Why don’t we have a better word for people who have lived five decades or more? We are called senior citizens, old people, mature adults, old-timers, the elderly, the aging population, old-farts, geezers, etc. And, while all of them may be true (or not!), they are depressing, negative and in some cases, downright rude!
Words mean things and with that, people create an image in their head about it. These definitions depict someone who is shuffling along, disoriented and befuddled. With all due respect to those that are ill and unwell, the babies of the 30’s, 40’s, 50’s and 60’s are booming!
We need a word that is a little more perky, more positive, more encouraging. We need a word that describes who we are today. Toddlers, teen-agers, 30 somethings, mid-lifers, etc. have their own meaning of where they are in life and so should we, with a better snapshot of a wider and more varied representation of our ever-growing population.
We possess the joy of living; we explore, we travel, we golf, we volunteer, we work, we baby-sit, we care for others, we bowl, we knit, we blog, we exercise, we bake, we play cards, we dance! We are not going to roll over and play dead until we are dead! Our age is our strength, we have knowledge and experience that is real and authentic. Search engines don’t know everything – people need to talk to someone who is original to life. And that is us!
Growing old is inevitable, growing up is not mandatory!
Retire-Agers™! That’s the term I came up with that describes who we are; I hope you like it and agree to use it!
You will be meeting Retire-ages on this blog. Working hard their whole lives, building a career, raising families, helping others, living a full life with all its ups and downs, these people are now retired. Well deserved.
Did they plan their retirement? Or were they forced out of the labor force? Gotten ill? Had to caretake a loved one? How do they feel about being retired? What do they do all day? Are they happy that they retired? Or do they regret it? Do they want to go back to work? Can they go back to work? How does a working spouse handle a non-working spouse? Or the other way around? Did they downsize? Did they move to another city? Are they annoying their children and grand-children?
Each story makes its own impact because each story is real. It captures a person’s moment in life where they share their thoughts and feelings about being retired. And because each person’s story matters, it is important to record it.
Interviewing each of the retirees gave me enormous pleasure and respect of them. Fascinating, funny, poignant, sad, curious, naughty describes just some of the interesting people I’ve met so far. So many more of you out there – can’t wait to meet you!
The pictures in this section of the blog is hands because that is how we got the work done. The veins, the age spots, the crinkly skin is who we are. They represent life.
We are on it!
My husband Zaf’s hand – Photographs from The Personal Collection of Helene and Zaf
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