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Gen X-ers reach the halfway point
This is the year I reach the halfway point of my life’s journey. How do I know it’s the halfway point? Because I am fully determined to live to be 100 years old.
My children so far seem to be in agreement with this lofty goal, but of course, they don’t have to take care of me, yet. My plan is to take care of myself into a healthy and vigorous old age. Exercise and good food are part of my life, because I care about me.
A remarkable number of my friends and acquaintances seem to be hitting the half-century mark this year.
I didn’t grow up here, so I don’t have any old schoolmates with whom to reminisce; but my contemporaries and I seem to gravitate to each other. Being a member, or nearly a member, of the half-century club seems to have its own aura. Many of us look younger than our age, but we know better.
Some of us, having spent our 20s in education or dissipation, still have school-aged children. Others got that baby business out of the way early and are now enjoying the empty nest and even grandchildren.
But all of us have one thing in common — we are halfway, and there is no time for regrets and recrimination. Now is the time to grasp our dreams. We are still young enough to follow them, as we wait to take over the world.
It is debatable whether those of us who were born in 1962 count as baby boomers or Gen X. While some consider the end of the baby boom to have been 1965 or so, there is no question in my mind that our life experience has been that of Gen X — the children of the oldest boomers, those who are now over 65. We grew up in the shadow of the baby boomers, in schools built for that huge bulge, looking for jobs in their wake. We are the next level of senior people as they start to retire, if they can afford to. If they don’t retire, we are the ones who are waiting. Our time is coming.
We are tech savvy. We were young adults when the Internet first started to change everything. We programmed the VCR for our parents, but we don’t need our teenagers to program things for us. All of our lives, we have adapted, rather than changing the world to suit ourselves, as the boomers did. We are flexible and open to new things, because we have had to adapt to a new world. We drive fuel-efficient cars, compost and recycle, because we will soon be in charge of that new world.
Happy birthday to all the 1962 babies out there. The world is our oyster — let’s go for it.
Hadass Eviatar is a West Kildonan-based writer.
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