The Mountain Times

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Things I have learned in my Boomer Years

Getting old kinda stinks. Our bodies revolt against us by sagging, smarting and requesting replacement parts. Our hair loses its luster as well as its pigment. Our skin gets dry and our toe nails become hard as diamonds. Our brain starts skipping beats and our memory takes numerous vacations - typically when we need it most.

But getting old also has it benefits. We can choose not to give a damn, we can tell people to go fly a kite and we have wisdom beyond compare. We have experience - and that is something younger folks cannot buy, beg, borrow or steal. We have the upper hand in that category. Some of us choose to keep what we have learned a secret believing that everyone should have to learn the ropes on their own. I, on the other hand, believe it is kinder to share this knowledge with the less fortunate - my term of affection for younger people.

So get out your pencils and pads, you are going to want to take notes and take heed. The things I have learned as a Boomer are as follows:

You can tell people until you are blue in the face that you will never become like your parents or say things your parents said - news flash - you sure as heck will. You will find yourself starting sentences with catch phrases such as "these kids today," "when I was your age" and "back in my day."

Wearing high heels in your 20's, 30's, and 40's will cause you problems in your 50's, 60's and 70's. Bunions, hammer toes and plantar fasciitis are real. Those seven-inch stilettos may look sexy today, but you will end up in Hush Puppies, Life Strides and Aerosols tomorrow.

The time will come when your arms are not long enough to hold the menu far away enough to read it. Start collecting those maggies now in every color and shape. You need a cache of them because you will lose them on a daily basis without any hope of remembering where you had them last. The upside is that while you are searching, you often come across a pair you lost six months prior.

Replacing the newspaper with a Kindle for bathroom reading is not a good idea if you are clumsy. Attempting to rectify the situation with a hair dryer does not work.

Men and women really are from Mars and Venus. Do not attempt to change a member of the opposite sex. It never ends happily ever after.

Start your retirement fund as early in life as possible. Like find a good broker when you are about 4-years-old.

You are what you eat, so eat healthy. You are not what you drink...

Don't take up the habit of smoking. Eventually the only place where you will still be allowed to smoke is a one-acre plot in Mongolia.

If you haven't ridden a bicycle in years, don't just jump on one and take off. It is not like riding a bicycle.

Grandkids are awesome. You can spoil them rotten, feed them sweets late at night and return them home when either you or they need a nap.

Your children will grow up to be your best friends and your heroes, but they will always be your children. They will also always find a way to move back home and will never, ever refuse an offer of money.

The music of your teens and twenties will remain the best and most incredible music of your entire life. Any music produced after that time period will suck and not be considered real music.

The Beatles. 'Nuff said.

Material things are not all they are cracked up to be. You can't take them with you, so accumulating house loads of them is seriously a waste of time and money. On the other hand, good health, loyal friends and a close-knit family are priceless. Put your time and energy into finding and keeping those.

Choose the job you will love, not the one that pays the most money.

Stop and smell the roses, except if you are allergic to them.

Learn to live within your means, and then learn to live with just a little less.

Love with reckless abandon and never have regrets.

Know when it is time to give up.

Never give up if your heart tells you to keep going for it.

Smiling is contagious and can never be overrated.

Cindy Phillips is a columnist for The Mountain Times. She can be reached directly at