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Boomer Bytes #52: Retrospective for Boomer Bytes

Editor’s Note: Below is another column in Steve Canipe’s series called Boomer Bytes. The column, as the title suggests, will focus on a variety of topics that may be of interest to baby boomers, those born between 1946 and 1964. But Canipe also hopes to start a conversation with younger generations, too. Check out an introduction and Canipe’s (first self-titled) column here.

Retrospective for Boomer Bytes

By Steve Canipe

Jan. 9, 2015.  Milestones are common in our boomer lives. This column represents a year of columns. When I began writing these columns last Jan. 10, I was not sure that I would be able to sustain thinking of the ideas for a year. I was not sure that anyone would read the columns or find them interesting.


To my first question the answer has been yes. I was able to prepare 51 previous columns, and through the auspices of the staff at High Country Press the columns have been posted for readers. I know that a number of folks read the columns without posting any comments or even hitting “like.” I know from comments that I get, both via email, posting, or in person, that folks are reading the columns. I do appreciate getting the information and very much appreciate the emails and comments that are shared.

One interesting thing regarding individuals responding to me personally happened recently at Starbucks when a worker there asked if I was the one who wrote the Boomer Bytes column? I responded that I was the one and hoped she liked them. She said she very much liked them but had recognized me from the photo that is posted with the columns. I had a similar thing happen with another person exercising at the Wellness Center; she recognized me from the photo in the column. So I guess I look like my photo!!

I was asked by a friend and regular reader what was my favorite column of the year? I almost responded immediately but then upon a little reflection, I realized that it was not really a simple question. I almost said my favorite was the recent Christmas column called Christmas Memories. This was one where a reader, Jim, responded that he and I had experienced similar things that I mentioned in the column. Then I thought of my travel column Getting There From Here. I really enjoy travel and enjoyed writing that series of columns (#26-30).

My wife and I met several interesting folks on a riverboat trip in the spring of 2014 to the Czech Republic and Germany; several of them are reading my columns from various parts of the country including California and Minnesota. I hear from these friends from time-to-time so I know I am striking a chord with them. (I think this is how you spell the musical term—maybe check)

Considering the question of which of all the columns that I have done this year I liked best in more depth, I decided that I am not sure that I can pick a favorite one. One of the things that I have been requested to do and plan to do is to compile all of them into a little book and publish a Kindle book and maybe even have a paperback done. I do wonder if anyone will read either the e-Book or the paperback…but also consider why do we do things like write?. Are they for us or for others? In this case, I hope it is for both others and for me.

Part of a new year view is about reinventing ourselves and taking a hard look at ways to improve and change. Since we Boomers are getting older, do we still have the desire and even the ability to change? Certainly we don’t do many things as fast as we once did. But the reinvention of ourselves is now basically a brain activity. This may need to translate into physical activity which is where we don’t do things as quickly as we once did. In my mind, I still can touch the rim of a 10 foot basketball goal or high jump over 6.5 feet. In reality, I realize I cannot do those things, although when I was 17 or 18 I could do both rather easily.

It is important to be realistic and no matter how much I want to jump that high, I really don’t think I can, regardless of training. I’m now 50+ years older and weigh about 35 pounds more!! But certain things we can do with appropriate training and perseverance, including a number of physical things. For example, in 2011 the world’s oldest marathoner ran his last race in Toronto at age 100. (http://goo.gl/Hu7hRh) He ran his first marathon race when he was 89, a real spring chicken!! Other older folks have also run marathons including, most recently, an American woman, who at 91, finished the Rock and Roll San Diego race in June 2014 in 7:07:42 (http://goo.gl/EzvF3n) She broke the world record for those in the 90-94 age category – demolishing the previous fastest time by three-quarters of an hour!! She began marathon running at age 76 and the San Diego race was her 17th marathon.

These columns are both about reminiscing but also about looking forward. I am not ready to hang it up and sit rocking on the porch, although our Boone home has a wonderful screen porch overlooking beautiful woods, a stream, and mountains. I’m just not yet ready for that life style. I want to be active and doing these columns is a way to fulfil that mental activity. I like doing mental things to keep that muscle between my ears working!! There is a new television series called “Brain Games” that helps keep the brain active. This show (http://braingames.nationalgeographic.com/) is produced by National Geographic and forces one to look at things differently.

I regularly look at the Wuzzles on the comic’s page in the Charlotte Observer. But in addition to the newspaper there are wuzzles puzzles online at several sites but one is http://www.wuzzleking.com/. If you have not tried them, I would encourage you to do so. The wuzzles are quick to do and challenge one to think about the world using a different lens than is normally used.

The Roman god Janus is depicted as having two heads – one facing toward the future and one toward the past. At a point in time, like now, when I’m writing my 52nd Boomer Bytes column, when this milestone has been reached, it is not unusual to look back over the year and also look forward to the coming one. I feel a bit like Janus – looking backward over the past 2014 year but also looking forward to the coming one of 2015. We never know for sure what is going to happen in the future only what has happened in the past or is happening in the present. The future actually never comes because when the future item occurs, it is now the present and not the future any longer. We can plan for the future time but we never actually attain the future – sort of a mind-boggling and philosophical argument.

I’ve already got some ideas for future columns and I hope that you, the readers, can provide some additional ones. I have thought I would do several more on travel; ones of interesting places that I have had the opportunity to visit. Some of these places are in the United States and others in other places in the world.

If you have ideas for upcoming columns, please share them with me via the email address below. I really do want to address issues that are of interest to individuals. I plan to do some more columns on our health issues and concerns; some on the hot button issues we are or will be facing like abortion, immigration, and gun rights; as well as columns that will be looking at issues that pop up in the New Year. Some of these issues will probably revolve around patriotism, Tea Party activities, liberal thoughts, divorce, and other things like use and abuse of social media. Perhaps I’ll create a Facebook page for Boomer Bytes or learn how to use Twitter and Pinterest.

So please take the opportunity to post ideas and thoughts below or use the email boomerbytes@yahoo.com. I look forward to continuing the columns and hope you will continue to read and provide feedback. Thank you dear readers for your loyalty during year one.