Well, which is it, Baby Boomer or Baby Voomer? OK, you think I’m kidding. Maybe I’ve lost my mind? No, I’ve just realized who I truly am! Baby Voomer is a name I created by using the first letter of my name, “V”alli (which I by the way always thought was rather unusual) instead of the letter “B” in the word Boomer. Why would I do that?
I felt that the term Baby Boomer pinpointed the generation in which I was born but didn’t really capture the essence of what I’m all about. Nor did it describe many of the people I gravitated toward such as my friends, business associates, colleagues, clients, or even stories I’ve read about fascinating people who intrigued me. So, I decided to invent my own word. I prefer being referred to as a Voomer, how about you? Read on and see if you relate.
Anyone who knows me would use the words creative, innovative and passionate to describe what I am all about. I had an urge to create a unique word, so I chose “VOOMER” to describe myself and all of us who are vibrant, vivacious, vital, looking for our next adventure and, let’s face it, on the move — v-o-o-o-o-o-ming around!
Several years ago I experienced a career transformation due to the downturn in the economy. I parlayed my talents into a new venture as a BABY VOOMER (TM) Career Coach and Executive Leadership Coach. For me part of the fun exploring a new career or reinventing myself has been the process of collecting a lot of research about people my age and Boomer trends. Studies have pointed out that our generation (those of us born between 1946 and 1964), all of us admittedly who are celebrating our 39th birthday over and over again, are active, healthy, and many are still working, stretching ourselves and exploring new creative talents, traveling, volunteering and generally re-inventing ourselves.
In my new life as a coach, I’ve learned several sobering facts from research studies that confirm my belief that NOW is the time to start really living and enjoying every minute of every day and night. Sobering Fact #1: Up to 70% of all workers dread coming in to work on Monday mornings. Sobering Fact #2: Most suicides happen on Sunday night between 4 PM and 10 PM. Sobering Fact #3: Most heart attacks happen on Monday morning. If you are in your mid-40’s, 50’s or 60’s maybe it’s time to realize it’s never too late to take out your very own magic wand and give yourself the gift of discovering what you are truly passionate about, whether for career options or volunteer opportunities, so that you do not become a sobering statistic. The 1st step may be using some evaluative assessment tools; the 2nd step is to develop an action plan to figure out how you are going to get where you want to go, and the 3rd step is to follow through with a self-developed support team. I am so grateful to have found my passions leading to Career and Leadership coaching. That led me to spreading my entrepreneurial wings and becoming a Career Coach.
Here are a few interesting tips I related to when I came across an Ask.com article called
“10 Baby Boomer Trends & How To Profit From Them”, by Susan Ward —-
#1: I have to see it or do it before it’s gone.
“One of the big Baby Boomer trends is the compulsion to see it/do it before it can’t be seen or done anymore. The Great Wall, the Great Barrier Reef, Venice – Boomers feel a need to visit places, species and lifestyles that are vanishing and experience them for themselves. Environmental concerns, such as global warming, seem to have exacerbated these feelings. Seeing polar or spirit bears in their natural environment or visiting Antarctica, for example, are high on the’must-see’ list.”
Sounds like a Voomer to me! For example, I am planning a trip this fall to go on an African Safari in the Serengeti and Tanzania, in addition to seeing the gorillas in Rwanda. After all, how long will it be until some of these many animals may become extinct? And I want to see everything before my bi-focals may go to tri-focals, and while I can still see!
I can recommend a wonderful company for when you are planning your next great travel adventure. My highest kudos goes to OAT (Oversees Adventure Travel, www.oattravel.com). This company has never disappointed me or my family. We have gone on several wonderful trips with OAT, as well as several of my aunts and uncles who traveled with them for over 30 years. What I like best about this touring company is they guarantee traveling with16 people or less. I always feel like a little kid, waking up each morning without even reading the itinerary in advance, just waiting to uncover new adventures in the Amazon, Machu Picchu, Tuscany, China. Some days, when I dream about planning my next trip and can’t figure out where to go next, I contemplate just throwing a dart to see where it lands on a world map.
By the way, most of OAT’s advertising is done by word of mouth and we can both benefit from one of the features it offers. Feel free to use my name, Valli Swerdlow and the code #952868, immediately when you sign up for your adventure and both of us will receive a monetary credit toward our next trip. I am not kidding when I tell you that a few years ago I went on their trip to Thailand for almost 16 days for under $300. It included everything—air, land, most of the food, (I used my own frequent flyer miles), food (except a few dinners), accommodations and admission to sites just by recommending it to 4 couples, who also took advantage of their credit program. The best part was a one hour ride on top of an elephant through the jungle and river followed by being entertained by 6 trained elephants playing in a band. I kid you not! They were playing the harmonica, drums and two were holding a big gong. Unbelievable, and I have photos to prove it!
#2 I’ve got that loving feeling…
“For the world. For whales. For victims of the latest hurricane. Baby Boomers love to feel good and contributing to a cause is one quick way to do that. Especially if it’s a popular cause. In some circles, there almost seems to be a cause one-upmanship operating; the more causes one visibly supports, the better. The best thing to do, though, is to espouse your own cause and host/sponsor your own events.”
For years I volunteered at Miriam’s Kitchen in Washington, DC, a food kitchen that provides close to gourmet breakfasts for over 200 guests. That’s how I combined my love of cooking with reaching out. I always felt that I got much more than I gave. It was such a creative experience because the head chef was so wonderful to work with and allowed me to sometimes experiment by adding fresh ingredients and spices of my choosing.
I recently started volunteering at AARP’s WorkSearch program as a Virtual Career Coach. It provides twelve thirty-minute free telephone coaching sessions by trained volunteers. By talking by phone (one of my favorite pastimes) and reaching Baby Voomer nationwide I can share my knowledge of career transitioning with individuals who are experiencing quite challenging economic circumstances in their life.
#3 Of course I’m not too old for that!
“This is another Baby Boomer trend that you have to have been living abroad for the last decade to have missed. No matter how grueling an experience may be, to even suggest that someone of a certain age may be too old to participate is to risk having your head verbally snapped off. Where I live, 80 year-olds drag themselves onto the tennis courts and 60-somethings enthusiastically kayak and hike mountainsides. Baby Boomers refuse to be or act old until it’s absolutely unavoidable.”
I find my Baby Voomer comes out when I paint daily between coaching sessions with my clients. I am not sure if painting sparks my coaching creativity, or if working with my clients inspires creativity in my artwork. You can check out my work at http://paintingsbyvalli.shutterfly.com and decide for yourself! What I do know is that I was inspired by a trip to Thailand a few years ago. Upon returning I started drawing some illustrations for a children’s book I was writing. I moved into painting furniture and dabbled with miniature canvases. Next, I took a big plunge and began painting large canvases, which I find really exciting! If you had told me two years ago that I was going to paint anything other than a fresh coat of wall paint, I never would have believed you. Now I can’t imagine not painting because it makes me happy to be immersed in vibrant colors (there’s that “V” again!)
Well, as I’m sure you can now see, I am definitely a Baby Voomer! The question is, are you?