Why I Am An AARP Poster Child

I am a member of the Baby Boomer generation, a group of too many born at the same moment, caught in a game of musical chairs where there were simply not enough places at our chosen tables. Like so many other men and woman of my generation, necessity forced me into flexibility. As a result, I have been blessed with experience. Experience that might never have come to pass had I been fortunate or unfortunate enough to land in a situation early on and never left. I have been, in no particular order, an auto/diesel mechanics student, a high-rise window washer, a flight attendant, a fledgling singer/songwriter who got lucky, a recording artist and performer, and finally, a professional psychologist. Actually, finally is a poor choice of words; with my history I have no idea of what the next chapters may bring.

I am the boomer everyman, a fluid, energetic, and optimistic traveler on the road towards awareness and authenticity; the perfect product of a great healing after World War ll.

So if you think you're done at fifty or feeling tired, anxious, and unaccomplished at sixty, sick and lonely at seventy, or overlooked and invisible at eighty and beyond... think again.

And to you, Vince Lombardi, who said: "fatigue makes cowards of us all," uh uh, no way, not today!

It is sinful to yourself, the people around you, and the well-being of the planet, to sink into the ocean of apathy and oblivion. Dylan Thomas got it right: "do not go gently into that goodnight." If you have lost your passion, search for it. Death comes soon enough to us all. Experiential death need never appear. We spend a lifetime learning how to properly love, create, and give, and it would be a shame not to use those lessons, especially considering the hard cost of them to body and soul.

This is the time for great deeds and great love, to get out on the tightrope, start towards the other side or fall on your face. It really does not matter. Old clichés endure because they carry truth; it is not the destination, it is the journey! If you're on your own and you meet that perfect face, one that reminds you of your vital sexual being-ness, go for it! Even if you are rejected, I guarantee you will feel empowered for the effort. If you come up with the next great gadget, build it, and don't get stopped up with worry over not having enough gas to get your idea across town. If you break down along the way in your old jalopy, fine. You will be in the perfect spot to be picked up by your next new friend, or investor, in a shiny new Tesla. Make a fool of yourself in love and in life, whenever and wherever you can. Why? It's simply, more FUN!

Take the proverbial leap in the dark; set out on the path. Don't worry about getting there. I don't think I ever really thought out the consequences of my decision to go back to school at fifty; community college, undergrad, masters, doctoral program, and endless internships. If I had thought about it, I probably never would have began, instead, falling into a false funk of reality that shouted out, too old, too old, too bloody old!

Boomer Biology 101

It is one of the great eccentricities of Americans, that beautifully blind, naive notion, that we can simply decide to do something and will it into existence. While we might (or might not) think twice about taking on an impossible battle, the idea of long odds or attempting something that has never been done before is somehow familiar to us. Take this quality of Americanism, place it in a Petri dish with the circumstances of baby boomer birth and voila! It's Boomer Biology 101. It is how we make heroes as diverse as Rocky Balboa and President Obama. It is how I became Dr. Robert at 61 years old.

As George Eliot, who had to pretend to be a man to get her work published, apocryphally said: "It is never too late to be what you might have been."

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