In 2013, when I decided to create writing and journal writing workshops for the 50+ crowd—as well as this blog—I had a hard time coming up with title. The “Boomer” part was easy; it’s an uncomplicated and identifiable way to mark the lifespan of a certain modern generation: those born between 1946 and 1964 who seem to defy all generalizations about what it means to age.
But what about those just a few years older than the Boomers like myself? How do we fit into the current reckoning of these “new” middle ages? Or, as some call it, this “new” old age?
And, more to the point, what should we be called? Elders? Oldsters? I like Geezer for its playfulness, but know I’m in the minority.
The best I could come up with at the time was the nice vague “Beyonders,” a lifespan—and its concomitant rewards and challenges—remaining equally vague.
Today I stumbled on this article, from a New York Times opinion piece published in 2009, around the time perhaps that all this old age/new age conversation was beginning to take hold in the public’s awareness.
Titled “The Ages of Man,” it provides a brief look at how sages past have divided up the human lifespan. It’s quite a revelation, but, more than that, it gives us an appreciation for just how historic aging in the 21st century—in the developed world—truly is.
Plus which, it's just a lot of fun to read.