I am a 35-year-old Millennial/GenXer trapped in the body of a 65-year-old Baby Boomer.
Since I was about 50, I’ve felt like an Outsider hanging out on the edge of an Insider’s world that I could just never really “get into.” I love almost anything new and unusual, the more unusual the better. I used to describe myself as a very average person—it’s just that I was average about two years before most of the population.
Then I read a post on Millennials by futurist, Peter Diamandes. That’s me! I’m blessed with the heart of a Millennial. Who cares about my age? In many ways I feel 30 years younger than my real age.
60 Year Old Millennials
How about you? Are you motivated by…
- Freedom and Independence?
- Purpose and Vision?
- Challenging work?
- Making a difference on this planet and its people?
- Opportunities to succeed financially?
- Freedom to work from home or Starbucks or another country?
If most of those things define what drives you, you have the heart of a Millennial (18-35 years old). Who gives a rat’s behind how old you are? I love being the old guy who thinks and behaves as if he is thirty years younger.
It is SO COOL! I have the wisdom uncovered from 65 years of successes and screw-ups, but the heart of a person who loves new things, thrives on change, freedom, independence, having fun, spending money… and giving in ways that make a significant difference in the lives of those around me and in the world.
And I am confident I am not alone. A lot of you reading this post feel exactly the same way. We don’t fit in at the peak of any Bell Curve. We live on the extreme edges. We’re neither Boomer nor GenX nor Millennial. We’re actually individuals that have decided to search for and live life according to our truest inner self. (Whatever that is??!! The fun is trying to find that true inner self.)
Long Term Plans???
A short time ago I was at a gathering of guys my age. All of them retired. Retired??? I don’t have the time or desire to retire. I have too much to do.
What do you want to do with your life? Live, or… LIVE! Personally, I choose the latter.
I was eating lunch with my son in Little Italy, San Diego (Wow!) We talked about the future and how if things go well, he would retire from his career in baseball in about 18 years max. He would be 40 and me… well 83. We then laughed about us starting a business together. He said he would have to inform his friends, “Yea, I work with my dad. He thinks he’s 50, but he’s really 83. Don’t tell him because he doesn’t know it!” We both laughed heartily, but there was a tiny sparkle in each of our eyes—it might just happen.
Sure I will have physical constraints and wrinkles and saggy triceps. But that’s why you can find me in the gym four days every week for a couple of hours.
Go For It
When you want something, don’t just “want it,” go for it. I dream crazy. I have plans for Right Things and this site that will be so fun, and more important, will impact the lives of thousands; I plan to travel internationally at least two times each year for 5 or 6 weeks (and do Right Things at the same time); my wife and I won’t get old, we’ll merely accumulate years, haha, in love, learning and living. And oh yea, I’ll get my Aston Martin.
Perhaps all this sounds “la,la” to you. Please understand that I know I’m 65. I know that each day I grow closer to death. It’s one of life’s “sure things.” I am fully aware that I may not even live until I’m 83. But that’s not up to me. It’s all in the control of my Maker. But until that time, I will live each day with gusto and continue to have ideas for twenty years in the future. Call me crazy… I am… and I’m pretty darn proud of it.
Okay, this all sounds so fun, but there is one thing I have left out of this tale. It’s effin hard! It ain’t easy now and it certainly won’t get easier. So you gotta be determined. Make a plan, make your wishes become your goals, and then get to work. You’re not a difference-maker by accident. You’ve worked for it.
Make Your Dream and Wishes Your Goals
Let me suggest a handful of actions you can start now to live the life you’ve always wanted.
- Turn your wishes and dreams into goals. (I will write an entire blog on this in the future.) I was 32 when I decided I wanted to become a minister. I checked with schools and discovered it would take 7-8 years to complete my BS and then attain my necessary MS degree. I told a friend, “Shoot I’ll be 40 when I complete this.” I will never forget his retort. “Charlie, you’re gonna be 40 anyway. Do you want to be 40 doing what you want or 40 and stuck doing what you hate?”
That single comment changed my life. I discovered a way to get my needed education in just 3 years and I was a minister at 35. (I’ve changed careers at least 3 times since!)
- Determine you will do the work. Re-designing your life isn’t easy. It requires hard work and hard changes. Manage your circumstances and then work like a mad man (or woman) to get it done.
- Save your money. Man I love to spend money and I’m great at it. Just ask my wife. Haha. BUT… I only spend after I’ve safely invested a predetermined portion of our income. If you want to go on a trip, don’t get disheartened by the cost. Do it in two years after you saved enough to do it. Okay, you may have to give up some Ben and Jerry’s. Oh well.
- Get healthy. Eat well and exercise regularly. I was told that after 60 our bodies lose 1% of muscle mass annually—unless you build it up! I hate the gym. Still, I go regularly. (If I don’t my trainer makes me pay for it!)
- Continue to fully embrace each moment. Remember we don’t live one day at a time. We actually live one moment at a time. Each moment is precious. Treasure it as if it were your last. Oh yea, set goals, but DO NOT wait until you reach your goals to have fun. Practice “joy” every moment and when your dreams come true you’ll know how to really enjoy them.
I may be “trapped in the wrong body” but I wouldn’t have it any other way. I once read that most of 70-year-old Giorgio Armani’s friends were in their 40’s because he needed their energy and creativity. What about you?
You may be 25 and you may be 75. We have so much to learn from each other. Don’t focus on your differences, focus on the one thing you have in common:
Let’s Live It with Meaning, Adventure and Awe.
NOTE: Wait until you see the site next week. More than a facelift, it will have an entirely new and very fun look.
3 thoughts on “Trapped in the Wrong Body”
Reading your post this morning in NYC and enjoying it. Best, Bill
I’m with you Charlie! I will be 54 next week. Do I feel 54? No! And I refuse to accept that I am “old”. I figure I can be 54 sitting around getting fat and saggy, or I can be the best 54 possible. I too have been going to the gym 4 days a week and, I have to say, I am in the best shape I have ever been in. Yes, if you look closely, there is loose skin around my neck and crepe-y skin on my hands, and it is hard at this age to keep up and I am really tired sometimes, but…. I have muscles I have never seen before, and when I look in the mirror, all I can think is YOU LOOK GREAT! And I feel better too – stronger, more capable. I am not ready for life to be over just because I am older. I still feel that there is a whole big world out there with lots of things to learn and experience and there is still time in front of me. As far as I know I have just this one life, and some days are good and some days not so much, but I am determined to LIVE it until my last breath!
That’s me all over. I bump up against 40-somthings who are really 65 at heart – drives me nuts.