Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Traditionalist or Baby Boomer?

My brother-in-law was here a while back and he got to talking about the generations. Apparently he had heard a talk recently where they described the different generations from the Traditionalists to the Baby Boomers to Generation X (Baby Busters) to the Millenials (or Generation Y). This is some of the info he passed on to me.

I know there are books about this, but I haven't read any. However, it is interesting. Since we were born in the summer of 1945, DH and I actually fall right between the Traditionalists and the Baby Boomers. But since we were infants in 1945, we consider ourselves Baby Boomers since we really grew up during that period... graduating from high school and starting college in 1963.

familiar reader

still have my mom's table... just like this but white
remember these?

The following information shows the events and experiences that formed these groups... as well as the characteristics that became a part of each. 

I found it interesting reading. Thought you might also.

Find your generation:

1. Traditionalist – Born 1922-1945
(DH and I were born the summer of 1945)

2. Baby Boomers – Born 1946-1964

3. Generation X or Baby Busters – Born 1965-1979
(Our 3 children were born during this time)

4. Millennial or Generation Y – Born 1980-2000

Events and Experiences of Traditionalists: (1922 - 1945)

Great Depression
New Deal
World War II
Korean War

Events and Experiences of Baby Boomers : (1946 - 1964)

Civil rights
Sexual Revolution

Beatles (& Elvis!) • Cold War
Nuclear Bomb Drill in School
Space travel

Events and Experiences of Gen Xer’s: (1965 - 1979)

Fall of Berlin Wall
Women’s liberation
Desert Storm
Energy crisis

Events and Experiences of the Millennials: (1980 - 2000)

Oklahoma City Bombing
Bill and Monica
Columbine Shooting
September 11, 2001
Child Focused World

Characteristics of Traditionalists: (1922 - 1945)

Resourceful Savers
Pay With Cash
Face to Face
Family Traditional 
Hard Work Obligation 
Duty Before Pleasure
Survival Mode

Characteristics of Baby Boomers: (1946 - 1964)

Wealthiest Generation
Work Hard-Earn Reward
Call Me Anytime
Television Generation
Information Delivered
Justice for All
Civil Rights
Life is an Adventure
Time to Ponder

Characteristics of Generation X: (1965 - 1979)

Grew with Technology
Service Economy Accepting
Over 60% Attended College
Achieve 'On Their Own Terms'
Cherish Time with Family, Friends
Don’t Like Structure
Hands Off
Values Freedom
Self Sufficient
Less Team Oriented

Characteristics of Millennials: (1980 - 2000)

Achievement Oriented
Pampered by Parents
High Expectations
Question Authority
Daily, Instant
Tweets, Blogs, FB
Smart Phones
Merged Families
Most Accepting Group
Family Centric
Work/Life Balance
Flexible Schedules
Tech Savvy *
Attention Craving
Team Oriented
No Child Left Behind
Seek Input 

I wrote this post a while back and never posted it - actually forgot about it until recently reading rants about Baby Boomers on another's blog where they blamed the world's problems on BB's. Well, I'm not political and dislike people who complain but have no solution themselves... (putting blame is an easy out) so their rants didn't sit well with me. But that's neither here nor there.

I just wanted to say that although DH and I were both born in the summer of 1945, we grew up as Baby Boomers and our kids are definitely Generation X. DH and I worked and went to college, got married, and soon became parents. We both continued to work and raise our children all 3 of whom went to college, and now have good jobs and families of their own. So, I find it difficult to understand exactly where we went wrong. Now that we're retired, we aren't wealthy, but have managed to pay off our home and live a comfortable, if not affluent, life. 

I do agree that it's harder for Generation X to save, and it seems necessary for both parents to work - but I'm not sure why the blame of this can be put on the Baby Boomers. It seems to me that each generation faces their own challenges and must take up the gauntlet to meet it. I don't see how finding fault with the previous generation solves anything (IMO).

