On new year’s eve I was out partying till 2 a.m.
My son manages a nightclub at a popular San Francisco Hotel where I attended a 5:00 show with a jazz singer/songwriter, then to dinner with three delightful people, then walked several blocks to a beautiful SF theater for a 9:00 performance from Sutton Foster, Broadway and TV star! I even got to meet her backstage! A lovely person!
At 11:00, we made full circle back to the Hotel for a dance party at the nightclub where 100 happy people sang in the New Year! (My son produced all these events and I just kvell at watching him do his thing! (Not often we get to see our kids doing their work, especially when they get in front of 1000 people introducing the featured attraction!). I really had fun and enjoyed being out!
But during the evening, I had this bolt of a thought: “The next 10 years could be a most formidable decade!”
As older Baby Boomers, we suddenly have become the alter-kockers that our grandparents, parents, aunts and uncles once were! We are now them!!
And by the end of this decade, some of our siblings, cousins and friends could be gone.
That reality rocked my soul!
How could I live without these cherished people? What would life be like without them in my life? How could I fill their void?
Could we all be blessed enough to make it to 2030?
Questions I quickly discarded because they were too hard to think about on new year’s eve, let alone answer.
But they have continually plagued my inner soul during this first week of 2020. For me, the best way to deal with continually difficult thoughts, is to write.
So, as I face my computer, I face looking back on life, as I believe we do as we get older. And being Baby Boomers, I think we are shocked every time we pass a mirror and see a reflection we don’t recognize because in the Movie in Our Minds, we are still 16-18 years old! It is often easier to connect to our younger self than to the person we are now.
Back then we had hopes and dreams of life on a planned timeline, like frames in a film. Almost in slow-motion, we could visualize as each decision and event would take its place while we soared through it and then on to the next episode, all in a cinerama/multicolor/multiplex screening. Oh, how exciting to be young and innocent about life with anticipation and enthusiasm for the script it has for us! But it’s a script with permanent ink that we now can’t erase.
So how do we reconcile the Movie in Our Minds? How do we look back at the disappointments, the tears, the goofs, the letdowns, the frustrations and disillusionments we have experienced? Can we measure them to the love, the laughter, the joys, the accomplishments, the happiness, the mitzvahs, and the kvelling we also lived? Is it a tit for tat, one good thing erases one bad thing as a numerical balance? Only each of us can decide what evens out the ups and downs in our movie and how they fit into the chapters of our tale.
Maneuvering older age is a game changer and time consuming. For every doctor’s appointment balance it with something you’ve not done before, or treat yourself to that piece of pizza, or learn something new! In this day and age of technology we really need to be part of it so we stay relevant and understand the new lingo to allow communication with our kids and grandkids! It’s important to make that hurdle out of our comfort zones to understand we don’t need to buy cars with CD players (as my granddaughter told me: “Butzee, any music you want is on your phone which can be played in your car!”) and instead of going to the movies we can watch Netflix! (Most remote controls today allow you to speak a command without having half a dozen remotes!)
We shouldn’t be afraid of change — something wonderful can be found in being wild and crazy for a few minutes! Remember being 18? Go out on new year’s eve till 2 a.m.! In fact, don’t wait till New Year’s Eve!
I believe the hard part is feeling satisfied with the final frames of our personal story. Can we change the tapes in our minds and rewrite the expectations of ourselves, and others, to have a satisfying resolve in the September of Our Years and be at peace with our nostalgia that is the Movie in Our Minds? Take that leap and create a new story as a legacy and example of what could be and not just what was. We are each the authors of the Movie in Our Minds — go for the Oscar!
As a Baby Boomer Bubbe who still feels 18 but has four grand kids to prove this is the 21 Century, Sandra writes to leave a legacy for the next generations. Her belief that these precious kids need to know their cultural and family’s past in order for them to live their future is all the muse she needs!
She has a Master’s Degree in Psychology and Cross Cultural studies, has written a family history, personal memoir and is completing her first novel.
Her grandmother’s journey to America and life is her source for her deep belief and love for Judaism.