Fifty Years On – One Boomer’s Perspective

March 2, 2010

As a child in the 1950’s I often thought what life would be like fifty years on, especially when the new century started in the year 2000. It seemed so far away. Fifty years seemed a lifetime to a boy of ten. I am over sixty now and I wonder where the years went.

Age was always in the discussion. Why I’d be over fifty in the year 2000. Likely I would be married with children and working to support the family. What I’d be doing or where I’d be living, I had no idea; after all I was only ten years of age.

Some magazines of the time thought everyone would be riding in space cars and robots would be in every home. That sounded kind of neat. Many thought people would be working less and less, perhaps only a few days a week. Experts predicted more leisure time. Earlier retirement seemed a given based on predictions of experts.

The year 2000 is now past. We are ten years into the 21st century. Space cars don’t exist. The cars we drive have computers on-board controlling all the anti-pollution devices. They have global positioning systems (GPS) to help us find the mall. Some have video cameras on the rear to stop the driver from running over Suzie’s bicycle. Almost all have exotic sound systems to bombard us with favorite tunes as we speed down the highways and by-ways. Automobiles still do not have auto-pilot like airplanes. The driver still has to stay alert and awake.

Robots are not commonplace in our homes. The only one I know of is the vacuum that cleans floors by itself. It scoots around by-itself. Builders are wiring homes, so the owners can remotely control appliances and the furnace to cite two examples.

They are common in manufacturing plants. Robots even build cars in the new century.

In the working-world people work longer hours each day and more hours per week. People delay retirement longer and longer in this century. It seems many of us are fated to die at our desks.

There are so many “baby boomers” approaching old age and retirement that medical systems and pension plans are beginning to stress out. “Baby boomers” or “boomers” are the generation of children born post-Second World War, in the late 1940’s and the 1950’s. We make up the largest segment of the population. The boomers toiled all our working lives, paid taxes, and contributed to pension plans, but now governments deem us a liability. It is not fair. Society should have planned for this day.

The retirement of older workers will create opportunities for younger generations. On the downside knowledge will be lost with the death and retirement of the boomers. More on this issue to follow.

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Carefree Childhood – Life Was Good

January 26, 2010

I spent my childhood in a small town of around 1,000 persons. Summer days were idyllic. Riding bikes all over, playing, or lying around. Collecting soda bottles, cashing them in for 2c each, taking the 25 or 30c to the variety store. Buying a comic book, bottle of pop (soda), bubble gum, and chips. Heading for the nearest large shade tree. Reading comic books and dining with good friends for hours.

Climbing trees in vacant lots. Making forts in the upper branches of large leafy trees. Life was good.

Serial killers, perverts, pedophiles? Who the heck heard of those in the 1950’s. Carefree was the byword in those days. We knew what time to go home in for lunch or supper. My friends and I policed ourselves. The freedom we had amazes me to this day.  No wonder we didn’t want to grow up and take responsibility.


Haiti – Please Help!

January 15, 2010

Father with dead daughter

As a father of four daughters this news photo touched me deeply. We need to help these people.

Check your local agencies, make sure you pick a reputable one, and then give what you can.


Where the Wild Things Are

October 19, 2009

WildThingStampUS2006Maurice Sendak is an Jewish-American writer and illustrator born June 10, 1928 in Brooklyn, New York. He both wrote and illustrated the book. It was published in 1963 and became an immediate hit. The story received the Caldecott prize for Most Distinguished American Picture book for children in 1964.  Sendak’s books are somewhat controversial because of his drawings and subject matter, but the kids eat it up.

“Where the Wild Things Are” is now a major motion picture. In 1966 the United States Postal Service issued a set of stamps for the best children’s books. His story was one of the stamps.

Sendak’s “Little Bear” stories are now a TV series and appear on Treehouse TV here in Canada.  Sendak is still living and is now 81. He helped write the screenplay for this movie.


Empty Nesters – Get a Monkey Baby

October 5, 2009
Rhesus monkey - your next child?

Rhesus monkey - your next child?

Last evening on “The Learning Channel” (TLC) they had a show about people who adopt Rhesus monkeys and raise them and treat them as if they were human children. One man’s quote floored me, “Don’t call her a monkey, she’s my daughter”!

Seems most of the people doing this are empter nesters, those whose children have grown up and left home. They just couldn’t get enough of bottles and diapers so now having these monkeys gives them that forever.

One couple tried to take theirs into a restaurant and were denied access, they didn’t allow animals into the establishment.

So for all you empty nesters out there looking to carry on nurturing adopt one. They cost $4500 and if you get tired of it, send it to a zoo.


On Being Computer Literate

July 27, 2009

OliviaComputer2009This is Olivia, one of the twins. She’s five and is becoming adept at using the computer. She learned to use the mouse and keyboard at three.  Although she plays games. It’s taught her how to load programs, read menus, and click and point with the mouse.

Some of the games she enjoys the most are Surf’s Up, Barbie’s Horse Adventure, and some others related to princesses. She and her sister also have Nintendo DS hand-held gamers and have learned to play various kid adventure games.

All of this in my mind is a good thing. These skills will come in handy later when using other apps and the internet.

A short story to illustrate how far kids have come.
I was in a dentist’s office. The phone rang and the receptionist called for a six or seven year old patient, we’ll call him Johnny. Johnny took the call which I couldn’t help but overhear. He described in detail how to save and print a WordPerfect document. Seems it was his mother calling to ask him for help. He then hung up and said aloud, “My mom, I’m still training her to use the computer.”

Needless to say I felt kind of inadequate even though I knew how to use the computer. I knew exactly what some kid in grade one knew.


Never Say Never

April 7, 2008

I learned an invaluable lesson over the years – never say never.

When my first marriage failed and I became single again I said that I would never marry again, ever! This went on for my 14 years of single-again living. I also said that I would never have children again.

Well here I am married again with children again. What happened you’ll say? Well I learned that talking and living by the”never say never” rule severely limits life’s possibilities. Life needs to be lived one day at a time. Most of all happiness needs to me taken wherever it can be found. Take advantage of life’s opportunities as they arise.

When I met the love-of-my life, who happened to be twenty years younger than me, I could easily have said no way, but I would have lost my soulmate and the happiness that goes along with that. I also could have listened to others who judge and told me she is too young for you. It is OK to listen to others, but the only person who can decide what is best for you is you. I am so glad I made my own decision based on what was best for my wife and I.

My younger wife wanted children, I really didn’t think I needed anymore. Again I could have run and lost her. Instead I chose to make her happiness and mine the priority. Many others thought I was crazy. I listened, but in the end made the decision to have children with her. This has resulted in more happiness than I thought possible. If I had decided based on the opinions of others I would be very lonely and unfulfilled in my life today.

The moral to this story is never say never! Always consider all the possibilities and never rule any of them out. Make the final decision based on what will make you and those you care about deeply truly happy. I’m sure glad I did.


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