Diana Walters: A Boomer's Ruminations - Journey Of Discovery

  • Wednesday, July 10, 2024
  • Diana Walters
Diana Walters
Diana Walters
We boomers have seen a lot in our lifetimes. Those of us who came of age in the 1960s remember JFK being elected president, the Berlin Wall being erected, and the first spacewalks. We remember race riots and Woodstock. We also remember where we were when JFK and Martin Luther King Jr. were assassinated.

We remember seeing the number of men who died each day during the Viet Nam War scrolling across our TV screens night after night. I got used to seeing those numbers and didn’t think much about them until my classmates and my brothers began being drafted.
That’s when it hit home.

The boomers who came of age in the 70s were aware of different world events: Anti-war marches, gay liberation marches, the Watergate scandal, and Roe V Wade. The Beatles broke up, Elvis died, and disco music began. And who can forget the Battle of the Sexes tennis match between Billie Jean King and Bobby Riggs?

As the Virginia Slims cigarette ad once said, “You’ve come a long way baby.” And we have. But we’re not done yet.

Aging is a journey of discovery. If God grants us a long life, I believe He has something more for us to learn and something more for us to do. Carl Jung was a psychiatrist and psychotherapist.

Although he held some unconventional views on life, he was a Christian, and he believed that the meaning of life is to discover and fulfill one’s unique purpose or destiny.

I cannot tell you what your life purpose is or what you’re supposed to learn in the last third of your life and you cannot tell me what I’m supposed to learn or do. We have to discover it for ourselves. But I’m convinced of one thing: God didn’t intend for us to sit in a chair until the end of our days. We might retire from paid employment, but we shouldn’t retire from life.

Noah built an ark in his old age, Moses was 80 when God told him to lead his people from their Egyptian captors, Abraham and Sarah still had a job to do in their nineties. They didn’t retire from living a purpose-filled life.

Perhaps you are supposed to learn who you are in relation to other people or in relation to the One who made you. Maybe you’re supposed to make amends to someone you hurt or mend fences with a friend or family member. Or maybe you’re supposed to share your wisdom and experience with a younger person, save the whales, or write an inspirational book. Even when riddled with physical problems, there is something you can do, someone you can encourage.

I am a work in progress. You are a work in progress. Whether you’re one of the youngest boomers or, like me, one of the oldest, you are still growing. With every passing birthday we are in the process of becoming someone new. Allow God to lead you into discovering the best YOU possible during this journey we call aging.

* * *

Diana Walters has enjoyed a long career working with senior adults as social worker, activity director, and volunteer coordinator. She recently retired (at age 76) from paid employment and is now able to devote more time to her writing and her husband (in that order?) She has written devotionals for The Quiet Hour and Upper Room and been published in six Chicken Soup for the Soul books, but she is excited to be writing for and about her fellow Baby Boomers. She can be reached at dianalwalters@comcast.net.
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