Raise your hand if you don’t want to get old. I thought so - a hundred percent. Everybody wants to live a long time, but nobody wants to get old.
Even so, the closer the first of those 78 million U.S. baby boomers get to age 60 (which will start happening in two years), the more frequently there are newspaper stories about the joys of getting older, though anti-aging articles still outnumber them by - oh, I’d say a thousand to one.
That won’t last much longer, but meanwhile, one recent pro-aging pieces comes out of Floridatoday.com. Britt Kennerly reports that local senior centers are having trouble recruiting young older folks – those in their 50s and 60s; in other words, boomers.
The president of one center, Jency Kelly, believes he knows the problem.
“They don’t want to come to us…I think they don’t want to accept the fact they they’re going to grow old.”
Senior center member, Dick DeLauder, a retired executive who is 60, agrees.
“Boomers don’t want to be called seniors,” he says. “They’re not aging, they’re maturing.”
And another senior center official nails it:
“We need to reinvigorate what old means and not be so fearful of it. I tell people, ‘What does that look like, ‘senior’? Get over your big self. You’re getting old.'”
And there is nothing wrong with that. We have demonized aging in the U.S. when in reality it is just another era of life like childhood, teen years, adulthood and now old age. I would like the word "old" to become okay. I like being old. I'm smarter than I've ever been, not scared of much anymore, know what I like and don't like. Oddly, I'm more curious than I've ever been and more politically radical than when I was an anti-war protestor during the Vietnam War.
And somehow they had me believing all my life that getting old is a bad thing. Not so. I think it's terrific.