17 million viewers recently watched as 65-year old Bruce Jenner shared with Diane Sawyer (and the world) his lifelong desire to live as a woman. “The Interview” has launched our nation into an unprecedented open, informed conversation about transgender issues. But further, Jenner’s courage to make such a monumental change later in life serves as inspiration to Baby Boomers. His message is clear: it’s not too late for Baby Boomers to be who they are and do what they want, regardless of the obstacles they perceive.
Psychologist Erik Erikson said when we reach our sixties we engage in a life review. We look back on the time we’ve spent so far and think “how’s it gone?” Erikson’s theory is that if we have too many regrets we fall into despair. He also believes that those of us who go after our dreams with gusto are more likely to achieve “ego integrity” and enjoy wisdom. Now that Bruce Jenner has decided to be true to himself, he has a chance to live life more fully and with less regret. How are you doing so far?
While the vast majority of us do not identify as transgender, many of us can relate to the fear Jenner described. Is there something you have always wanted to do but haven’t yet found the time, energy, money or courage to pursue? Your secret desire is probably not even nearly as taboo as Bruce Jenner’s. But if you are a Baby Boomer and can relate to this feeling, this is your wakeup call. No matter your age, look at your life today: are you living the life you want? What small changes can you make today so you have fewer regrets?