This boomer’s learning to deal with his age

Who knew how much we’d have to learn as our baby boomer generation got older? Not Pat O’Donnell of Olathe, Kansas, who is going through a crash course: Learning to be a Senior.

Who knew there was so much to learn about becoming an old guy? This baby boomer has had a rude awakening as I begin to wade through the massive amount of detail about housing, medicare renewal, supplemental insurance, and drug plans.

Pat O’Donnell

The monthly AARP tabloid just adds to my frustration. Too many choices about things I have never experienced in my short 70-plus years.

It wasn’t that long ago that I was in a senior management position making solid choices and leading a team. Now I find myself wandering almost aimlessly through the days, trying to determine if those TV ads about all-inclusive “senior living” is really what I need, can afford, or am willing to do, since it means I’d share space with other seniors. They are darn slick ads and the “seniors” you see are so fit and happy, it must be for me.

Living next to an elementary school in a suburban neighborhood is not ideal for this empty nester. So I’ve been looking at alternatives.

Now I’m working full time again just to manage my “seniorness.” Developing spreadsheet budgets to track our limited income and growing expenses. Building lists of questions to ask the people at the communities for our age group that seem like nirvana on TV.

Then there is all the “stuff.” The china and silver we needed when we married and have saved only to learn our children don’t want it. What about all my award plaques and memorabilia from my years of work. Then there is the stereo system, large speaker and entertainment system, all outdated by today’s standards and again, things my children don’t want.

Can I really achieve the carefree living, daily bocce ball, served meals, fitness centers, and an afternoon of poker with the rest of the good old boys?

I’m beginning to think that there should be a mandatory course to learn all you need to know about being this old.

How did those who have gone before me learn to manage their personal affairs? I read BoomerCafé and find many well-informed peers. Perhaps they could even teach the course: Primer for Older Baby Boomers: Senior Life Management 101.


  1. You nailed it, Pat. Why so many want to age “in place”. No one wants their keepsakes and mementos, and they can’t bear to just throw them away. It would be like throwing away everything they’ve ever achieved. And they won’t fit in a smaller home. Putting it all in storage is just kicking the can down the road for the kids to throw away when we’ve passed; we’ll never pull it out of storage, although knowing our keepsakes are still in our possession might be some solace.

  2. Required or a must for every senior to learn the basics of the digital world or just the used of smart phones. It would be very helpful. I dreaded the idea as I come near to my second childhood…the fear that nobody, I mean nobody will even care.

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