By Beth Pinyerd
“There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens.” Ecclesiastes 3:1.
Welcome June 2021! As I look over historical events in June, I am pleasantly surprised that I still remember some of the “historical events” from my childhood. We celebrate June 6 as the day drive-in movie theatres opened in 1933. June 6 is also recognized as National Yo-Yo Day! I especially remember going to the drive-in movie theatre. I remember my daddy and mama packed us in the white family Ford in the summer. Rolled down windows was our air conditioning and provided a place for a tray of boxed, delicious, buttery popcorn and soda! Yep, insect repellant was used to drive the mosquitos and gnats away as we watched in amazement as the weekly movie unfolding on the big screen against a summer star-filled sky. We all remember the simple yo-yo which consists of a wooden axle connected to two wooden disks and a strong string looped around the axle. The yo-yo gathered its momentum by doing a forceful unwinding throw from the hand to the end of the string. So many tricks could be performed by allowing the yo-yo to spin at the end of the string. If you clearly remember these two historical events, I bet you are a Baby Boomer! In fact, I am having to back peddle to June 1, which is recognized as “Baby Boomers Recognition Day”. To clearly define who Baby Boomers are, if you were born between 1946 and 1964, you are a Baby Boomer. I am a Baby Boomer because I was born in 1952. We are post-World-War-II babies.
Some of the characteristics of “We Baby Boomers” in values is we respect individual choice; we are encouraged to be involved in the community; we strive to be healthy and well. Also, this generation is goal-oriented and has a positive attitude. Emphasis in team-building is the typical work style of Baby Boomers.
Baby Boomers are being strongly reminded that retirement is right around the corner. Research shows us that the largest generation – approximately 80 million – are preparing to retire. How are we Baby Boomers going to “do” retirement? Our thoughts and beliefs on retirement may be different than those of our parents and the previous generation.
Some normal reactions about the reality of retirement might be excitement, curiosity, – or even anxiety. I know we have a lot of transitions facing us in a very fragile and unpredictable world. One thing I take comfort in is that there are a huge crowd of we Baby Boomers. The job description of sandwich generation is taking care of young and older children, grandchildren and senior friends. We may also have personal health challenges. With so many challenges facing we Baby Boomers as we age, we can find worry sneaking in and stealing our joy. This Classroom Observer, a Baby Boomer, has had to go back into the classroom to listen to God and glean from older friends on this subject of worry myself. I have listed some helpful hints about the subject of worry that I hope helps.
Taking on worry does not help us. God points out in the Bible in Matthew 6:27, “Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his lifespan?” In teaching young children, I would point out from Matthew 6:26 and Matthew 6:28 that the birds in God’s world do not sow, reap or gather into barns. Lilies of the field just grow, they do not labor or spin. In helping young children understand this concept, I laughingly ask them if they see birds grocery shopping or flowers shopping for clothes. Young children seem to accept and understand this concept. As we Baby Boomers are facing a new era in our lives, it would be good to glean a “way of thinking” from children in leading a worry-free life.
Live today. Thoroughly enjoy the present moment and what today brings. Each day is truly a gift from God. As Baby Boomers facing uncertain futures, instead of thinking “what if,” dwell and embrace on “what is.”
Try to not dwell on bad things. Refocus on looking for good things which bring us joy and make us happy. As Baby Boomers, the general concerns we are faced with are health care, having enough money to live comfortably and meeting basic needs in our sunset years, making decisions about continuing to work or retire and taking on responsibilities of taking care of our families as well as friends and people in need. The age and experiences that Baby Boomers have can be shared in spending time and helping others. Running errands for someone who is homebound, calling folks who are having health challenges, sending cards, texts or just listening or caring for others is such a gift of encouragement. How can one worry when they are thinking of helping others?
Accept the fact that life will not be easy. Especially as we age, we Baby Boomers may have many challenges. As we examine what our worries may be, we can take time to examine why we are worrying. So many times, we realize that we can shift our perception and realize that we can reassess our worries to make the world around us a better place. Worries can transform into a hope and promise. As we grow older, making the best out of life takes a choice. We might be in the middle of a storm, but a rainbow is on its way.