2012-06-21 / Community

Just for the "Well" of it

Some of you are going to read this and think, “Wow, she’s old! Others will read this and think “Wow, I wish I was that young!” The subject today is the Baby Boomer. That would include anyone who was born during the years from 1946- 1964.

Most of us boomers probably never thought we’d get this old. We were the generation that didn’t trust anyone over 30. Now our kids are over 30! We’re the kids who grew up on Kool-Aid, Twinkies, and potato chips. We got lots of outdoor activity since video games, computers, and cell phones were not invented yet, but seriously, we have never been a group to take care of ourselves in any great fashion.

There are some boomers out there who have been “taking care of themselves” all along, but I think the majority of us started just recently, after waking up one morning, looking in the mirror, and thinking “How the hell did I get to be 45, 55, 65? Time has proudly marched on, dragging us with it.

When we do wake up to reality that we are middle-aged, some of us freak out and begin the antiaging frenzy of activities like hair coloring, Botox, and extreme dieting and fitness programs. Others accept the fact that time is not on our side and prefer to go with the flow.

I like to think I belong in the second group, as I do not color or inject Botox, but that is not to say I LIKE going with the flow! We should all be happy that we have made it through the hell we put ourselves through in the 60s and 70s. Not to mention the excesses of the 80s. If it shows on our faces, too bad! Life is an adventure and we should all be proud of who we are, and what we have accomplished instead of trying to be something we’re not (young). Who cares anyway, age is only a stupid number!

We, the boomers, lived a lifestyle like no other generation before us. Aside from the unhealthy diet of Cheetos and Pop-Tarts, in general, we drank too much, smoked too much (sometimes more than one kind of tobacco), drove too fast and pretty much lived like there was no tomorrow. It’s all catching up to us now, and for some it’s not such a pretty picture.

Now it seems like health concerns are a big topic of conversation. I remember when that’s all my Grandma and her friends talked about…and whoops, now I’m Grandma! We are the invincible generation, the ones who could get away with anything, and now we have high cholesterol, high blood pressure, heart attacks, surgeries, cancer, diabetes, arthritis…blah, blah, blah.

The kinds of drugs we take now are definitely not the recreational type. We lived in such excess that we are also occupationally and financially un-well. Because of all the crazy spending, keeping up with the Jones’, trying every single anti-aging product and gimmick out there, a lot of us are in too much debt to retire or change careers.

We are paying a seriously high interest rate on all the carefree fun we had back then, but I’m here to tell you, IT’S NEVER TOO LATE TO START!

Anything we can do to improve our activity levels and eat healthier will reward us with better health. Many disorders and diseases can be prevented or delayed.

With good self-management skills there is absolutely no reason why we can’t continue living our lives for many years to come. Sure, we might have to slow down a little, keep track of our sugar or fat intake and wear sturdier notso cute shoes, but hey, we’re still active, attractive, and ready to take on the future.

Being involved in our community (Social Wellness) and keeping our minds sharp by learning new things (Intellectual Wellness) will also improve our well-being and keep us young. Laughter is a great stress reliever, so might I suggest you catch Betty White’s new show called “Off Our Rockers”? VH1’s I love the 70s (and 80s) series will bring back some crazy memories too.

There is strength in numbers. Since there are so many of us, we should be setting an example for our children. Growing old gracefully is not to be feared. The Hollywood hype is what is scary. Let your grays float in the breeze and consider wrinkles a badge of courage. We’re still cool. We’ll never be too old to be cool. Maybe only ourselves and our grandkids, but we definitely still rock! We just can’t hear and I’m blaming that on Van Halen!

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You can reach Cathy Kaltz, Certified Worksite Wellness Specialist, at (906) 286-0985 for information on individual or worksite wellness programs, wellness seminars and presentations for your group, or information on chronic disease self-management programs that are available in our area.

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