Be bold, show no fear, and be a big deal, says this aging Boomer
I’m a Baby Boomer. I am a full-fledged Boomer. I make no excuses for it; I don’t hide that fact either. I like being a Boomer. We were children of the greatest generation. And that is meaningful to me. We came from people who had to sacrifice a lot and learn how to support one another during a war. I’m happy to be a Boomer. That is, until I attend work events.
Keeping up with the kids. Is that what it feels like when you are nearing what society says is a normal retirement age? When I attend work conferences, it is the only space in my life where I feel old. I don’t feel old when I am at my desk. I don’t feel old when I am just living my life. But somehow, I feel old when I’m at work events.
This week I am at another work event. The general session speaker today was awesome. She was inspiring, motivating, funny, and very entertaining. She was also half my age. But I was still inspired by this feisty, heart-on-fire motivational speaker who spoke with the wisdom of someone much older. The general message of her talk was to understand that we are all Big Deals! We all must be okay with who we are and not be afraid of failure. Now, if you are hearing this at 30 years old, that can get you to stand up and feel like the world really can be at your fingertips. But when you are 60, it feels a little different. I honestly felt everything that the 32-year-old woman sitting next to me felt. And don’t get me wrong, I felt equally as inspired. But then I suddenly realized that I don’t have the 30 years in front of me that she has in front of her. And it made me sad.
It made me sad because I am a 60-year-old woman trapped in a mindset of a 30-year-old, but yet has the wisdom of a 60-year-old. It’s so complicated! The people at these events don’t feel like I am someone who should be put out to pasture. In fact, I am not made to feel old by any of my much-younger peers. They all think I am younger than my real age. They don’t think I’m 30, but they have no idea that I am 60.
And that dynamic leads me to yet another insecurity I suffer at work conferences: imposter syndrome. The pressure that puts me under is tough. As I was waiting for an elevator today at the conference hotel, a group of other attendees was waiting with me. One woman shrieked in horror as she looked at her phone and saw that the Taylor Swift concert ticket website had crashed. Another woman chimed in, expressing her horror at the news, too, and before I knew it, I was 60 again. Now I know Taylor Swift is an amazing and talented young woman and I like her, really. But her concert website crashing didn’t rate high on my scale of tragedies. I could understand if it was the Rolling Stones, The Who or Paul McCartney, though! Sigh … I am a Baby Boomer working in an industry of millennials and younger.
More fun, inspiring wisdom from an aging boomer: Join The SuperAging Revolution
So, what’s a girl to do? Well, I guess I will just go back to what the half-my-age speaker was saying all along. I am Big Deal! And I am Big Deal no matter what age I am and no matter how many years I have ahead of me. The Big Deal and the Be Bold and No Fear mantras are resonating now and are in full percolation! (Another word a non-Baby Boomer wouldn’t understand its origins.)
Okay, so I know I won’t be in my current career forever. In fact, the clock is in full tick now. But that doesn’t mean I can’t find a new way to fulfill my desires and make money, too! I will take my Big Deal and Be Bold and show No Fear as I prepare for that next phase of my life. I can do it. I have to do it. I will do it! I am as serious as I have ever been in my life. And seeking out my next adventure has been born out of a 30-something-year-old woman who had no idea she had the ability to inspire a 60-year-old to keep on moving forward, dream big, and know that whatever she sets her sights on is attainable. I have an idea of what that next thing may be. But I’ll share this in another article.
Karen Czuleger Strgacich is a national sales director in the hospitality industry, helping to bring meetings and conventions to the city of Los Angeles. She has worked in the industry for over 30 years. She loves her career and paying it forward by mentoring future hospitality and meeting professionals and helping them obtain scholarships. She raised two children as a single mom, a feat that was at times the most challenging thing she had ever done, but also by far the most rewarding.
After work, Strgacich blogs her thoughts, experiences, trials, and triumphs to sites focused on single motherhood and professional working women. She is also a Certified Professional Coach helping other single moms navigate the choppy seas of single parenthood while keeping their sanity, helping to instill courage and beliefs to always be their own Heroes. Karen believes you are never too old to achieve your dreams!
You can email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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Do you want to be a “SuperAger,” getting the most out of your later decades?
David Cravit and Larry Wolf develop the concept in their book,
“SuperAging: Getting Older Without Getting Old,”