Baby Boomers Journey On The Road Of Life

The journey of life is just that a journey. Sometimes it is smooth and sometimes not. The journey changes each second, each minute, each hour and day. As we go through the times we often wonder why this or that is happening. Then many years later we look back and see more clearly the reason. It is then that we know the purpose and appreciate the wisdom that we gained. Boomers of today are doing just that. Today our lives are being touched in many ways. We may be repeatedly asking why or searching for an answer. As we search, there is a possibility that we are missing that which is most precious. It may be very close to us as we search with our intellect and disregard our hearts. We may be caught up in the day to day clutter of our minds.

The journey of life is just that a journey.  Sometimes it is smooth and sometimes not.  The journey changes each second, each minute, each hour and day.  As we go through the times we often wonder why this or that is happening.  Then many years later we look back and see more clearly the reason.  It is then that we know the purpose and appreciate the wisdom that we gained.  Boomers of today are doing just that. Today our lives are being touched in many ways.  We may be repeatedly asking why or searching for an answer.  As we search, there is a possibility that we are missing that which is most precious in our lives.  It may be very close to us as we search with our intellect and disregard our hearts. We may be caught up in the day to day clutter of our minds.

Elisabeth Kubler Ross, Swiss-author and psychiatrist said, “Learn to get in touch with the silence within yourself, and know that everything in life has a purpose.  There are no mistakes, no coincidences, all events are given to us to learn from.”  I find this so very true.  As we boomers look back at our past, our life has been a journey of learning experiences.  Our experiences are not over.  We can use those experience to maintain our life today and share with others.  So many times, we allow ourselves to get wrapped up in the “what isn’t”, instead of focusing on the positive of “what is”.  Many years ago Dr. Ross wrote the five stages of grief which are (denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance.)  Not only can this be used with dealing with death, it can be used to deal with other life situations that are connected with loss.  You can find out more about the five stage model of grief at Elisabeth Kubler-Ross Foundation’s website.  The bottom line is, with acceptance comes peace.  Peace comes in the quietness or stillness of the mind.  Only then can we truly appreciate true beauty and keep ourselves connected with the sunlight of the spirit.

Today I choose to remain in the present in order to carry myself as a humble but proud boomer.  I have a story.  There is something to be learned from my story for someone out in this world.  The events may not have been as society would have judged them as the best but it was my life.  I learned, and will continue learning, as I continue on with life’s journey.  With that said, I will end this with one of my favorite quotes from Dr. Elisabeth Kubler-Ross.

“As far as service goes, it can take the form of a million things.  To do service, you don’t have to be a doctor in the slums for free, or become a social worker.  Your position in life and what you do doesn’t matter as much as how you do what you do.”

I encourage each and every boomer to share your experiences and your story.  Continue to learn on your journey!



Boomer Childhood Memories

If you are a boomer reading this I hope it took you to a place of importance in your life. I hope you will share your story with others that will listen. Most of all, I hope that it has instilled in you the memory of what is really important. Simple can sometimes be the most priceless of things that we have! Ask yourself, is it too late? Maybe your family can still have some of this on a beautiful week end coming up soon.

As I awaken from a short nap today and sat enjoying a cup of cappuccino, my mind went back in time to my childhood.  I thought of the big city of St. Louis, Missouri where I was born.  It was a city not suburbs as some of us call city today.  I remember the two and four family flats around the neighborhood.  Most families rented.  The flats were not air conditioned.  Instead, a fan was placed in the window for cooling.  Neighbors sat on the front porch steps to cool in the evening.  Those buildings were very hot in the summer time.  Children played on the sidewalks such games as hop scotch and jacks.  Some kids were lucky enough to own a bicycle.  Our treat consisted of getting a nice cold snow cone from the snow cone man when we heard the musical sound of his truck coming. Our parents were blue collar workers. They were proud to have jobs in factories near by.  After a hard day of work some listened to the Cardinal baseball game on the AM station of their radio.  You could smell the aroma of home cooking coming the apartments. Dinner time was called super time and lunch was dinner.  A hearty lunch consisted of half a bologna sandwich and a can of Campbell’s chicken and noodle soup.  Super usually included some form of potatoes, a meat and gravy, peas or beans.  Children did not complain about their meals and Mom’s enjoyed cooking them.

Week ends came and some Dads might have a beer or two.  Mothers did the weekly grocery shopping at an outside fruit and vegetable market.  Meat was purchased from a butcher at the meat store.  The butcher was a friendly sort of chap with meat blood stains on his apron.  He always cut and wrapped a generous good portion in white freezer paper. The butcher knew all his customers by a first name basis.

