Thank you, G-d, for the privilege of celebrating 75 years of life. But please know, G-d, I’m a Baby Boomer and those of us who were born in those post-WWll years, really have to reconcile our chronical age with our 1950-60s state-of-mind. The two don’t match. Really! Regardless of our state-of-health, financial circumstances, marital status, etc. we still hum Rock Around the Clock and I Want to Hold Your Hand while hearing the voices of Elvis and the Beatles in our head! We may enjoy Rap but it’s just NOT us!

It’s really difficult, G-d, to try and explain to our grandkids a “telephone” that didn’t take pictures or send messages! A phone booth? Please! Having to get off the couch to change the TV channel or turn the volume up on a screen that was not in color? You got to be kidding! Riding a bike to your friend’s house with your mom yelling, “Be home before dark!” Not in today’s world! Waving at your local cops, who does that today? White bread having more meaning than a tuna sandwich for lunch? Being politically correct today can keep us out of trouble. Baby Boomers were always politically correct!

Life has changed, it’s different and the challenge for Baby Boomers over the years is HOW we accept, act/react to change. “Change is debilitating when forced upon you, exhilarating when it’s your choice.” Words from a wise Rabbi! But if we look around at our Baby Boomer family and friends and evaluate who stayed behind and who rode the great wave of cultural change, you can gain some insight into which 75 year old’s are “with it” or still wearing bolo ties, a buzz haircut, tie-dyed shirts—ok, they’re back “in!”—bell bottoms and headbands! This is NOT a judgement call, I know some really good lookers with buzz cuts and bell bottoms are quite flattering on some people! To each his/her own and all choices are OKAY!

My point is about attitude and growth within ourselves; the amount of ups and downs we all experience, the happy/sad times we have, the moments of ah-ha versus I will not change my thinking because it’s worked for me.

After this past year of isolation, many people have taken stock of their lives to evaluate     life’s choices. I’ve had interesting, private, conversations with a variety of folks and a common reply I’ve heard has been, “If only I had to do it over again….” That is mostly said with regret, which makes me sad because I’ve felt that the mistakes or wrong turns we’ve chosen are openings for learning experiences. Lamenting after you’ve picked Door #3 to realize it should have been Door #2 doesn’t change anything. But finding value in repurposing one decision over another is what makes the one decision have possible  positive purpose.

We Baby Boomers have lived through great change in this world and have experienced events that were too many/painful/joyous to mentally gather at one time. But if you put them in a box, and recall, one by one, they bring back overwhelming emotions and memories: The Cuban Missile Crisis—we had to learn to fall under our desks!–, the Kennedy Assignation, the Vietnam War, the Civil Rights Movement, Woodstock, TV culture, Pop Culture—remember the Beatles on Ed Sullivan?–, the moon landing, feminism. Wow! What stories we have to tell our grandkids! May I please ask that you remind them that all those events were NOT in the “olden days!” The olden days were when there were NO telephones or TVs!

But do share with your little loved ones that Baby Boomers were the generation that:

-Rejected and redefined traditional values

-Highly valued personal, family and community relationships

-Were the most driven, competitive, goal orientated, disciplined and mentally focused generation

-Changed more norms, had very strong work ethics, were self-assured and independent

-Were the most physically fit, most active and the generation with the most disposable incomes

WOW! Aren’t we fantastic! We should be damn proud of our generation and all that we’ve contributed to the world! The above mentioned legacies from Baby Boomers can serve the 21 Century by instilling them to the younger generations as often as possible! They are damn good values with some having been left by the current wayside. It’s part of our legacy to not let them fade.

So, I just turned that corner to a bigger age number but it does not compute. I don’t feel it, luckily I’m high energy and healthy and in the midst of starting a new online business that keeps me busy and creative all day. These are all momentous blessings that I count every day.

My children planned a three day birthday celebration for me that was utterly fantastic, especially because we are all vaccinated, my brother and his family came from LA to the Bay Area for the weekend, it was the first time we have all been together since before the quarantine, it was the first time in a restaurant for most of us, first time we all were with a larger than our home/normal group of people and most notably by all 10 of us: We had not talked so much for so many hours about so many different subjects in over a year! Each day we were all exhausted from the different routine of our quarantined life! It was all amazing and fun: a dinner party one day, lunch by the pool the next day and a day in Napa (the Wine Country) the third day! Blessings! Blessings! And more Blessings!

So I have realized that blessings come in all colors, shapes, sizes, meanings (Door #3 and Door# 2) and in serendipitous ways we often don’t see or understand for a long time.

I have heard from more people than I could have imagined how the quarantine has been a blessing for them. I suggest we think about that and see if the past year has created any blessings that are meaningful and important. It may surprise you and you can add more blessings to your life. I have.

Thank You, G-d, for the blessing of being a Baby Boomer with incredible experiences I’ve had. Good/bad/indifferent, they opened and closed Doors #1, #2 and #3. And I feel blessed.

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Sandra Taradash
As a Baby Boomer Bubbe who still feels 18 but has four grand kids to prove this is the 21st Century, Sandra writes to leave a legacy for the next generations. Her belief that these precious kids need to know their cultural and family's past in order for them to live their best future is all the muse she needs. She has a Master's Degree in Psychology and Cross Cultural studies, has written a family history, personal memoir, has completed her first novel and is working on her second. She spent some of her best times as a national board member to Women of Reform Judaism and president of her Temple's chapter. She also worked for The J, the Jewish newspaper of the San Francisco Bay Area. Her Bubbe's journey to America from Russia, with a life of too many losses, is her source for her deep belief and love for Judaism and family. Sandra is proudly Californian born and bred. These days, when Sandra is not writing or spending time with her three children and grandchildren, she is a Home Chef for local families who don't have time to cook healthy, fresh meals. She creates weekly menus for the families to choose from, provides their ingredient list and then goes to the client's home and cooks the various dishes! Stories and food---SO Jewish!

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