Oh man… I have a new dream: spending my golden years, a long way off mind you, in a fun community with all of you.
I read an interesting article about Niche Aging, by Harriet Barovick in Time back in March. And I’ve held on to it because I’m always dreaming about structures for community and camaraderie. The idea is that the 78 million baby boomers approaching their golden years will be choosing to live out those years in communities with like-minded folks. A few examples that Barovick used were country music industry folks and Asian cultural immersion aficionados and communities based around particular college communities. “Affinity projects” they’re called, and the concept is one of 2012’s “10 ideas” for the future.
And whereas I love the idea of being with people with whom I share interests, which of my interests would I focus on for my final years? What if I chose to center my life around my love of pork rinds, but I missed out on a Dave Brubeck music emphasis? What if I planned to write all the time, spending my days talking about semicolon placement and editing friends’ manuscripts — but I missed making cheesy hook rugs that I occasionally fall for at the dime store? What if I joined up with the Ray Bradbury fans but missed the Pat Conroy crew?
We’re all just multi-faceted little creatures, and we pick up new habits, hobbies and interests from each other in a process that helps us stay young. Not immortal… I know that. But young and agile.
So for me, I’d like to create SPACIOUS ACRES… though a better name will obviously be needed. It’ll be a place where we can meet people we might not have otherwise met and do things we might not have done yet. It’ll be a place with infinite variety, all sorts of people, and stretching, enlarging interactions.
I’m not quite ready for my rocking chair but when I am… I think I’ll resist a niche (as fun as they do actually sound) and bunk down with a whole variety of folks, spaciously.