Some times families enjoyed the parks on Sunday.  I remember the bright colored plastic table clothes spread out on picnic benches.  Huge bowls of potato salad, slaw and all the fixings were there for a wonderful picnic meal.  Adults and children played softball, badminton and shared a lot of laughter and fun.  At the end of the day we were relaxed, a little tired, sometimes sun burned, but happy. That was life in the big city.

Later I remember the move to a small town.  It was a much slower pace.  The town has one grocery store not a butchers shop.  There was a town square that sat right in the middle of the town with the stores around it.  You could see the old cotton gin where farmers brought their cotton in wagons to be ginned and bailed.  Sometimes there was country music players in the square for the town folks entertainment.  It was very important to get to town at the right time on Saturday evening for the town drawing.  I remember waiting anxiously to hear who would win the prize for the week.

On Sunday most folks put on their go to meeting clothes and attended church.  Everyone’s shoes were shined and dressed in their best clothes.  You could see men’s faces freshly shaved.  Women looked as though they just walked out of a country fashion magazine.   Hats were properly taken off prior to entering the building except for the ladies.  Of course they displayed their hats proudly on their heads clipped on with hat pins.

Sunday dinner was a big thing in the small town.  Tables were prepared with the best dishes.  The windows of the houses were open.  Curtains were swinging back and forth in the windows.  You could smell chicken and okra frying.  Potatoes were being mashed with real butter.  The gravy was simmering in the skillet. Fresh pies were coming out of the ovens.  Beautiful red tomatoes were sliced from the garden.  The families gathered around at the table and enjoyed a feast.  After dinner some nodded off for a nap while others just relaxed as if there was not a care in the world.

If you are a boomer reading this I hope it took you to a place of importance in your life.  I hope you will share your story with others that will listen.  Most of all, I hope that it has instilled in you the memory of what is really important.  Simple can sometimes be the most priceless of things that we have!  Ask yourself, is it too late?  Maybe your family can still have some of this on a beautiful week end coming up soon.



The Little Things Are Sometimes The Most Important

In the past two months, I have had the opportunity to experience what some people might think are small things but to me they were very important. Each touched my heart and gave me the encouragement to get through a difficult time.

Sometimes I reflect back to people, places, and circumstances that have been in my life.  Then I allow my thoughts to float into the moment. It is almost like playing connect the dots.  One never knows how each dot will take each of us from the past to present.  Each dot has such significance as the plan is put together before us in the journey of life.  As the dots form, we have no idea how little things will turn into larger ones.  Maybe that is the way we mature in order to truly appreciate what is really important.  Maybe the dot process is a way of giving human life the time needed to comprehend, appreciate and cherish that which we might have not known as truth and love early on.  In the past two months, I have had the opportunity to experience what some people might think are small things but to me they were very important.  Each touched my heart and gave me the encouragement to get through a difficult time.

It is a good time to write these things down and say thank you.  By sharing them maybe you will have a better understanding of how important small things can be comforting to others. It is not the size but the act of giving and the caring that goes behind a thought or action.  It is a way of expressing love and letting another know that they are important.  By doing this you are one of the dots that are a part of another’s life.

For me these are things that I experienced after a heart attack. They can be applied to almost any situation.  That elderly person in the nursing facility has needs.  The neighbor down the road in the small town that you live in will be grateful.  Even Miss Merts in apartment 203 B in the city might enjoy a little dot at her door.  Oh, and don’t forget those friends and relatives that you need to connect as life goes by the way.

This is my list of dots.  I am sure there will be dots that I will not remember to write about but they are not forgotten.

  • You were there beside my bedside prior to surgery and again the next day and the next.  You smiled, touched my hand, and let me know how much you care.  I may have not seen you in three years but as we discussed, we will always care and respect each other.  You are the son that I NEVER HAD.
  • Father Scott, you are not a real father but will always be one in my eyes.  You are a listening ear, a shoulder to cry on and a sincere friend.  I trust and respect you.  I know you care.
  • The rest of you on the team are more to me than co workers you are like family.  You are really some great guys. You make me smile when I am down and are uniquely special.
  • Fb friends, you keep me going.  You inquire, give encouragement and laugh at my silliest.  Sometimes you are even closer than my own family.  You know who you are.  You are special.
  • The both of you might live in Georgia.  I have never met you but you let me know how you cared.  Such kindness does not go unnoticed.  It helped restore my trust in humanity.
  • You flew in from Florida as I asked.  You were there to lift me out of the bed when I was stuck and could not get up.  You may have complained a little about your sleeping arrangements but you did NOT LEAVE MY SIDE until you had to go home!
  • The groceries lasted almost a month that you put into the refrigerator and pantry that were empty.  Sis says you stayed with me while I was out with tubes running from my mouth and body for a day and a night.
  • The Princess was tired but concerned and I know my friend that you were.  You show your love as you always do and fill my heart with joy.
  • Then there is you.  You can not be with me but you sent a card.  You made a phone call.  You offered me money.  It is an odd situation but I know that you care too.
  • Then there is the priceless dot.  The one that spent three months in skilled nursing unable to walk.  She showed them all.  She came home.  She has been there every step of the way.  She has listened, cooked my favorite potato salad, gave me a temporary bed, supplied me lemon drops for my cough, done my laundry,walked my dog, and showed me TOTAL UNCONDITIONAL LOVE!  THANK YOU MY ONE AND ONLY SISTER.  You are not a dot.  You are a miracle!

