Life of a Baby Boomer – We Survived!

Being unemployed has given me plenty of time to reflect on my life as a Baby Boomer – it’s been no picnic, but than maybe picnics are over-rated.  Don’t get me wrong, I love my life and feel honored to grow, learn and live – I’ve just had some rough patches.  On the other hand, this new freedom has allowed me to take a step back and look at my ability to recreate myself and step out into the world of “business owner”.  Those rough patches have come in handy.  You need a certain “something” to branch out on your own.  So far…I’m having a ball!

I have to admit, though, doubts and lack of confidence sometimes creep into my head in an effort to sabotage me.  Did my personal tenacity, no-fear attitude and bull-headedness somehow get buried over the years beneath the rubble of responsible adult-hood and corporate rhetoric?  Have I grown soft?  Maybe we should look to the Millennials and merge their mindset with ours. They are risk takers, they follow their passion, they believe in “work life alignment” vs. work life balance – because they already understand corporations don’t care about home life, not really; it’s up to us to make our work align with our wants.

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But wait a minute!  Didn’t we raise those Millennials?  You bet we did.  Whether good or bad, we were their role model.

BOOM!  went the BABY.

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The Baby Boom Explosion. There are over 76 Million of us! Golly.

 

My husband and I were talking last evening about all of things that transpired to get us here.  Me 56 – Him 62.  We decided…Man!  We grew up during the best time ever.  Ahh…reminiscing the good ‘ol days.

He reminded me:  we ARE strong!  BOOM!  we ARE resilient.  BOOM!  We sat back…drank a whole bottle of premium wine and ate damn near a whole box of crackers with smoked gouda cheese.  Yeah…we got belly aches and headaches – but it was worth it!  🙂  The conversation that transpired was good fun and very enlightening.

We’d like to share what we discussed and we hope you get a good laugh.  You youngsters (under 40) we hope you like it too! Sit back and enjoy our trip back to “never-again land”.

REMEMBER WHEN?

Our baby cribs were covered with bright colored lead-based paints.  So were our houses, walls, window sills, and toys.

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There was no such thing as childproof medicine bottles, doors or cabinets.  Our parents kept an eye on us!

We got ass whooping’s.  Time out back then was when your momma stopped the whooping, leaned over to catch her breath…then finished up!  Oh how I loved those little breaks.  It gave me time to tighten up my and not pee on myself. 🙂  And guess what?  Whatever you were doing – you never did it again.

We rode our bikes without helmets or knee and elbow pads.  We were bad-ass!

Bactine was kept by the gallons, and band aides by the case.

Cars back then didn’t have seat belts – and it’s a good thing.  We wouldn’t have been able to stand up in the back seat and LEAN into the turns, while eating an ice cream cone.

Oh yeah.  No such thing as car seats either.

There was no such thing as bottled water.  We drank water from the garden hose, or from our hands from the neighborhood creek (pronounced “crik”).

We shared our pop (or soda) without wiping it off in between sips!  The bottles were made of glass.  If the rim was chipped we were smart enough to drink from the other side…no we didn’t sue anyone.  And we bought it for a nickel out of a machine that could potentially send you on a trip to the doctor for a tetanus shot.

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We made (and ate) mud pies.  We ate bugs, worms and a host of other undesirables – usually on a dare.  We did not die.

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We ate “Sugar Smacks”, “Sugar Frosted Flakes”, “Sugar Pops” and Chocolate Cocoa Crispies with homemade chocolate milk.  And my personal favorite—sugar and butter sandwiches.  No, we were not fat…we ran, jumped and played all day:  OUTSIDE.  Oh…and we drank a crap load of pop with real sugar in it!  And Kool-Aid!

It was safer.  We’d get kicked outside and told to stay there..and you better be home before the street lights came on.  You could run all over the neighborhood and the next one over.

We played Board Games on rainy days.

There were no pagers or cell phones.  If you weren’t home – you couldn’t be reached.  Your friends would go to the favorite hang out spots and hope to find you there.  We were pioneers!  We did make our own phones out of string and two empty food cans.  It actually worked pretty well.

We skated with metal rolling skates.  They attached to your sneakers and you tightened them with a key.  If you hit a rock you’d go rolling across the pavement (or gravel, or rocks, or curb) and skin up your body parts.  When the skates became unusable – you made 1) a skate board with scrap wood, or 2) a go cart with scrap wood.

We would sled down huge hills on cardboard and have no regard for traffic as we swooped across the street at the bottom of the hill.

WE PLAYED TETHERBALL at recess!  What a great game.  You could take the nerdy kid and wrap them up to the pole.  The ball would smack them in the head and they might loose a tooth.

Author: Chewonki

We climbed jungle gyms made of steel.  We slid down hot metal slides (with no bumpers) that would burn your skin.  Sometimes you would stick to the metal. and burn the crap outta the backs of your legs.  Bactine and butter anyone?

