There comes a time when Baby Boomers realize that they are no longer the youngest clients at a favorite resort, restaurant, or health club. In an article in The New York Times, Michele Willens writes about the shock of "looking around and suddenly being the oldest." We know the feeling. It's hard to accept the fact that our joints are aching, our skin is sagging, our memories are not what they used to be, and we are no longer members of the vanguard. For a generation who thought they could be "forever young," aging means adjustments. Marc Freedman is the visionary of a new movement afoot in America called "unretirement." Whereas old images of this stage of life focused on the golf course and the RV, the defining institutions of unretirement are the workplace and the entrepreneurial start-up. This encore approach to an aging America is a good option for many retirees. As Freedman puts it: "Never before have so many people had so much experience and the time and the capacity to do something significant with it."
Other retirees with time on their hands are becoming "senior gypsies" or "international nomads." These Americans have chosen to travel after selling their homes and possessions. David Wallis in another Times article takes a look at this phenomenon. Some of these adventuresome souls volunteer for nonprofits in exchange for room and board while others just enjoying the freedom of a post-retirement trip. Both unretirement and becoming an international nomad are spiritual options for elders. They offer new arenas for such spiritual practices as connections, enthusiasm, imagination, play, transformation, wonder, and you.