So when you think that little things aren’t important, just remember the dots.  Each dot has its own special meaning and may be the most important one in the life of another!



Smartphone Features for Baby Boomers

Smartphone apps help empower Boomers to better manage health situations. There are thousands of apps that empower Boomers to take control of their health. As Boomers use smartphones for life-management tools sales are expected to soar.

I found my smartphone easy to use and now understand it’s features and how it will help me in my daily life. I think Boomers will continue to discover the benefits of smartphones and find them useful like I did. As we get older using technology will make life easier and more manageable.

I had gotten used to my plain cell phone with the big buttons and no extras, not even a camera.  I thought that phone served my needs in retirement perfectly.   That was before about a month  ago at the Verizon kiosk at Costco when I picked up the latest Android phone, the “Charge” by Samsung with 4G.   I now see the advantages of having a smartphone.   So do a lot of other boomers who are buying smartphones in large numbers.

With only a month of experience of using my Droid, here are some of the applications (Apps) I like the best.  There are many more to be discovered and many will be developed.

1. GPS – Believe it or not I did not have a GPS device before.  This is my favorite feature.  I was thinking GPS was only useful for trips, but I use it all the time.  I used it to locate a restaurant, a friend’s office, a utility company office,  a house in a far off neighborhood and more.

2. Car Locator –  A GPS related App helps you find your way back to your car.   Can be used to find your way back on a hike, to the cruise ship and many more uses.

3. Gas Buddy – Again I thought this was for trips, but it is useful even in your own neighborhood, showing you the price at your local stations.   On the road, it is even more helpful.

4. Internet Access –  Now I don’t need to purchase the local Internet access when staying at that condo at the beach.  I will have Internet access when visiting the mother in law for long visits, waiting around for appointments,  getting there early when meeting someone.

My smartphone helps me stay connected to my business.

5. Travel Apps.  I think the travel apps will have the helpful and enjoyable app features for me.  Some Apps I have discovered are: Tripadvisor , Google Maps, Places, ShipMate will track your cruise day by day

6. Bar code scanner with Google Market let’s you check prices on anything with a bar code anywhere.  Easy to use.

7. Slacker Radio and Pandora are great music apps.  No more paying for this stuff.  Available and easy.

More useful apps I have heard of are: Eye Reader to magnify and illumine small print,  Instant Heart Rate and Epocrates app is a resource for drug information.  Smartphone apps help empower Boomers to better manage health situations.   There are thousands of apps that empower Boomers to take control of their health. As Boomers use smartphones for life-management tools sales are expected to soar.

I found my smartphone easy to use and now understand it’s features and how it will help me in my daily life.  I think Boomers will continue to discover the benefits of smartphones  and find them useful like I did.   As we get older using technology will make life easier and more manageable.



The Boomers Dysfunction Junction Family

When I was a younger person, I remember watching the television show, “Leave It To Beaver.” Everyone was so proper and perfect. It represented the all American family back in the day. Needless to say, I was nothing like Mrs. Clever. My clothes were not perfect, my house was disorganized, and as as a single Mom I guess you might say we were a bit dysfunctional. In other words we did not set the standards for normal but what is normal but a setting on a washing machine.

When I was a younger person, I remember watching the television show, “Leave It To Beaver.”  Everyone was so proper and perfect.  It represented the all American family back in the day.  Needless to say, I was nothing like Mrs. Clever.  My clothes were not perfect, my house was disorganized, and as as a single Mom I guess you might say we were a bit dysfunctional.  In other words we did not set the standards for normal but what is normal but a setting on a washing machine.  There were many self help programs and books for this condition back then.  One thing for sure by attending these programs, I met others that were just like me.   Some even appeared in more abnormal situations than my family.  Instead of judging the situation, I will just say dysfunction or not, it was what it was.  Who cares about titles anyway.   If the truth be known, I am sure most folks have a few skeletons in their closets.

