Our group of Baby Boomer bloggers is using the new year as an opportunity to simultaneously look back, and also to look forward.
Carol Cassara of Heart, Mind, Soul takes a look at the life of Debbie Reynolds in her post The Whisper of Cottonwoods. We probably have all heard that Carrie Fisher died on December 27, and then her mother Debbie Reynolds died the very next day. Cassara takes us back to the more innocent charms of Debbie Reynolds and the more innocent times of her era . . . and speaks of the "moving, human beauty in the extremity of the bond" between mother and daughter.
Meryl Baer of Six Decades and Counting spent the last day of 2016, a beautiful, sunny day in her part of
the country, on what an earlier generation called a "Sunday drive". A leisurely
trip down the New Jersey coast proved a perfect way to close out a tumultuous
year, and led her to the discovery of a special kind of flag. Read about her time travel in Quiet Drive and an American Flag.
Laura Lee Carter, for her part, offers some background and perspective on how we can see past our differences, and achieve more peace and harmony in 2017. In The Human Race Always Moves Toward Freedom she cites Isabel Wilkerson, author of The Warmth of Other Suns: The Epic Story of America's Great Migration, as well as J. D. Vance and his book Hillbilly Elegy, to reflect on why we move to new places, and the rewards and challenges of learning how to get along with people who are different from us.
Meanwhile, on the Survive and Thrive Boomer Guide, Rita R. Robison warns us to be careful about signing student loans for our children. Yes, we want to help them face the future. But Robison points out some uncomfortable facts in How Student Loans Can Jeopardize Financial Security of Older Borrowers. Between 2005 and 2015, the number of Americans 60 or older with student loans quadrupled, and the average debt nearly doubled. Three-in-four older borrowers used student loans to finance their children's or grandchildren's college education, and nearly 40 percent of federal student loan borrowers age 65 or older were in default.
Robsion reminds us that it can be dangerous to mortgage our own future to help secure our children's future, and she offers a couple of resources for those in trouble.
Finally, Kathy Gottberg of Smart Living 365 writes: "For as long as I can remember, I have always encountered a new year with optimism and hope. Even when Y2K or the Mayan 2012 (remember them?) were on the horizon, I believed that any obstacle could be overcome by going over, around or through the problems in front of us." For some truly helpful and inspiring ways to brighten up your new year, check out 10 Ways to Be More Hopeful and Happy in 2017.
As for me, I've been focusing on the past and the present. So if you haven't see it already, take my quiz Are These Baby Boomer Icons Dead or Alive? and then check your score against the Answers.
But regardless, let me end by echoing what Meryl Baer says at the end of her new year's message: May we all hope that 2017 is a year of more smiles than sadness.