For those of you between the ages of 51 to 69, is there life outside the Washington, D.C. beltway? If you follow politics closely, you wouldn't think so.
However, there is a big America out there, and life has not stood still for Baby boomers.
Boomers are very focused on their lives and family. Boomers are caring for elderly parents, while also being grandparents themselves. Some Baby boomers are retiring and wondering what is next; others are trying very hard to reconnect with family members not living close by. They are working arduously to reach out to them. Those between the ages of 51 to 69 are not tuned out of politics, they are actually just more tuned into the life around them.
A professor falling within the boomer age group has enjoyed a distinguished career. He will be turning 65 this coming October. Before that magical birthday, he will attend his final graduation ceremony. He is retiring this June.
What does life have in store for him next? He and his wife, will spend time with their elderly parents. They are lucky to still have them. This boomer couple will be taking a trip to France in September to celebrate the milestone of a worklife well-lived. Sometime following that trip, this retired professor will search for the path forward. He may want to continue making a contribution to society, and thus is considering working at a non-profit to help others. This Baby boomer is more about making a contribution than making tee times.
Or, how about the Baby boomer from Ohio, who drives two and one-half hours from her home every weekend to look after her mother — who is approaching 87. As if this wasn't stressful enough, she is also a wife, a mother, and a much needed grandmother. Her own two grown daughters depend on her help also. This Ohioan still works fulltime, and by the way, she also coordinates care, making decisions for a disabled brother with special needs, who lives in a long-term care facility.
My favorite example though may be the California Baby boomer. She has no time for progressivism. She is busy commuting back and forth to the Midwest to be a caregiver.
While sharing the responsibility for her elderly mother (with her sister) she defines the meaning of caring. She has given up her life as a scientist, putting her dream of hiking trips on hold because she loves her mother; she has her life priorities in place.
What do these three examples have in common with our thesis of life outside Washington D.C. for Baby boomers? It should say that life is happening all around us, and that Baby boomers— like most other Americans — are just trying to do their best. Baby boomers are trying to make their lives count, to find happiness, and to enjoy the years they still have ahead.
While politics can be a contact sport — and following politics is the new great reality TV show — life itself is the greatest game of all. Baby boomers, regardless of their political bent, want this country to succeed and prosper.
Those between the ages of 51 to 69 want to save the winning and losing for their favorite pro sports team; they just want the country to win, whether the victories are economic, or with foreign and domestic policy wins.
It may be fun for some to watch poll numbers fluctuate — as a result of who they voted for last November — but poll numbers always need to be high when you are worried about your elderly mother, caring for your grandchildren, and seeking to make a contribution following retirement.
Rick Bava founded and was CEO of the Bava Group, which became the premier communications consulting firm serving the Fortune 500 community. Bava became known for his popular blog columns “Rick Bava on the Baby Boomer Generation.” He is the author of "In Search of the Baby Boomer Generation." For more of his reports, Go Here Now.
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