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Among the many headlines that stood out in 2017, women’s stories of sexual harassment and assault by men in positions of power in the workplace, in politics, in the entertainment industry, in higher education, and in private life, were revealed in the media almost daily, earning the two-word hashtag #MeToo, which went viral in the wake of allegations of sexual misconduct against film mogul Harvey Weinstein.
When my husband and I moved to our current house almost 13 years ago, we chose it because it was in our price range, in the community in which we wanted to live, had an unusual and beautiful marsh view, and a nice open, floor plan, without enough space for our sons—one in college and one recently graduated—to move back in.(!)
Having one career, even job, per lifetime—with a gold watch, pension, and retirement at 65—had pretty much been the American way until Baby Boomers, particularly Late Boomers, put a spin on this linear way of thinking, taking a more fluid, flexible approach to work as we enter into different ages and stages of our lives.
I’m not big into tribute bands, but when I read that the last concert of the season on the Guilford Green was an homage to Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young, we packed up the cooler and chairs and headed over to join our friends and another several hundred people on a beautiful late summer evening, singing along and dancing to the music that had such a huge impact on our younger selves.
I love to be around women of a certain age, the same age as I am, and older, who prove the old adage that what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger, who have the perspective that only comes with having a past and knowing that the future is fast approaching, and so there is no time like the present to start living your dreams.
Will the Past Disappear Without Them?
You’ve probably heard the news that for the first time in four decades Americans’ life spans have decreased.
Women of my generation were coming of age during the first wave of the feminist movement of the 1960s—an energized movement with a second wave that lasted into the 1980s.
When someone tells you they’re going to a Happiness Club meeting, do you cringe, thinking of corny images of iconic yellow smiley faces, or imagine people making a circle and singing “Kumbaya,” circa 1960?
Baby Boomers didn’t create the support group. Credit goes to Bill Wilson, who founded Alcoholics Anonymous back in 1935. AA was the first support group to help people recover from alcohol addiction when medical intervention just wasn’t working.
When people ask me what I like about living in Stony Creek, in addition to the gorgeous views of the Thimble Islands, walking my dog on the beautiful trolley trail, and the overall small shoreline town charm, potluck dinners head the list. I think it’s because potluck equates with a sense of community I never experienced to this degree in any other place I’ve lived over my lifetime.
Thinking about my previous column on veteran artists, and how veterans are often seen only as a product of their service, rather than the complete picture of who they are, I realized the same thing applies to our parents’ generation. We often look at the elderly only as elderly. We don’t always think about the colorful and interesting lives many of our parents have led. As adult children leading hurried lives, we don’t always make the time to listen to their stories. And sadly, the larger public doesn’t often hear their stories until they die, in an obituary.