Post of the Day
September 21, 1998

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Baby Boomers Folder

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Subject: There's no place like home. . .
Author: sleepwalker

I'm definitely a "baby boomer" -- born in 1951, married since age 18, two sons in college, one four year old granddaughter, 75 year old mother living nearby, 71 year old father-in-law also living nearby.

I married while I was a college freshman, quit, started the family, and then returned at age 31 to continue my formal education. After completing my degree program I worked at various jobs -- some satisfying, some not. I started consulting while still working full time and eventually dropped everything except consulting. I'm not making as much money as previously, but I'm more relaxed and much happier. I am able to spend time with my mother while she is still healthy enough to enjoy doing things with me.

  "My husband and I bought the idea totally that we could do it all and have it all, and we worked hard to do exactly that."

My husband and I bought the idea totally that we could do it all and have it all, and we worked hard to do exactly that. We were able to buy the things our sons wanted, take them where they wanted to go, etc., but the stress of trying to do everything was affecting our health and our attitude toward life. A time for reevaluating eventually arrived. Within a three year period my father died after several years disability due to a stroke,my dearest childhood friend died due to breast cancer,a good friend of ours died due to a malignant brain tumor and my husband's mother died as a result of stomach cancer. They were all good, hard-working people who gave to others and didn't take time for themselves. With the exception of my father who had lived a full, happy life they all had great plans for what they would do one day.

My husband and I looked at their lives and ours and decided to make some changes. This involved improving our physical and mental health by reducing stress, eating better, exercising more, and having more fun. My obsession with work was causing much more stress than we needed to deal with, so I have slowed down a lot. Accumulating wealth is not the most important thing in life. We are living Foolishly on my husband's income and my occasional consulting jobs-- paid off all the credit cards, the mortgage, etc., and actually seem to have more left at the end of the month now than before (I invest in DRIP plans now).

  "My obsession with work was causing much more stress than we needed to deal with, so I have slowed down a lot. Accumulating wealth is not the most important thing in life. "

We have more time together and enjoy it more. Mike and I recently bought a Honda Goldwing and enjoy riding with a group of baby boomers practically every weekend. I spend time with my mother during the week so I feel free to spend time with my husband and maybe visit the kids on the weekend. I spend time with her because I want to, not because I feel obligated to. I've found that fatigue, stress, limited time, and feelings of obligation often lead to resentment--I want to avoid that if possible.

I have chosen to share this rambling account on this board because I feel many who will read it are in the same position -- trapped in the ideas and ideals of our generation and needing some relief from the resulting stress. I was able to break away and maybe some of you have also or plan to or don't feel the need to. I'm not saying that I have retired from the general workforce forever(things could change unexpectedly), and I'm certainly not a hermit living in seclusion. But for me, a slower and more relaxed way of life has helped me create a more joyful existence for myself and my family.

Sorry I'm so wordy -- I'm not always this bad.

Sleepwalker


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