by Jill Beam
A humorous look at growing older
Turning another year older is not so terrible. As we age, we have many things to look forward to.
Like back pain, getting tired from just standing, getting achy from driving long distances, older person smell, skin growths, wrinkles, forgetting passwords, hemorrhoids, insomnia, colonoscopies, age spots, the ability to remove your teeth, your friends dying, loss of hair, loss of hearing, sunglasses with side panels, eating dinner at 3:00 in the afternoon, jello, osteoporosis, heart disease, incontinence and adult diapers, driving 15 miles below the speed limit, leaving your turn signal on for miles, napping in an upright position, senior discounts, hair growth on your nose, chin and ears; medicare, weekly trips to the doctor, fascination with the weather channel and wheel of fortune, not being able to read the menu, listening to the TV really loud, wearing black socks with sandals, going to bed at dusk then waking up in the middle of the night, getting shorter and an all-around excuse for not making sense.
The 76 million Americans in the Baby Boomer population are the force behind the changing demographic picture of society today. Like a pig in a python, boomers are an enormous bulge in the US population.
Diaper services, Barbie dolls, Rolling Stone Magazine, relaxed jeans and SUV’s were all created to meet our needs.
Who are the boomers?
Boomers, as some call us, are individuals born between 1946 and 1964. The first wave of boomers turned 65 in the year 2011, and in 2029, the last of the group will reach 65. Demographers, politicians, marketers, and social scientists conducted many studies on this age group over the years. They learned we are unique in our popular culture and values, and generally healthier, wealthier, and more educated than the previous generation. Boomers work hard, play hard, and spend hard.
Those of us in this age group learned to respect the law. We got beatings. There was nothing called “time out”. Boomers have great attention spans. We had no cell phones. We simply trusted someone (or ourselves) to get us to the right location. We marched peacefully to make a statement. We didn’t have facebook or twitter; instead we just told people what we thought face-to-face.
Boomers are going to redefine retirement as they redefined every stage of their lives. Expectations are different. The spending habits, lifestyle, life experiences and values of this group continue to profoundly influence both retirement and leisure time. Most of us want to remain engaged and active for years longer than our parents did, retired or not!
Age is just a number
I like the mentality that I’m not getting older, I’m getting better!
Many people in history had that same mentality For example, Pablo Picasso didn’t really become famous until his later years in life. Same thing with Grandma Moses. She was a maid at 12 and didn’t start painting until she was older. And remember Irene Ryan who played Granny on the Beverly Hillbillies? She started acting on Broadway at age 77 in the role of the Granny in the musical Pippin. Helen Hooven Santmeyer wrote a book in a nursing home at age 87, titled, “And the Ladies of the Club”. Amazing!
My mantra is “age is just a number and mine’s not listed! Let’s keep living one day at a time and remember…life has no remote control…you have to get up and change it!
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
A native Texan, Jill Beam grew up in Oak Cliff and graduated from DW Carter HS. After high school, she attended Dallas Baptist College, majoring in Physical Education and Recreation. Jill also has a degree in Gerontology from the University of Colorado Springs, Colorado.
Jill began employment with the City of Dallas in 1972. She’s held many positions and retired after 28 years of service as the Athletic and Reservations Manager, in 2015. After retiring, Jill rewired herself and went to work with the City of Rowlett and City of Lewisville as the programmer of Senior Services, then moved on to Wellness Director at CC Young Senior Living Facility.
A certified Jazzercise Instructor, Jill has instructed classes since 1980 and trained many teachers. She also taps weekly with Class Act Tap Company, a group well known for tapping all over the Dallas/Fort Worth area. In addition, Jill has performed in the Spectacular Senior Follies for 10 years, where she participated both in the dance ensemble and a Follies Show Girl. Additionally Jill is Ms. Texas Senior America, 2015-2016 – She couldn’t wait until she turned 60 years young so she could compete!
Jill resides in Forney, TX and is married to Ken Beam, who also recently retired from the City of Dallas Park Department. She has two step children and three step grandchildren.