May 27, 2013 in Features

Reap rewards from changes in your life

Paula Sirois McClatchy-Tribune
 

It happens at least once a week. I drive right by my house. Living in a gated cookie-cutter neighborhood where every house looks exactly alike – and I mean exactly alike – lends itself to confusion and monotony.

Most homeowner rules don’t allow for anything that stands out or draws attention. At Halloween, my kids and I aren’t sure if we just knocked on that door or the door next door.

Baby boomers tend to live in neighborhoods like this. And like other boomers, I also drive a minivan, work nine to five, wear mom jeans, dye my gray hair and fret about buying organic food. And just like many boomers, I’m so bored I could spit.

If you’re a boomer (or close to it on either end of the spectrum), it’s possible that you woke up one day and heard the Talking Heads in your head: “How did I get here…this is not my beautiful house…this is not my beautiful wife.”

Some call it existential angst, others call it midlife crisis and still others label it the baby boomer bayou (well, that would be me calling it that).

So how does one get out of the boomer bayou? It’s as easy.

• “Who doesn’t occasionally want to tell the boss to take this job and shove it,” asks career expert, author and speaker Barry Maher of Barry Maher & Associates.

“But you’re far more likely to succeed on your new, alternative path if you’ve thoroughly researched it, looked at the upside and the downside, figured out how long it might take you to become successful at it and how you’re going to meet your financial obligations in the meantime.”

• If you can change your life and/or career, why not opt for something totally different? You shouldn’t be afraid to move someplace new.

Oftentimes, the cost of living is cheaper, meaning that you can retire earlier.

If you are really daring, consider moving out of the country. Many baby boomers are doing just that, and Cuenca, Ecuador, is one such example. This colonial city has amazing springtime weather year-round, friendly natives and an active expat community.

• Need to keep your job, house and current lifestyle but still want something to change? How about just changing your perspective?

Volunteering will wake you up and get you out of your “woe is me” doldrums quicker than any major life change.

On top of having a newfound respect for your life, you’ll meet new friends, expand your horizons and just may stumble onto a newer and less bored life.


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