We jumped off of garages – because we could.  We climbed trees and sometimes fell out.

Oh yeah.  WE LEARNED ABOUT CONSEQUENCES FOR OUR ACTIONS!!

We played stick ball, kick the can, jacks and marbles.  We would make up games all day long.  We were creative!

With had to learn math without the answers in the back of a book and without a calculator.

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Yeah. I remember these. Our was beat up though…

We rode our bikes all the way to high heavens and back.  Sometimes I’d get home missing a sock and have no idea how or where.

We had to learn disappointment.  Only the really talented kids got trophies, medals and certificates.  And guess what?  Sometimes you didn’t always make the team.

We were “seen and not heard”.  No one cared about our opinion because contrary to our beliefs – WE DID NOT KNOW EVERYTHING!  And they reminded us of that fact.

We ate dinner together.  Every night…and mom made it from scratch in our house.  We didn’t buy TV dinners.  That would have been blasphemy in my house.

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Not my real mom

If we got arrested, guess what?  We stayed there.  No one bailed us out and we were grateful.  Who wanted Dad to come the station anyway?

We grew up around the radio or black and white TV.  If your parents were rich… you had color!

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Did yours come with complimentary Art for the Wall? Ours did.

That TV?  No remote.  We were the remote.  We had to get up and change those 3 channels to the news program of “their” choice.  If we were lucky, Wide World of Sports, or Wild Kingdom might be on.  YAY!

Remember Westerns?  Wild Wild West, Bonanza, Cheyenne, Gunsmoke?  Maverick, The Lone Ranger?  I could go on, and on.

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Cheyenne, 16 October 1961

Back then there were no TV ratings.  You watched what you were told.  Period.  End of story.

We had PONG!   No silly. Not Ping Pong…just PONG.  I sucked at it!

There was no such thing as Playstation, Nintendo’s, X-boxes,  Heck, there was no cable, no personal computers, laptops, iPads or internet for that matter.

There was no such thing as Energy Drinks.  We played or worked until we were tired…then we went to bed and got some sleep.

MAN, THAT WAS FUN!

What a great time hubby and I had thinking back on all this.  WE SURVIVED!  If we can survive that, we can survive anything.  I know it all sounds so cliché and starry-eyed, but it’s true.  We grew up in a world, in our eyes, with no restrictions.  We learned rules and consequences.  We learned to be creative.  We were social and collaborative.  We took risks and learned from out mistakes.  We understood the importance of friendships and family.  We learned to “live in the moment”.  I think that’s an important one.

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Looking back and reminiscing is important, why?  Because it forces you to actually live in the moment and to cherish what you have now.  Living in the moment frees you up to look at possibilities and not dwell on past “what if’s” and using that to cultivate future fears.

STEP OUT & STEP UP, YE ‘OLD BABY BOOMER

If you’re in a position to recreate yourself, what’s stopping you?  Read the above list again and see where you have come from.  Use that ballsy tenacity and build yourself something great.  Build the future you want…right now.

Are you inspired?  I am.

If you have fond memories of your past you’d like to share, please do.  I know there’s more to list then we have here.  If you would…please share with us your stories and your fun memories.  We LOVE to read all about it.

Until next time…

Sheila Signature

2 Comments

  1. Hi Sheila,

    Wow, you covered the 60s here quite nicely! I think most of all, the kids from the generations after us missed out on those ass-whoopin’s. I’m pretty sure they’re the reason baby boomers tend to appreciate common courtesy a lot more than the generations that followed. But the millenials are a whole lot mor tech savvy than we are. My only beef is hey don’t look up to say, Excuse me” when they bump into you while texting. I think all generations have a lot to learn form each other.

    I’m a little jealous of you, though. Our TV didn’t come with a remote OR complimentary wall art.

    I hope if you have an opportunity, you might stop by my site and leave a comment on one of my blog posts. There’s a whole site dedicated to stuff for baby boomers there. And if your looking for my fond memories, I am gradually sharing my entire autobiography. Look on the menu for My Great American Journey.

    Yep… I’m a sucker for reminiscing!

    Hal

    • You have no idea how much I enjoy stopping by your site. Hubby and I were just there the other night – howling with laughter. And yes…I’m a scant younger than you. Our TV had a remote and yep…I had to change the channel to news then more news. Our TV came from Sperry TV in Nebraska. We had this cheesy wall art (DAMN! I wish I still had that thing – you know how much it would be worth?????) it was a real violin and sheet music wrapped in some sort of polyurethane and plaster all propped up on a popcorn ceiling backboard and black frame. I remember it like it was yesterday.

      I’m tired and finally leaving my office and going downstairs for the night. Me and hubby will definitely stop back by and leave some comments. We’re suckers for reminiscing too. I love it – it keeps me in perspective about “today” here and now.

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