AMEN! As a Joneser, I totally love your article.
While I applaud your addressing this type of topic, I couldn't disagree more on several things. I am a 1956 Boomer. Dude, I was an original member of the U.S. Beatles Fan Club. I was 7 when JFK was shot and remember the day vividly, albeit mostly by adult reaction, but it left a memory. I was devastated by RFK and MLK deaths, I was 12. In 1969 I was Jonesing alright, to be old enough to go to Woodstock. My first favorite TV show at age 3 (and I can remember watching it) was Amos and Andy, so much so that I named my first car Sapphire, and I'm Caucasian. I was also sitting Indian-style in front of our cabinet TV for Annette and the original Mickey Mouse club. I wasn't in time for Howdy Doody, but I was there for Captain Kangaroo and Shari Lewis and Lambchop! :-)
Most of my contemporaries are already grandparents and are embracing their age just fine. My point? Jonesers are a cusp and are influenced by either Boomerish or X-ish, depending on older or younger siblings and personal cultural influences. I think the media perception is different than real life.
Oh, and advertisers like that 1946-64 thing, but not cultural historians. According to Strauss and Howe's Generations: The History of America's Future (the seminal work - I'd highly recommend you read it), Boomers are 1943-1960. X'ers are 1961-1981 or so. For example, Obama is definitely an X'er - he had no older siblings, was a child of divorce raised by grandparents and very sheltered growing up, has a younger sibling. Plus, he behaves totally like an X'er.
But I digress. I am indeed in the Joneser sub-category, in that my humor is very X'er and I am less idealistic, BUT that does not make me any less of a Boomer than you. Just like a Boomer born 1943 has Silent generation leanings, but is still Boomer. PLEASE don't make us separate in your mind - it seems a bit snobbish from my perch. Just my two cents, Namaste, xoxo.
Well Amy, I agree with Bart.
It's puzzling to me how wide the Boomer age group spans. I have cousins who are 7-12 years older than myself and a younger brother by eight (and partner by 7 years). I think that anyone born later than 1960 is clearly out of the Boomer era. If one is an Xer or whatever, I feel that there should be little overlap chronologically. In addition, classifying generations has not been standardized.
When I was 56 I had been unemployed for 2 years after significant down-sizing. I was "pioneering" once again as it was rather novel to look for a professional sales at my age. Sales, to me is a youth oriented profession. Now 10 years later I've gone through the same situation for approximately same time span of unemployment and it is different. I discovered, that to be retired full-time is too expensive. I have a young daughter who just began her first semester at Uni for a Bachelors of Education Degree...5 years of studying. Apart from some RESPS and loans, I'd like to be further support if necessary.
Today, I perused several paperbacks on Amazon and most of the re-careering books for the mature worker fall into the category of over fifty, 50+ and beyond. 60 or 65 (heaven forbid) don't appear in print . Its quite different to be looking for a new career at my age and yet find something meaningful. It's not as easy as back in the 50's.
Yes there is an overlap of cultural influences near the beginning and ending of "bell curves" . Reality is such that true cultural behaviour is represented by the middle of the curve. I'd like to believe that Jonesers would carve out their own cultural niche and rather than bemoan the fact that Boomers have done so and are leading the Jonsers to the new horizons.
I find that keeping one's positive outlook challenging at times when one is bombarded by media using labels such as "old' in government literature for senior programs.
I live in a very youthful city in Canada where we have a growing issue regarding few residences and programs available for the elder or "the seasoned citizen". Acute care beds are occupied by many who should be living elsewhere and there is nowhere to go. As a city we're scrambling to build extended care and assisted living accommodations for these people to take the pressure off the hospitals where the beds are needed for acute care patients.
I'm beginning to accept my status and once I receive my first pension cheque, I will say to myself "I earned this and I deserve this money".
!Rock on! Cheers
Born @ the very end of '45. where does this place me.....
I feel life circumstances, including financial as well as formal education, birth order, socio-economic status, familial influence and life choices, have placed me in a category that doesn't really exist. I feel we are shaped by an inner sense of self, our environment, attitude and just dumb luck. I found your article extremely interesting, especially the varying perspectives in the replies.
I'm almost 69 yo, my only child is in mid-40's......always searching/wondering will i ever fit in
I was glad to find someone to put into words what I have been thinking. I think a telltale sign for me is that I feel somewhat "maternal" towards the younger Boomers, those who grad from high school in the 70's and 80's. . Calling them Jonesers kind of sounds derogatory somehow, and my maiden name was Jones!. I know they want to identify with us, not that we're so exceptional. The Greatest Generation, now there's the exceptional.
I work at a local university and even the current generation is fond of wearing Beatles t-shirts, going green, eating natural foods, using technology, DIY, etc, all popular back in the day. Just peruse the Google+ groups and the best Beatles fan posts are done by the younger gens.
Anyway, yes, there's a difference in the early and later Boomers. I'm 63 and still working as a receptionist and have pretty good computer and internet skills but I'm struggling to just do everyday things like shopping and housecleaning. A trip to Walt Disney World is daunting but I love being there. I recently started strength training and plan to add swimming and group exercise just to keep on my feet and relieve the arthritis pain. I'm not interested in getting ahead and making progress, I'm interested in refining my life (downsizing) and enjoying the things I really love to do. I think this urge is another telltale sign that you are in that older group, the desire to get rid of unnecessary things.
My parents are both gone and I have no siblings. I have a husband who retired about a year ago and has some health issues but stays busy with golf and cooking meals. I have one adult child, and I do ask for her help when I need it. She just figured out how to reset our tablet so it connects with the wireless. Otherwise, we would have just let it sit :) A sign of the times.
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Good reading youur post