I was writing recently about how I am feeling great about getting older and how, in fact, my life seems better than ever. While I was sharing this with a friend recently I proclaimed, “I’m just a late bloomer.” I don’t think I am unique or alone in finding that my sixties have been an extraordinary time of my life, perhaps the best time I can remember.
I am always a little concerned when I hear about ‘Zoomers’ or slogans like “The 60s are the new 40s”. These kinds of interpretations always seem to me about resisting getting older, rather than celebrating the fact. I have no difficulty if people want to have cosmetic surgery, work on their health and fitness, or maintain an active lifestyle. I think that is great—unless we are doing it to ‘put off’ some stereotypical picture of old age. If we are, then we’ll get what we resist in spades and probably have missed the best times of our lives.
Instead of ‘Zoomers’, I like the idea of ‘Baby Bloomers’. That is really the opportunity we all have—to blossom as we grow older. This is a time of life when our ego can take a rest, our passions can be expressed, relationships flourish and are never taken for granted, and when we have unprecedented and almost unlimited opportunities for our best creative work. What better definition of ‘blooming’ can there be?
Most of my life was about ‘becoming’. Today, I can honestly say it is just about ‘being’. This translates into an experience of my life and the world opening up—unfolding—more and more each day. If there is a theme for the Boomer generation, I would suggest it would be to stop and smell the roses—and when you do, appreciate that you are the rose.
Wouldn’t it be wonderful if people looked forward to getting older with as much anticipation and enthusiasm as most of us have looked forward to falling in love or having children? It is a shame that we spend roughly a third of our lives in a state that we culturally believe to be ‘past-our-prime’—a period of gradual decline and loss. I reject the idea that it needs to be this way.
I am a ‘Bloomer’ and I am living into the possibility that the best is yet to come. I can still ‘zoom’, bump and grind if I want to, but the fact is I don’t need to in order to prove to myself or anyone else that I am not ‘too old’. I am opening like a flower to the sweetness of life and I am profoundly happy, satisfied and grateful for the opportunity to be alive at this most extraordinary time in history.