Aging without a Road Map

Think about it for a minute: baby boomers are the first generation of women who are moving into maturity without role models. As we enter our 50s and 60s, we cannot look at what our mothers were like at the same age and say, “Yep. that’s going to be me.”

The boomers I know are far more focused on fitness and healthful eating than the generations before them, and whether it’s a testament to good genes or clean living, we all look younger and are more vital than our mothers. That’s the good news. The bad news is: what can we expect as we get older…and older…and older?

In truth, we are aging by the seat of our pants. Our mothers had their mothers to look to for what to expect. Our daughters have us, and if they’re paying attention, they’re learning that it’s possible to run marathons at 55, have a book published at 58, and play the romantic lead in a movie at 61.

But we boomers are a generation stuck in the no-definitive-answers zone, not knowing what’s lurking around the next corner as we make our way toward our golden years.

In truth, it will be a very different journey for all of us. Genetics and lifestyle will certainly affect the paths our lives will take. In spite of the variables, we will all share the not-knowing part…the unexpected, unpredictable changes that will appear as we continue to move forward. The road is not well lit–heck, there are no street lights at all!–so we’re left to make our way through the dark.

In situations like these, it’s good that we have each other.

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