Proud to be a baby boomer who has always been a rebel at heart

Here at BoomerCafé, we really enjoyed this piece when it came in. It made us smile. We hope it does the same thing for you. It’s from a baby boomer in Chesterfield, in the United Kingdom, named Linda Biggs, and what she writes about is something any of us could probably relate to: Railing and Rebelling.

Personally I can’t help thinking that the term “baby boomer” makes the result of our parents’ copulations seem like they fired us all out of cannons. BOOM!! And there we were, plunged into a world so different from that of our parents. It’s little wonder that the generation gap was wider in the following years — the ’60s, if you’re wondering — than at any other time.

Linda Biggs

Linda Biggs

Did you rail and rebel against the parents’ values and standards? I did. Not all the time of course, but even so, I did quite a bit. I was always a hot-head and struggled with respecting them in most things. I was mouthy as well. Oh Lord, was I mouthy! I wanted to be different. Didn’t want to listen to their music; they liked crooners. I wanted The Beatles. I didn’t want to be a clone of my mother. Her skirts were too long anyway. I wanted mine nearly up to my backside. “That’s tarty!” she cried. “It’s trendy!” I retaliated. I got my way.

I looked back at myself over the years, initially disliking that gobby (simplified translation for yankees: talkative … too talkative) little horror. Only after having my own children, now in their 30s themselves, and watching them go through similar rebellions, have I come to understand my parents and their values. I also have a greater understanding of me and mine too.

Linda Biggs

Linda Biggs

I’m 63 now and still rebellious but in a more understated way. Refusing to give in to advancing years and still not wanting to look like a version of my mother who, I hasten to add, was far more beautiful than I am. I have my own beauty but in different ways. I have more confidence to be myself; to age gracefully, and to grow older as disgracefully as I want to; and to take risks, even to shock should I choose.

As retirement looms, I try to find new things to do so that I’ve something to call on when I’m no longer at work. Skydiving was a great experience to try, though I can’t see myself making a hobby of it (due to the expense, not the danger). I tried crafting but was hopeless at it. Photography is my favorite hobby, one I’m actually good at, and one I share with a couple of friends.

Writing however, was my first love and that will stay with me until the last. There’s a book in me somewhere.

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  1. Linda,

    Thanks for a lovely perspective.

    I was probably a quieter version of your rebel.

    Rather than minis, I worn patched jeans. I was more cerebral — questioning social norms. My mom worried when after taking a sociology class, I choose not to take a bath every day because in many cultures natural body odor was considered attractive. I probably did not maintain that stance for long.

    Did your mother every tell you stories of her youth? Some of the things my mom did that challenged her own social norms were: She got a pilot’s license and moved away from home when she was in her twenties; not the done thing back then in rural TN.

    Thanks for your story.

    1. Hi Ria!

      I’m glad you enjoyed the feature, and thank you for your lovely comment. I didn’t get much chance to explore stuff with my own mum as she died when I was in my 20’s. I’m not sure she was much of a rebel, but she did encourage me to be someone who was a bit different from the norm.

      It was fascinating to learn about your mum’s challenging the norm. A girl definitely not in the ordinary. I love to hear about those who dare to be different. It’s good to get out of the comfort zone, isn’t it?


  2. That’s my mum! I am very, very proud of her. My mum, and her “don’t take no for an answer” attitude has made me into the woman I am today. So, thanks Mum. Grow old as disgracefully as you like, for I shall do the same! You are, and always will be my greatest friend and inspiration.

      1. Hi Linda, good to hear from you!

        I like remembering that our generation wanted a better, more creative world. We were rebelling against “the gray flannel suit” mind set.

    1. Yeah! Katherine, let’s hear for our moms. My mom was also a “government girl”, she joined hordes of other young women who flocked to Washington, DC in support of the war efforts in WWII. The women filled every vacant room available and some even rented out closets for a place to stay. From what I heard hosiery (nylon) and hot dogs were in big demand. There is a video out called “Government Girls.”

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