Okay, here it is! About 13 years ago, I graduated with my MS Degree in Gerontology, “The scientific study of aging, and the process of adults growing older.” I thought that by studying Gerontology, I would find out about the fountain of youth. The funny thing is that I’ve not been able to work in the field. Then it dawned on me that it wasn’t time yet – because I wasn’t a mature Baby Boomer (BB). How could I possibly understand the BB’s life cycle unless I was actually living it?
Well, today I am officially a BB, and proud of it! For those of you that are not sure if you are an official BB, you would have been born between 1946 and 1964. So my point is that I have spent the past 13 years leading by my own example of how to age gracefully, and pushing beyond those old wives tales, myths, and taboos associated with aging. Once I realized that there was no fountain of youth, I thought “Oh, I get it,” you have to take care of the only body you have in order to slow down the aging process. It was also important to me to know my family’s medical history, i.e., Cancer, Heart Disease, Strokes, and other debilitating ailments. As soon as I could conduct a personal medical history for myself, I began making healthier choices, and the better it was for me.
Short Story: Both of my parents died of cancer in their early 60’s. Because I could be a prime candidate for getting cancer, I immediately started preventive care with regular screenings, only to discover that there was no trace of cancer in me. However, because both my parents were hypertensive, I too am hypertensive. Education, education, education folks!!! Today, I’ve arrived! I wanted to share with other Baby Boomers “the secret to longevity,” and really it’s not a secret. We are the new and improved generation today. Did you now that the life expectancy in 1961 – (the year I was born), was 69.7, and today, we are living well into our 90’s.
We are no longer ashamed of menopause, hot flashes, hysterectomies, and normal changes that come after maturity – “it is what it is” but, it’s not the end of the world! It’s how well you embrace this life cycle and how well you live with it. Myths about aging, is a thing of the past. “Hot Flashes” are reintroduced as “Hot Flash Swag,” its how we roll today. We make healthier choices about our eating habits, we get regular exercise, we keep up with our preventive care, we keep our minds sharp, and we want to look good! Now does this in anyway sound like our grandparents! No way! We as Baby Boomers have figured out how to keep our swag. I never felt better about myself and once again, I’m proud to be a Baby Boomer, it’s a new day! Let’s hear about your swag! One more thing, I just realized that in 48 years, I will be 100! LOL
M’Liss Causey, MS Gerontology