Ag­ing grace­fully

The Compass - - POINT OF VIEW -

that some­body is pray­ing for their safety.”

She has no in­ten­tion of dis­con­tin­u­ing her writ­ing. “As long as I have my eyes, the use of my hands and as long as my brain still works, I’ll be writ­ing to sol­diers.”

She wants to be re­mem­bered as “some­one who just kept things go­ing as long as she could.”

I doff my hat to Gla­dys Os­mond. She has found a wor­thy cause to sup­port.

I’m a baby boomer. I was born dur­ing the de­mo­graphic Post-Sec­ond World War baby boom, be­tween 1946 and 1964.

As a baby boomer, ap­par­ently I pos­sess four char­ac­ter­is­tics.

First, I am a hard worker and am mo­ti­vated by a triplet of p’s: po­si­tion, perks and pres­tige.

Sec­ond, I am con­fi­dent, in­de­pen­dent and self-re­liant.

Third, be­cause of greater ed­u­ca­tional and fi­nan­cial op­por­tu­ni­ties, I am achieve­ment-ori­ented, ded­i­cated and ca­reer-fo­cused.

Fi­nally, be­cause I as­so­ci­ate work and po­si­tion with self-worth, I am com­pet­i­tive in the work­place.

With 30 years to go be­fore I reach Gla­dys Os­mond’s age, I am daily faced with the ob­vi­ous fact that I’m ag­ing.

While I was writ­ing this col­umn, my son came into my of­fice and en­gaged me in con­ver­sa­tion. He is part of Gen­er­a­tion Y, also known as the Echo Boom, Mil­len­ni­als or In­ter­net Gen­er­a­tion.

Christo­pher re­minded me that baby boomers are no­to­ri­ous for their fix­a­tion on youth­ful­ness. In fact, it is our as­so­ci­a­tion with youth­ful­ness that sets us apart. We ad­mire its en­thu­si­asm, ideal­ism and com­mit­ment to causes.

We have dif­fi­culty ac­cept­ing the re­al­ity of ag­ing. Con­sider, for ex­am­ple, our em­pha­sis on beauty and healthre­lated ser­vices and prod­ucts, in­clud­ing li­po­suc­tion, Vi­a­gra, anti-wrin­kle cream and hair trans­plants. Most were mar­keted by and for baby boomers.

As I grow older, I face a new chal­lenge: how to learn that liv­ing has noth­ing to do with age, but ev­ery­thing to do with at­ti­tude.

Gla­dys Os­mond has re­mained pro­duc­tive in her golden years by find­ing a cause to sup­port, as the baby boomers did in the 1960s. We can only as­pire to age as grace­fully. The im­mor­tal words of Dylan Thomas ring a clar­ion call:

Do not go gen­tle into that good night,

Old age should burn and rage at close of day;

Rage, rage against the dy­ing of the light.

Dear Gla­dys: Letters From Over There is writ­ten by Gla­dys Os­mond and edited by Gil­bert Pen­ney.

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