... just my 2 cents

Friday, May 6, 2016

awake at 4 am...

I wonder if it's *age*... this awakening in the wee hours of the morning? Sleeping has never been a problem for me. I like to sleep... always have. I fall asleep early and usually sleep until 7, sometimes 8 am.

But occasionally (like tonight) I awake around 3 or 4 - generally with thoughts of things that need doing, or were done, or will need doing at some time, etc. running through my head. Most of the time I can side step these thoughts and go back to sleep, but not always

At these times, I get up and fix myself a cup of tea... and visit with the cats. They love it when I show up in the kitchen unexpectedly. Sometimes I finish putting away the supper dishes or watch an old movie, etc. But eventually I will return to bed a hour or so later and sleep until 8.

If DH discovers that I'm missing from the bed, he will come looking for me. But I send him back to bed with the promise that I will return soon

This morning I'm thinking about all the things my daughter mentioned when we were there this past weekend. She wants us to think about down-sizing - selling our 4 bedroom, 2 story home and freeing up some capital in order to do more things like traveling, etc. They have considered us moving in with them or around them, or both of us selling and consolidating, etc. It's something to think about... but the time is not right. 

We are fine where we are at the moment. We like our house and our neighborhood. It's convenient and comfortable. Our friends are here. Our doctors are here, etc. And our 2 boys and their families live close by, it would be hard to leave them.

Yes, it would be nice to live in the Hill Country... and be closer to my daughter and her family. But as much as I love visiting there, I don't know if it would feel as comfortable as home here feels. Does that make sense?  Perhaps it would... in time.  It seems that the older one gets, the more one values familiarity. 

I do like to try new things... and I definitely enjoy being around family, but there's something so comforting about home that it frightens me a bit to give it up for good (now we have lived in this house for 30 years, so perhaps that's part of it).

Some bloggers that I read are also facing this same dilemma... trying to decide whether to down-size or move somewhere in their retirement years. The problem is that sometimes you both may not have the same *retirement dream*.  One may want to travel or move to a specific location... and one may not. What do you do then? 

Compromise is probably the answer. Maybe spending some time there, but not moving... would work?  Maybe down-sizing in the same location (or close) would work?  I just don't know. But for the moment, I'm pretty sure that we aren't going to do anything. Hopefully we have lots of time to mull it over.... 

and now I'm going back to bed.

Thanks for listening to me ruminate. If you have any advice or suggestions, I would love to hear it.

lovely thought...

Friday, March 4, 2016

moments of melancholy...

I think people don't give themselves or the ones they love enough credit. Yes, someone you care about may not always think or act as you would like them to... but people aren't perfect... and (IMO) perfection is not the answer. Love is. It's OK to 'agree to disagree'. 

Life is full of storms. Having someone who will hold you during those storms is more important than having them understand your fear. Only you can understand your fear. As long as your fear is respected, then all is well. 

I think too many expect perfection and when they don't get it, start analyzing everything... (with disastrous results).

Love is not perfect. It's respecting each other's fears and imperfections as well as remembering all the things  that attracted you in the first place - things that make you want to be a better person. 

Trust is hard. But once given (if earned over time) trust isn't easily lost. But like everything else in life, it's a choice... one you make over and over again on a daily basis.

I'm not sure where all this is coming from - except that I read this quote recently:

and I'm very susceptible to some quotes. Many just fly right over my head, but some... stick and stick hard. Many of my life's philosophies are built around them. And this particular one may mean nothing to you, but it set off a storm of thoughts through mine.  And I have to write it out... because it clears my head. Someone once said:

and this is so true (for me anyway)!

Life isn't easy, but (IMO) it can be wonderful... if you let it. There are 'miracle moments'. You know there are.  Something else that runs through my head most days is:

" The world is so full of wonderful things. 
You'd think that we'd all be as happy as kings... "

(Don't know where that came from, but it's always with me?)

