I looked in the mirror the other day and saw a mid-fifties guy in a mid-sixties body looking back at me. Mentally, we Boomers have just not accepted that we are getting older: as Walker Smith and Ann Clurman say in their book Generation Ageless “Boomers don’t intend to age; they want to be ageless”. What does this mean? From my perspective, and the view of many of the Boomers I have talked to recently, it indicates that although our bodies are starting to age, our approach to life isn’t. In their mid-sixties, our parents were retiring and looking forward to a well-earned rest; a time of slippers and fireside armchairs. Go back 200 years ago and life expectancy in North America was 35; life has changed and continues to change at an amazing pace.
Today we are embracing technology, looking for new challenges and starting new adventures. Rather than slowing down we are speeding up. We expect another 30 good years ahead of us, as long as we can afford the procedures and pharmaceuticals, and if not we’ll just get someone to push us around!
Back to my mirror and that youthful face staring back at me; I really don’t think I look anywhere near my age; I still have all my hair (well almost, don’t look too closely on top) and it’s distinguished not salt and pepper. I’m not overweight, although nudging the healthy normal expected by my doctor. As I’m vertically challenged I can’t hide surplus weight the way my giraffe-like friends can, and the few lines I have can definitely be put down to laughter not aging.
So, all in all not a bad report and it bodes well for the future if a team of researchers, led by Professor Kaare Christensen from the University of Southern Denmark, are to be believed. They report that people with youthful faces are likely to live longer than those that look older than their years.
The point of all this is that as I look around at those of my friends and acquaintances that classify as Boomers, most of them look younger than their age and many are still struggling to reach maturity if their behavior is anything to go by. So, perhaps 65 really is the new 55, and 70 is the new 60!