Host: Anti-Aging Psychologist Dr. Michael Brickey
Guests: Dr. Paula Forman and Dr. Jeff Johnson
Broadcast and podcast on webtalkradio.net. The podcast is also on the links below
How does a narcissistic generation that was determined to reshape the world deal with career crashes, job burnout, divorce, empty nests, aging parents, and deciding whether to retire? Psychologist Dr. Jeff Johnson and Sociologist Dr. Paula Forman, authors of The Hourglass Solution: A Boomer’s Guide to the Rest of Your Life, help us think out how what is unique about Boomers and how to generatively handle Boomer life transitions.
I didn’t highlight it in the interview but their metaphor is that in middle age many Boomers often feel that they are trapped by previous choices, and their lives are funneling into an increasingly narrow channel. Dr. Johnson and Dr. Forman see the dilemma as analogous to the narrow section of an hourglass.
The key to getting through this narrow passage and into the bottom part of the hourglass is realizing there are always options. They emphasize looking to other Boomers for role models and success stories to see new options and get unstuck. It make take courage to make the changes, but the ensuing renewed sense of purpose is usually well worth the risk.
They see Baby Boomers as still destined to change the world-because of their generation’s size, values, ideals, and sense of entitlement. They were also clear that most Boomers find traditional retirement unsatisfying. That is because most Boomers get bored with retirement and because so much of our identity derives from what we do vocationally or avocationally. It is time to retire the word retirement and have a new vision for Greater Adulthood.
So often discussion about Boomers is just nostalgia and trivia. I found it fascinating to explore the Boomer experience and how it is evolving. In particular, I was fascinated by their image of Boomers having a very strong sense of entitlement, very broad boundaries, and a willingness to take on all responsibilities including careers, micromanaging their kids and caring for their aging parents. The downside can be difficulty in prioritizing and difficulty in trying to do everything.
Clearly, Boomers will continue to have a profound effect on our culture. Dr. Johnson and Dr. Forman view Boomers through the lens of psychology, sociology, advertising, their own experience, and hundreds of interviews with Boomers. Their perspective has a pride in Boomerdom and encourages embracing choice and learning from other Boomers.
P.S. If you have a good term for what term should replace retirement, I’d love to hear it, share it with other listeners, and I’ll also pass it on to Dr. Johnson and Dr. Forman. Just send an email to radio@AgelessLifestyles.com.