However, on occasion, we're our own worst enemies... either thinking we'll never get it right or having unreasonable expectations for ourselves or others. Let it go!  Be careful in picking your battles. Some things truly aren't worth the fight.

And lastly another favorite quote:
"Beyond the gloom of this world lies joy...
Take joy!"

I do.

Hope I didn't bore you.  Have a great weekend! (and remember... the storm will pass!)

Friday, August 21, 2015

I never knew them...

I'm writing these thoughts on this particular blog because they are *definitely* related to retirement - at least for me. What do you call thoughts that a person has now in their retirement years that never occurred when younger. This is not part of my bucket list. (Actually, I don't have much of a bucket list... maybe a few things that I'd like to do, but they're not super important.)

This is something that has popped up in the last few years and the interest seems to be growing. And I have been wondering if it's just me or if it's part of the normal aging process. By now you're wondering what in heavens name (I could have said, WTF... but decided against it) is she talking about.

I'm talking about *my grandparents*.  I never knew them.

Well, I kind of knew my maternal grandfather for a few years. I was 8 when he died in New Orleans. I remember him as a sweet gentle person that always had something nice to say and spoke with the cutest French accent. He used to remind me of Maurice Chevalier. But I wish I could have known more. 

Mom told me that he was a wonderful father and loved my grandmother dearly. She passed away before I was a year old - so no memories there. Mama said that they only spoke French at home when she was young. Grandma raised 3 girls and 1 boy who were all very lovely people - I did know them. We didn't see my mom's brother too often, but we were very close with my mom's 2 sisters - so us cousins grew up together - which is nice since we are now the older generation  and still stay in touch.

mom, her sisters, my 3 cousins and a friend
Both my paternal grandparents died when I was between 2 and 3, so again - no memories. But there are a few pictures and lots of 'passed down' stories.  My grandfather brought his wife and 3 kids from London to the America 3 times (1918,1919, and 1920). From what my dad and uncle could remember, they came because the cold and damp in London was getting to be a hardship. In 1920, they stayed and settled in Florida. My dad was the oldest and about 12 years old on this last trip.

From what I understand, they never went back and I wonder why. My grandfather's younger brother had immigrated to Canada with his family earlier... but I don't know if their parents were still in England. I do know my grandmother's parents and brother were there.  Wouldn't they have wanted to visit them or vice-versa? Was there a rift?  Was it financial? I know there's a story there, but will probably never know it. We were close to my dad's siblings and their children growing up. Although we may not be as close to them as the cousins on my mom's side, we do stay in touch. My dad moved his entire family  from Florida to New Orleans in 1930. 

There are lots of handed-down stories about my paternal grandfather. He joined the British Calvary and fought in the Boer War. He *supposedly* met Winston Churchill while in Africa when Mr. Churchill was visiting the troops as a war correspondent. Later, he was Captain of a barge, a steamboat, and a gunboat on the Persian Gulf. (I have a postcard that he wrote to dad during this time in 1914 when dad was 7). So he had an adventurous life until moving the family to America in 1920. 

But there is very little I know about my paternal grandmother. Her name was Eleanor. Some called her Nellie. My mom said that Grandma served watercress sandwiches and mom never could get used to that.  And that's about it. I really would like to know more.

So-oo I've signed up for a course this Fall in Genealogy. Maybe I can learn a bit more. I know we must have family in England and perhaps in Ireland since apparently my great grandfather moved to England from Ireland when things were bad. But again... just handed-down stories with no confirmation. 

Another conundrum: I was born an *O'Regan* - but the family name was Regan in England and changed in America upon naturalization. I suspect it might have been O'Regan in Ireland and the "O" removed in England  - only to be re-instated later in America. All supposition. There's a story there too... and I'd like to know it. 

