Thursday, January 15, 2015

Rest, Live and Be Loved

by Amy Ruhlin
Sometimes I think we boomers are in a bit of a panic. At least, I know that sometimes, I am. 

Especially in those moments when I realize that we’ve been on this planet for more than half a century. When I mention this small fact to folks my age, they often look shocked and horrified. Surely that estimation isn’t right. Can’t be. We’re too hip for that. Too busy. Too revolutionary. We don’t do old.

It just doesn't seem to fit the boomer storyline- sex, drugs and rock 'n' roll, baby. And after that, upward mobility, tiger moms and helicopter parenting.

I mean, we've got this. 

So, true to our nature, we’ve turned these later years into opportunities to reinvent ourselves. Which is a wonderful thing. I created a blog when I turned 50, after years of raising my children and having a career as a therapist. And from that simple, and for a lot of us, courageous act of deciding to write at this stage in life, I’ve had the amazing opportunity to have my work published on a little website called The Huffington Post. I’ve also volunteered, worked for a non-profit and currently work as an independent contractor.  I've reconnected with old friends and with parts of my own self. A full steam ahead reinvention effort. 

But lately, my reinventing seems to have stalled.
So I’ve been taking naps. And taking great joy in wearing my colorful, winter scarves, being and laughing with my husband of thirty years, and watching our children embark on their exciting, young adult lives.

On good days, I tell myself that I’m just chillin'. On others, I worry that I’m just being old. I worry that I’m being an inadequate reinventor and wonder if I should do something new, like become a bank teller. Or take up skydiving.

Yesterday, I had a conversation with an old friend via text. She told me that in addition to working full-time, she is going back to school to get her degree, something she’s always wanted to do. I told her how happy I am for her, but that I didn’t know how she did it, because frankly, I’m beat.
And then she texted me this: “You’ve done it all. Now is your time to rest, live and be loved.”
I wanted to reach through my cell phone screen and hug her.
I decided it’s okay to just chill for a while. Or to just be old. And to just love and be loved.
In fact, in our 24/7 crazy world, these acts could be the most revolutionary reinvention of all. And that is very much a part of our boomer storyline.
Rest, live and be loved—I’ve got this.


  1. I so look forward to your posts. So weird, just the other day, I had the same notion about reinventing life and taking a job as a bank teller. Seems like an easy gig, not as stressful as all the craziness of life as a marketing consultant. As my 50 year old "baby" brother says, "I'm runnin' out of gas!" But, I keep plugging away, at least until both of my kids are out of college. Love your writing style. Great post.

  2. Thank you so much, Claudia. Wonder what it is about the bank teller thing? I think about it every time I go through the drive-thru. I want to sit at that little window. And put the canister in the whoosh tube. Our youngest has 2 more years in college-hubs keeps saying he will 'rest' then. I'm ready now. Keep truckin...

  3. Hi Amy I do get you! I had a similar conversation with my husband yesterday. I'm currently at the top of my profession for a mid size company. I give talks, am in professional magazines. To move on I would need to go to a large company, and work till eleven at night most likely. He's pushing me to do that. He doesn't get it! I want to slow down not speed up. I retire in 13 years, I don't want pressure in those 13 years. I want to plod at an easy pace. So yes, I get you and agree.

  4. Truly odd. I wrote something similar on my blog today. I would be thrilled if you would take a look.

  5. I just began blogging myself, over 50 and "still figuring out what to do with the rest of my life." Your post made me smile, so keep going!

  6. My midlife crisis hit a little early--about 40. Instead of going for "what I wanted to do when I grew up" I headed out for my "second childhood". You can read about it at