Baby Boomers were born between 1946 and 1964. I was born in 1946.
Have you even heard of Fizzies? Do you know who Princess Summerfallwinterspring is? Can you tell me what Karen Pendleton was famous for? If you can, chances are you're either a really good Trivia buff, or you're a baby boomer. Most people have heard of Howdy Doody, but unless you've been there, you probably don't remember the beautiful Indian princess. And while most of us have heard of Annette Funicello, how many other original Mouseketeers, like little Karen, with her shiny blone ringlets, can you name?
The true meaning of baby boomer really hit home the other day when I received an invitation to join AARP. YOU MUST BE 50 OR OVER. YOU NEED NOT BE RETIRED. Baby boomers are no longer "war babies," "cold war kids," "flower children," Vietnam soldiers (or) protesters, "yuppies" or "thirtysomethings." We are (suddenly?) grandparents, arthritis sufferers, and AARP members!
Does this mean it's time to retire to the rocking chair? Don't even think about it! Seniors today (and yes, we baby boomers are officially "seniors" now) are staying healthy and active longer than ever. They do this with regular exercise -- walking, dancing, skating, bowling -- and by keeping their minds active -- learning new skills, taking classes, joining volunteer groups. Although some are retired, some volunteer and some work part-time, many are still employed full-time or own their own businesses.
According to AARP, a third of their members are employed in full- or part-time jobs. AARP provides both local and national volunteer opportunities, workshops, seminars, and employment guides along with their many other benefits and free information. Looking for a local commitment? The Senior Center located in your community offers classes, a myriad of activities, and is always looking for dedicated volunteers. If you want to expand your horizons, check out the community education courses at your local college. You can study everything from music to investing, computers to car care, genealogy to t'ai chi. Or, if you have knowledge or a skill that you can share with others, contact your local community college or senior center and offer to teach a class or give a seminar.
I may have given my hula hoop to my granddaughter, but my roller skates and my hiking boots are still in the closet, ready for action. Since I turned 50, I've been taking classes and teaching classes; I started a new career and wrote a novel; I joined some new organizations and met some new friends. Just because AARP caught up with me, they didn't change my attitude. This baby boomer's body might be over 50, but my mind and heart are younger. The rest of my life is still ahead of me! I don't intend to waste it.