Now I'm ashamed to admit that at 70, it's a bit late to be wondering about these things.  Why didn't I ask more questions when there was someone around the answer them? I'm guessing that we get so bogged down and busy with our own immediate lives and family that the questions don't even arise... until it's too late. Well, now that I have the time, perhaps I can make sure that it doesn't happen to my grandkids. Perhaps I can leave a written record so if and when the time comes, they will have some of the information at their fingertips. 

Saturday, August 15, 2015

the news no one wants to hear...

Someone close to us recently got the news that her father has cancer. Of course she and her family are devastated. 

Such horrible news. No one wants to hear this. Yet... there's still hope that all is well... or if not *is*, then possibly *will be* (well). Today Cancer is treatable. It's not easy and it's not fun... but it is treatable. Years ago the big C was a death sentence. And it can still be in some cases, but mostly it's treatable. 

The frightening thing about it is that suddenly you find yourself a member of a club you never wanted to join. You have to do things you never wanted to do. And you have to pretend to be brave... and unafraid... at least in public.

But like any adversity, it changes you. It re-organizes your priorities... and possibly the priorities of those around you. In some ways it's like a slap in the face saying, "Hey, pay attention! There may not be a tomorrow... "

But for the moment, it's that dreaded 'just sit and wait' time... when your mind is bursting with all the mind-blowing possibilities and your emotions are in over-drive. 

I believe that thoughts and prayers are powerful. So please pray for her and her family and keep them in your thoughts and prayers. 

For many of us 'in the autumn of our years' this type of news is not new, but it's still traumatic. I guess I'm hoping that perhaps there's some comfort in the knowledge that others care.

Friday, August 14, 2015

a prayer...

My mom had Alzheimer's...

Mom has been gone for 7 years and still the words in the second verse of this poem tear at my heart.

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Are there stages to retirement?

Tomorrow is the 1st of July and tonight we gain an extra second to the clock. Think I will consider it an early birthday present... 1 more second to live! Of course it's not only being given to me, but to everyone... so it's a gift for all. Nice thought...

Retirement for me started in August, 2011. So I've had 4 years to enjoy my leisure. But it's probably taken 4 years to get to the point that I am at now. And what is that, you say? Well, I think retirement comes in stages. And I imagine the stages are different for each of us, but for me... 

First there was elation... oh god, I don't have to get up early every morning and rush off to work! This stage probably lasts a few months while your biological clock is being reset - as you still wake up at that early hour even without the alarm. 

Then the next stage is perhaps over compensation - a period of trying to do all the things you never had time to do when you were working... only to realize that even though you now have the time, you still don't have the money... (or not for everything anyway). It's during this time that you realize that you still don't have enough time in the day to do it all... and you wonder how in the h--- did you ever find time to work?

Then there's the 3rd stage - a slightly subconscious panic that suddenly you're redundant - unnecessary, no longer needed... ahead is an endless stretch of days with no accomplishments. So you start setting goals, lists of things that need doing and once accomplished help diminish this feeling. But it's a conscious effort... and it works! 

I think that I'm now in the 4th stage: Comfortable - as lately I've found that it's quite nice to be home with DH with enough time in the week to do what-ever - or not! Lately I even find comfort in taking my time to wash the dishes while watching the feral cats and kittens play in the yard through the kitchen window. If DH and I want to take a walk, we do. If we want to take a nap, we do. Suddenly Time is not the enemy, but the lovely gift I'd always hoped it would be. The fact that we can't travel around the world is not a problem... we'd probably be too tired to do it anyway. We can still travel to see family - and lucky for us we have lots of family right here, kids and grandkids that we adore. Everyone doesn't have this. So we are very grateful. 

This weekend is the 4th of July and also the week I become 70 years old. DH hits this milestone this month too... a few days after me... just enough to tease me that I'm older... which I am (by 9 days). But that's OK because whatever stage this is, I'm suddenly very comfortable with it.  

If you have reached retirement and find any of these things true for you, I'd love to hear how its affected you. Life is short. Let's share the journey...