‘I Go, Wherever I Go!’

By Karen Czuleger Strgacich | May 14th, 2024

Sometimes, there is just no escaping our thoughts

closeup of senior woman's eyes, for article on "My thoughts – I go wherever I go"

“My thoughts go everywhere I go and there is no hiding from them,” writes Karen Czuleger Strgacich, expressing a sentiment that many of us can relate to. In fact, many of her thoughts are unique to other Boomers. Read her attempts to escape and her triumphs.

Ever have those times when you feel like you just can’t run away from yourself? I’m having that kind of week! I am plagued with the proverbial “monkey on my back” feelings. I beg of you … please get off my back! Those thoughts that never leave me alone. Always harping and chipping into my brain. I just can’t seem to feel like I am getting hold of anything with any firmness of my grip.

My thoughts go everywhere I go and there is no hiding from them.

Oh, sure, I can try to drown them out by turning on the TV. Or I can put my earbuds on and listen to music, podcasts, news … but the thoughts are there, The endless chores and responsibilities. That gnawing voice telling me to work out, lose weight, get my nails done … oh you need a haircut! OMG, your roots are showing! Better get those done too!

How can I be practically perfect in every way? I need Mary Poppins!

Money … money … money … or lack thereof! How am I going to ever afford to stop working? And if I stop working, how am I going to afford to live the lifestyle I have become accustomed to? How will I afford my streaming subscriptions, healthcare, and groceries? What about the house payment? And most terrifying of all, how will I afford to get my hair cut or those roots colored again? Will I ever have any fun?

STOP! Yes, I go, wherever I go! Or rather my thoughts, worries, and self-judgments go wherever I go!

The Dalai Lama said, “Love is the absence of Judgement.”

I quote this because I have come to realize that this is where I fail myself. I judge myself so harshly and so frequently that I realize I am failing to love myself. I mean, if I don’t learn to love myself through this time in my life, who will? I deserve to exercise self-love. I have earned the right to self-love. Otherwise, what would the point be? Did I work so long and so hard only to land at a feeling of dissatisfaction? No! I can’t feel that way! I won’t feel that way!

Okay, so I am still working now, but the day will come when I will not have a career any longer and that scares me. Who will I be then?

As I breathe through these thoughts, I suddenly realize that the stress I am feeling is because it feels like time is running out for me. Why do I feel like time is running out? I mean I have so much still to do in my current career, that I am not yet retired from. And even beyond that, I still am not finished. Where are these feelings coming from?

As Jesus said, “Do not be anxious for tomorrow. Tomorrow will be anxious for itself.”

Aww … AARP commercials … Medi-Cal commercials, Medicare commercials … Assisted living commercials … reverse mortgage commercials … the endless commercials and mailings are all targeted to the Boomers! Those sweet little children who are the post-WWII bundles of joy that are now coming of age! The age of retirement and beyond. And the target marketing is hitting the airwaves with a vengeance.

The conscious and subliminal messaging that is coming at me, not to mention, the many friends who are blissfully retiring is what surrounds me! And the result is a big ticking clock in my head! Which sings in perfect harmony with all of my other thoughts and worries!

Well, I have news for all of those advertisers for assisted living and reverse mortgages and Depends! I have a lot more living to do! I will be working for a bit more, but after that, you will find me still living a very full life!

In the spirit of Winston Churchill and his most famous speech to Parliament during WWII, a bookmark where the Baby Boomers found their roots I say:

I shall fight on the pickleball courts …

I shall fight on the sea on my stand-up paddle board …

I shall fight on the beaches of Southern California where beach chairs will be parked, and sunscreen will be distributed …

I shall never surrender to worrying about Medi-Cal, Medicare, reverse mortgages, and Depends!

I shall go wherever I go!

And maybe my thoughts and worries will follow me, but I will be as triumphant as the heroes who fought in WWII which was the prelude to my existence! Those who fought and who let me come to retirement in a place that allows me to work until I don’t want to anymore.

I salute them! I salute me!

And I will enjoy every day before I retire and every day after!

Karen Czuleger Strgacich, used with essays, including "My Thoughts"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. You can email her at strgacich@gmail.com.

Also from Karen Czuleger Strgacich:

“Boom On” and “Boomers and Ageism”

Read more essays, childhood memories, and other contributions from Boomer readers in our From the Reader department.

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