Most of us up here on the hill have been around the block a couple of times (or more!). Some have lived our lives on the edge while others have taken a more conservative, back-seat position. But regardless of what course our lives took, looking at life in the rear-view mirror certainly puts a different perspective on it.
The ordinary experiences of aging alter and clarify your view of past, present and future.Edith Pearlman
Do you remember how you felt as your twenty-first birthday drew near? For Baby Boomers, twenty-one years of existence signalled the dawn of adulthood. It was the magic number that entitled us to sign contracts and enter into legal agreements (like marriage…) without the written consent, or approval, of our parents.
The world was ours, to do with as we pleased.
And we embraced it with both hands, and wide-eyed wonder. Some of us were invincible and hurtled into life at full-throttle – others moved slowly through the gears (and years). Either way, we explored, experimented, made decisions and settled into an existence that would (hopefully) sustain us into our mature years.
We pursued goals, both career and personal, and raised families. Through lean years and good, we managed to get by. And no matter what life threw at us, we survived.
We were resilient.
The years came and went. Our once busy households were now relatively empty. The children we raised had left to raise their own family. Society even came up with a name for us – we became the ‘Empty Nesters’.
And the Empty Nesters took flight – albeit – on wheels. And another new phrase was coined, as the ‘Grey Nomads’ circled the nation (and the globe). Caravans dotted the highways in no particular hurry to arrive, to the annoyance of the younger generation who lined up on the highway behind us.
Long lines at check-in counters of airports were over-populated by travelling seniors with passports in hand, as they jetted off to another long-awaited destination. The travel bucket-list growing smaller with every return journey.
The SKI Club – Spending Kid’s Inheritance
Back in the day, our parents lived frugally and saved hard – safe in the knowledge they would be leaving a sound financial legacy for their surviving children. And the children lived safe in the knowledge their inheritance would be forthcoming on the demise of their loving parents.
But somewhere along the way, the lines blurred. The borders of the world merged. Inventions like television, and then the Internet, gave us a glimpse of another world. There was more to life than the little patch of ground we called home, and we wanted to experience it – all of it!
Education was the norm for our generation, not the exception. And University became accessible and affordable for more than just the children of the elite.
Our children were not only better educated, but earned more than we ever did.
It no longer made sense to go without – just to leave an inheritance to children who didn’t need it.
And that’s when the SKI Club was born. The grey (or – nearly grey) nomads disposed of the family home and moved into a more mobile abode. One that would deliver them to the far corners of the country, as they ambled along the highways and bush roads of this vast land.
The dawn of a new era
Eventually the nomads wearied of their transitory lifestyle. They had explored the length and breadth of the country – and the gypsy-lifestyle no longer served them. They longed for a little cottage with enough garden to keep them occupied without over-taxing their waning energy and creaking bones.
As they reminisced about the places they had seen, one or two little towns or cities dominated their thoughts. And that’s where they gravitated to. It’s where they would settle down to enjoy their more senior years.
When it’s time to view life in the rear-view mirror, what will you see?
With the big-wheels sold to the next generation of nomads, our grey-nomads bought into a new lifestyle. A place where everyone has a story to tell and no-one is in a hurry to go anywhere. Where folks enjoy a cuppa and a chat to share their travel-tales.
And when darkness falls, you can hear a pin drop.
The forwarding address for all their mail is to a Retirement Village in that quaint little town they found all those years ago – the one they kept going back to – the one they talked about the most.
Travel now is in the luxury of a cruise ship – where someone else charts the course and does the driving.
The pace of life has slowed – as it should.
Life in the rear-view mirror looks good, framed by the memories made in the journey from the beginning of adulthood to the final phase of our existence.