Tuesday, January 12, 2010
The first boomers, those born in 1946, are finally relating to Paul McCartney's "When I'm 64". They probably enjoyed singing along to it and never envisioned the reality of being 64. Yet few of the boomers or pre-boomers are relating to the lyrics, even as they reach or pass 64.
Since McCartney released the song in 1967, the reality of being 64 is far different than the perception then.
Ann Fry was born on Jan. 1, 1946, and is known as "The Head Boomer". Having just turned 64, Fry promotes the concepts of "re"…re-energizing, re-purposing, re-Inventng…to name a few. Fry's personal story of reinvention is told in her book "Sixty, Sexy, Sassy and Free".
For many, being 64 means retirement is looming, if it hasn't already happened. The first baby boomer, Kathleen Casey-Kirschling, began collecting Social Security two years ago. A retired teacher and grandmother, in a CNN interview, said "I'm trying to reinvent myself". She's now consulting and volunteering, as part of her reinvention.
Nancy Merz Nordstrom, a New Hampshire retiree, promotes lifelong learning. Her website, www.learninglater.com, gives her the opportunity to write and conduct workshops on the topic while Linda Wisniewski encourages seniors to write their memoirs. Her book, "Off Kilter: A Woman's Journey to Peace with Scoliosis, Her Mother and Her Polish Heritage" examines growing up in the '50s and '60s, when feminism had yet to be rediscovered. And Bob Gammon, a retired shop teacher from Tennessee, has written a children's book on diversity called, "Orange Polar Bears Don't Cry".
McCartney's "64" envisioned "her" knitting a sweater by the fireside and going for Sunday rides together. That probably isn't the norm but "will you still need me; will you still feed me, when I'm 64" is timeless.
Phyllis May, Ph.D.
Key West, FL