President Obama is a Boomer. Let that sink in young, ageist death-wish folks. Yesterday on Twitter a journalist wrote something about his shock at the ageism that’s emerged from the COVID-19 virus fear. The resulting thread was full of “death to boomers.” Then some politician from Texas said he was sure that every 80 year old grandmother would be willing to die so her grandchildren could have a good economy. What?
The virus has brought some dark reality to the fore. In Spain and Italy there are not enough ventilators for all the desperately ill people so they’ve had to decide to ventilate younger people and the the elders die (or not). I see the logic, but I also think that has got to be excruciating for doctors who’ve vowed to preserve life. But such decisions are not new to human existence.
As a result of this, I’m going to attempt a social media “diet” as it’s called. I’m not optimistic of success, but I’m going to give it a shot. The main challenge is that I’m kind of hooked. I thank WP for that and a contest I found myself entered in (it was an honor). You might have noticed a “badge” on my page, “Annual Blogger Bash Nominated Blog 2018 — Best Overall Blog.”
It was the strangest thing. I was (as always) minding my own business and I got a notification that I’d been nominated for this award. What? If you won you got a prize and you could take yourself to a party in England. It was very cool because it had come out of nowhere. So, I followed them on Facebook and did all the other things I was supposed to. The contest was very active on Twitter so I became more active on Twitter, a strange, nasty, evil place — but addictive. I followed some blogs, voted for some blogs, and NEVER found whoever it was had nominated me. In the process I “met” two women I like very much. Erin who writes Unbound Roots and Shannon of Must Hike, Must Eat.
I learned a lot from the experience. I didn’t win, but it was fun being nominated. The next year I was contacted about participating, but the contest had changed. The blogs were separated into categories — cooking, the outdoors, child-raising — stuff like that. My blog doesn’t fit any category (that I can see).
As for Boomers — where I live Boomers keep everything going. There’s not much work here, so many young people (who aren’t farming) have to leave. There would be no food bank, no after-school programs, no museums if retired people didn’t step up to do those things. If the 80 year old who runs the Rio Grande County museum weren’t there, there would be no internship for the high school kid who LOVES history, the museum, and the chance to set up exhibits. What training that 17 year old is getting! The local food bank is begging for volunteers right now because it doesn’t think that the elderly people who do 90% of the work should be working now because of the danger of all that public contact. The quilt guilds (we have them here) have mobilized to sew masks and they are, yep, run by boomers.
The niche filled by boomers in my little world is very important yet delicate.
Many boomers are raising their grandkids. Some are substitute teaching. All over the place, they’re stepping in where someone needs it. Maybe we should all be sitting in our rockers on our porches, but we’re not. Well I am, but I figure after 35 yers teaching 10,000 people to write and think, helping save 5800 acres of chaparral wilderness from developers, working to raise funds for a mental health facility for Asian refugees, etc. it’s OK for me to savor the passing parade. My life has been — and is — so far from the stereotype as are the lives of most of the “Boomers” I know.
Featured photo: me walking down a hill at Penetente Canyon, 2017