The qualifications for dysfunction could be doing a lot of things such as drinking, drugging, care taking, sex, over eating, under eating, or anything that is connected with an addiction.  Then there is the term, “being politically correct.”  Whatever, I say!  From articles that I have been reading lately it appears boomers have been saddled with the blame for a lot of this.  Again, I say,”Whatever.”  Give us a break already!  The last time I was in a bar, it was unbelievable to me watching some of our younger generation put down a few cold beers.  As fast as they were going down who would have had time to taste the cold part anyway.  It has been a while since I have seen any 70 year old folks chugging that fast but I know they can.  Really who cares about the age thing as long as they are legal age to drink.  Oh right, make sure it is not obsessive or it will be dysfunctional.

I am waiting for the statistics to come out on today’s day and age families regarding computer age dysfunction.  So far from what I have observed is that members of a family sit in the same room.  Each person has a cell phone in their hand.  Constantly they are texting away on the phone.  Then there is a giggle from a person on the opposite of the room.  Instead of talking, these two folks are texting each other. That is the way they share a laugh.  Give me a break!  Pretty soon one will have to have a cell phone to ask for the butter to be passed at the dinner table.  Speaking of the the dinner table, that brings me to something else.  I have seen many families that all just grab their food and head to the family room or living room.  There everyone sits around, eats and watches the biggest loser.  To me this appears to be dysfunctional but who am I make that call.

Then I keep reading about families where the parents, grandparents and kids all live under the same roof.  My, My, I do hope these dwelling are structurally safe if there is any dysfunction going on in these families.  Actually, before the next sixty years has come and gone, we boomers may know the family unit as more than it was in days gone by.  Did I say 60 years?  No way, I don’t plan on being around to experience any more new terms associated with family dysfunction junction!  There are so many different surveys going on, I am sure someone will get on this important topic soon of the future of family dysfunction junction.  Only time will tell folks, only time will tell!



Boomers Are Strong And Persevere

This is a list of some of the positives that we boomers took part in during our life time.

There has been a lot of writing about different opinions about baby boomers.  Some say that we brought about drugs and a different value system to this world.  As each generation comes along they are recognized for different things that happened during their era.  Boomers are no different.

I choose to dwell on the good regardless of what era it is.  No one generation is all bad or all good.  We all contribute to change and deal with what is put before us.  Each person is unique in their own way.  Instead of wallowing in the blame game, why not pull together and create a more loving, caring, environment for all people.  Stick with the basics.  Use gratitude instead of woe is me.  Use forgiveness instead of resentments.  Do the right thing.  Cultivate an attitude that you will be proud of and those around you will be drawn to follow.  Be a winner by setting an example that even the smallest child can see the good in you.  Show respect.  Do not be afraid to look another in the eye with pride in what you do.  You are important and each thing, big or small, can impact a life.  That life may just be the one that will finish what you started.  This is a list of some of the positives that we boomers took part in during our life time.

  1. We brought on some great rock music which will never be forgotten.
  2. We were there to start the tearing down of prejudice walls.
  3. We watched as the first man walked on the moon.
  4. We took small country roads and made them into highways.
  5. We connected communities so that better health care could be offered to rural areas.
  6. We pounded at the doors of our educational system until it improved.
  7. We protected our country with the dedication of women and men that were strong and persevered.
  8. We came to the relief of our neighbors during disasters such as floods, tornado, and earth quakes.
  9. We restored national monuments so that our history would never be forgotten.
  10. We built bigger, better, and safer parks so that families and children could enjoy what our country had to offer.
  11. We improved transportation so that we all would have the opportunity to enjoy the best.
  12. We introduced the computer, found cures for some diseases, instilled hope for the younger generation.
  13. We changed the way mental institutions were run and put forth guidelines in hospitals for the best of patient care.
  14. We improved sporting events and challenged our youth.
  15. We marched in the biggest of parades and held children on our backs to cheer the folks on.

These are but just a few things that boomers have been involved in as we stood strong.  We were not known as quitters.  Our lives have touched many.   It is up to each one of us what type of impact we want to make on each other.  Boomers are no more important or less important than any other generation of people.  We love our children, grandchildren, the elderly and all that are persevering as we go through the trying times of today.  Love is a powerful emotion so let the love light shine.   We need each other.  So when you walk down the street, help that elderly person, smile at that little child, encourage that hurting soul and remember that life and love will only go hand in hand if we do our part.