Posts Tagged ‘baby boomers’

Do you ever feel out of step? I hate to admit that our 50th high school reunion will be coming right up next year, because admitting that means the end of an era. The Class of ’66 was the first to stage a protest walk-out, to almost win the Principal of the Year award at a NY radio station. And we were not the first, and probably not the last, to send our young men off to fight a war we had no business fighting.

And for most of us, our Millennial children have paved the road to our Golden Years with lessons in technology. Every time I visit the Rocker, my iPhone gets a complete overhaul. Whenever I return from Nashville, my laptop is clean and moving faster along its wifi/cloud connectivity circuit. And even though I am pretty savvy with social media, sharing my thoughts on life through blogs, Twitter and Facebook, I’ve only recently entered into the non-virtual, non-fiction sharing society.

Now I understand that for some of us this is scary. After all, we’re used to booking hotel rooms when we travel. If you stay at one Hilton in Bermuda, the Hilton in Dallas will be a similar experience. Maybe they’ll have different pictures hanging on the walls. We know what to expect, we become frequent flyers, we humans are creatures of habit. The more adventurous might try staying at a quaint Bed and Breakfast on Martha’s Vineyard. But that’s about it. Until Airbnb.https://www.airbnb.com

I’m about to stay at my second Airbnb. The first time I let my son schedule the whole thing. After all, I was delivering a cat to LA, alone, and had no idea where his neighborhood was, plus he said the hotels were exorbitant. And I was delightfully surprised. The host gave my son the key before I arrived, and there was a bottle of wine waiting for me and coffee in the fridge for the morning. It didn’t matter that the TV was internet/Netlix/Hulu only. I wasn’t there to watch TV, in fact I listened to the Serial podcast on my downtime.

Eventually I met the host and his 3 Pit Bulls! We all had great fun on the patio. I wanted to book with him again, but the time Bob and I will be in California was already booked. Sooo, I started my own Airbnb account and started looking. The Rocker told me it’s all about the reviews – read them! And soon enough, Bob too will be experiencing this sharing society of which I speak.

I lorded it over the Bride that her old Mama had tried Airbnb before her, but now she has too, and she and the Groom have used Uber for getting around Nashville late at night. Since I’m usually not out partying anymore late at night, it may be awhile until I get to try this particular car sharing service. But it’s good to change it up every now and then; good for our brain, good for our soul. If you believe in Annie Dillard’s famous saying,“How we spend our days is, of course, how we spend our lives,” then let’s climb out of our automatic pilot frame of mind and take the wheel in this new society. Fifty years later, we can still learn a few new tricks.

And right on time, I read a Tweet by Peter Greenberg telling us what we “need to know” when booking through Airbnb. Maybe the travel industry is catching up with our kids after all? http://petergreenberg.com/2015/02/23/airbnb-tips-and-tricks-for-first-timers/

ps The Parlor Mob will be playing at the Skate and Surf Festival in Asbury park, NJ this Sunday – they should hit the World Stage around 2 pm!

Mother and Son

            Mother and Son

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For another day I’ll be the same age as Bruce Springsteen. Tomorrow I’ll leap ahead of him and catch up with Bob, who has a birthday the day after the Love Bug in August. My sister Kay already called, my MIL sent me the usual Chico’s gift card (thank you Ada), and my son already posted on Facebook. This year it feels like people are jumping the shark on my birthday, let’s all take a breath. I’m in no hurry to age.

I had to pick up the latest Atlantic magazine because it was all about aging. You can’t miss it. The cover is an old geezer on a skateboard, doing an ollie with his socks slouching down around his ankles.  The cover story is, “What Happens When We All Live to 100?” Good question. I started reminiscing about skateboarding down a parking lot ramp in my old hometown of Dover, NJ. I was one of very few high school girls who had the nerve to do this stuff, and I never got very good at it. But I remember the woody station wagons, the street lights, and blaring the Beach Boys while I tried to “hang ten” without wiping out on asphalt.

Then I was back in real time, reading, “Why I Hope to Die at 75.” http://www.theatlantic.com/features/archive/2014/09/why-i-hope-to-die-at-75/379329/

I am talking about how long I want to live and the kind and amount of health care I will consent to after 75. Americans seem to be obsessed with exercising, doing mental puzzles, consuming various juice and protein concoctions, sticking to strict diets, and popping vitamins and supplements, all in a valiant effort to cheat death and prolong life as long as possible. This has become so pervasive that it now defines a cultural type: what I call the American immortal

This morning I chewed my gummi multiple vitamin and my calcium chocolate candy. I popped my supplements for my psoriatic skin condition and my swiss-cheesey, osteopenic bones, and then to top it off, I swallowed a Claritin for my allergies. I’m not taking any meds for anything serious, I’m blessed with an Irish peasant’s good DNA so my heart and blood pressure seem to be doing fine all on their own, knock knock.

What I’m not doing is sticking to any sort of diet whatsoever, and I don’t think I’m obsessed with exercise, though at one time in my 40s I may have been.  Still, I’m not willing to give it all up in a mere 9 years! I kept reading. Is this guy for real, or is he writing satire for the Atlantic? Could this just be Gulliver’s Travels for the well-heeled, senior set?

The author, Ezekiel Emanuel, talks about how modern medicine has managed to prolong life, and asks the  important question, “But as life has gotten longer, has it gotten healthier? Is 70 the new 50?” Let me warn you, if you are over 70 and prone to depression, do not read this Atlantic article! You may as well hang up the cleats, or stilettos, now. The inevitable stroke or stent is lurking right around the corner.

So, let’s hope we are all outliers who will experience a healthy old age! And if you are one of my readers who is crying their eyes out already because the last chick has left the nest, take heart. Let’s end on a positive note, let me count the ways being an empty nester has improved this old gal’s life.

  1. I can get into the hot tub, naked, anytime I want
  2. I can eat ice cream for dinner if I feel like it
  3. I can sleep in (until 8am  sometimes)
  4. I can listen to my music in the car and YES Bono I’ll download your free album!
  5. I can sing anytime, anywhere with impunity without using the “right” words

Oh, and I can still search for flea market finds and transform them into tiny treasures for the grand baby!  IMG_1143

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