This week I attended a Columbia Association event at the beautifully appointed Claret Hall in River Hill. We were there to be "ignited", or inspired, I suppose, about what is going on as CA looks at re-branding itself and becoming more relevant to younger residents.
panel discussion, moderated by Brian Dunn, focused on engaging
Columbia's younger generation and involving them in community affairs.
The participants each had a valuable perspective to bring to the
conversation. But there was just one problem--why wasn't I on the
panel? I'm a parent of a young(ish) child, I live in a starter home, I
serve on a village board, I blog about community events. What's not to
Oh, yeah, Duh. I'm not young.
second marriage, second child, second career, second chance at a happy
life thing means I am always coming late to this party. Darn. I am
forced to click "Boomer" in the live polling, which galls me. Not
because I dislike Boomers, but because it's an inaccurate representation
of who I am.
I am the youngest in my family--with birth years of 1950, 1953,
and 1959. My oldest sister took great delight in lecturing me when I
was a teenager in the '70's,"When I was a teenager we cared about Civil
Rights. My friends went to the March on Washington. Some were
Conscientious Objectors. We boycotted California Table Grapes to support
Cesar Chavez. What do you do?"
It was drilled into me that I and my friends would never earn the right to be Boomers. Our teenage years were insignificant; we had no causes.
Somehow, I survived.
I survived through putting myself through college, a turbulent
first marriage and being a single parent, working for years in an
unsupportive and stressful environment. In the midst of all of that I
looked up one day and true love was looking right in my face with kind
and gentle eyes.
So, here I am. I caught a lucky break and I have the time,
financial stability and mental health to give back a little to my
new-found home town. And don't think I'm not grateful, because I am.
Every day. Despite the very real physical reminders of middle age, I
sometimes forget how old I really am. In my ventures into community
life I allow myself an adjusted age of say, 35.
not ever get on the "young" panels. nor will I ever be a sage Pioneer.
But I do have the joy of knowing that I am home, and that I still have a
lot to learn.