My mother was “old” all the time that I knew her. I am not being mean or hurtful or disrespectful here. I simply never remember a time in my life that I did not think of my mother as old. I remember sitting on a Cape Cod beach with my best friend when we were probably 12 or so, saying, “Do you think we will get fat legs when we are old?” as we chatted about my mom and her friends. In retrospect, my mother was probably 44 or 45 at that time. We wondered if we would have to wear those ugly bathing suits with the skirts attached, and what we would be like when we were “old.”
To be clear, my mother did not object to being “old.” In the mid 1970s, this was part of the generation gap. Our parents were our elders—they were old. They were not trying to be young or wanting to change. They accepted their aging. Zoom forward 40 years or so and this is no longer the case. In fact, we are reminded every day of how “young” we are in our 50s, 60s, and 70s. Our generation of baby boomers has truly disrupted the aging process. Whether it is with how we look, how we feel, the things we do, the rock stars we aspire to—we are just not accepting of “old.”
In this issue of My Generation we feature five boomers (page 8) who clearly exemplify the concept of “forever young.” Meet Scott Anchors, 67, of South Portland, who says, “I don’t know what 67 is. I don’t feel 67 and I don’t seem to be slowing down.” Hooray for Scott! Wendy Hallenbeck, 54, of Waterville, didn’t learn to swim until February 2010, just a few months before she competed in her first triathlon. I agree with Wendy that “our biggest obstacles are in our mind.”
As boomers, we are faced not only with the challenges of staying fit and healthy, but also with many challenges that come with living a full life. We often juggle careers, kids, caring for parents, marriage and relationship issues, and so much more. A life well-lived is full of both challenges and opportunities. Sometimes it helps to read stories of others who have faced their challenges head on. Our cover story this month features Kevin Mannix and his wife, Linda Rota, and their personal journey of dealing with depression and shame. Together they have published a book, “Weathering Shame,” which focuses on their personal experiences growing up exposed to alcoholism, severe depression and suicide.
Finally, when you find yourself in need of a pick-me-up, Selby Frame offers some great, simple suggestions (page 20) on things we can do right now to feel better.
I hope you enjoy the content in this issue of My Generation as much as I have. Look for our next issue on the newsstands in early February.
-Lee Hews, Publisher