaks, valleys and detours. We have seen war times in our younger years and now. Some Boomers have climbed to the peaks in their careers while others fell to the valley during the recession. Boomers have experienced loss in divorces or by death of a spouse. We have seen children grow and leave us with an empty nest. Other boomers may have acclaimed fame and prosperity. In our early years we were there when President John F.Kennedy and Nobel Peace Price winner, Martin Luther King, were assassinated. We were there when the first man landed on the moon. We continued our life journey as computers first came into our offices to replace the old type writers. Some of our favorite music has changed. Some our television favorite comedians,movie stars, song writers and singers are no longer with us.

In today’s world we are now looking at our maps again as we go into our retirement years. Retirement may mean that we continue working or make a job change. Some will be heading to small towns to start a small business.. Others may be leaving the small town to join their grown children in city living. Those that are single may be considering dating again or finding new social activities at senior centers, churches and in over 55 communities. Couples may be preparing to travel the world and experience things that they have never experienced before. Many boomers are contacting colleges to take courses of interest or finish a degree. There are boomers that are having to pick themselves up, brush themselves off and start all over again. Boomers are making choices to age in places or make geographical changes to live out their retirement age years.

Yes it is true. Most roads are not clear and all smooth as we would want them to be. Regardless of that fact, boomers will continue on their journey. We will do what we need to do. We will use our maps, our life experiences and persist in these changing times. We will meet health challenges just like those before us did. We will face our day to day living with pride and dignity. We will continue to make a difference in the world that we live.  We will continue on the Boomer Road of Life!

With that said, I would like to end with a poem written by Robert Frost. The poem has been analyzed in many ways and was one of his best but tricky.  See if you can figure it out!

The Road Not Taken
Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,

And sorry I could not travel both

And be one traveler, long I stood

And looked down one as far as I could

To where it bent in the undergrowth;

Then took the other, as just as fair,

And having perhaps the better claim,

Because it was grassy and wanted wear;

Though as for that the passing there

Had worn them really about the same,

And both that morning equally lay,

In leaves no step had trodden black.

OH, I kept the first for another day!

Yet knowing how way leads on to way,

I doubted if I should ever come back.

I shall be telling this with a sigh

Somewhere ages and ages hence”

Two roads diverged in a wood, and I–

I took the one less traveled by,

And that has made all the difference

Resource: Poets.org.

A Boomer’s Life Perspective

It is Easter Sunday. I awakened in the middle of the day after working the night shift.  There is much to be grateful for and I give thanks.  It is raining.  Sweetie, my dog needs to go outside to do her thing.  We walk out for a short stroll.  My eyes look up at the clouds in the sky. The apartments around me appear quiet.  It is not a hard rain , just a mist.  I look over to a huge tree in the backyard of a house within eyes glance.  The tree stands sturdy and strong.  I remember that yard from forty- one years ago.  At that time there was no tree. There was no grass.  The house that sits there now, had just been built in a new subdivision in St. Charles County, Missouri.  There was farm land all around.  The rumor was that someday the area would be a beautiful city.   The earth was hard clay dirt.  Who would have thought that a tree could have grown that beautiful in the red clay.  Who would have thought that this small town would develop into such a rich and prosperous city.  The rumor became reality.  As Sweetie and I walked back into my apartment, I remembered how proud my first husband and I were when we had that house built back in the 60’s.

The passed few days of events in St. Louis have brought about many thoughts.  Some are of the past and some in the present. A tornado hit St. Louis Friday night.  It passed over my neighborhood as Sweetie and I took cover in the bathroom of my one bedroom apartment.  It hit the St. Louis airport where I use to work.  The storms hit the surrounding areas of Maryland Heights, St. Ann, Bridgeton and Berkley.  Even though there was huge damage done, no lives were lost.  That was a miracle!  The storm was also in Granite City, Illinois. In my life time I have lived or owned a house in each of these areas.  I looked at the pictures today of the homes that have been destroyed and damaged in in my old neighborhoods.  My heart goes out to the folks this Easter week end as they pull their lives back together.  I remember the tornado of 1967.  I lived in the same area.  It missed the house that I lived in and took down others on my street.

As I write this story, I wonder how it will be for my grandchildren forty years from now as they remember this city in St. Charles.  What stories will they have to share with their children on an Easter Sunday?  Will they tell my great grandchildren about my retirement years and my life?  What will be sitting in the back yard of their first home?

At this moment, no matter where you, a story is taking place on this day to be remembered and shared.  I hope that each of you are finding peace from within as the journey of life goes on.  Neighborhoods will be rebuilt.  There is no price tag on what is in the heart or a life!  Boomers are like the sturdy oak tree.  We stand strong!  May the sun shine in each heart as we tell our stories.