• Sandra B

Any Recycled Teenagers in Your Family?

We headed out for a nice family meal for Mother’s Day. It was a treat from our two grown up sons and we stopped at a lovely country inn for a slow-paced late lunch. Starters and drinks ordered, the conversation turned to a topic that’s been vexing me a bit since I became more interested in the different generations.

I’m a Baby Boomer, which puts me in the 54-72 age bracket – not saying where though, keep guessing! I quite like the terminology “baby boomer” because there’s a youthful energy about it. I’m not so keen on “old age pensioner” because it conjures up images of winding-down, slow-moving, bent over folk struggling to cross the road. Old women with wispy, white buns peering through thick specs and elderly gents wearing flat caps and puffing on a pipe. If you think I’m exaggerating, just search on Google images for those three little words and see what comes up – or find the relevant sign in the Highway Code.

I asked family and friends round the table to come up with some livelier alternatives for the 21st century retiree. For me, it’s like the difference between a Happy Meal and a Pensioner’s Lunch. One sounds full of life and the other sounds a bit end of life. And yet we all want to live life to the full whatever our age, right?

We had a good laugh discussing the pros and cons of various suggestions – recycled teenagers (octogenarian gran’s idea), older people (what the government and policy makers use for the over 50s), silver surfers (in wide use, but heck, none of the stylish women I know have any intention of going silver or grey, hair colour firms would go bust).

“Retired” got a good airing too, but many no longer working full-time are far too busy with a wide range of activities, including small enterprises, for that to accurately describe how they spend their time.

Our 24-year-old said he’d heard some of his customers (he’s in sales) talk about their golden years. Friends in their seventies with us thought that tied nicely into the value of being wiser, more skilled and experienced as we get older. There’s a whole lot of knowledge to share.

Did we find a solution? The best idea came from our early-thirties Millennial son. He said we should think of older people like we think of classic cars. Stylish, cherished, something to savour, admire, be proud of and to enjoy spending time with - nice analogy.

What does your lot think? Got a better idea?



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© 2019 by Sandra Burke