Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Turning 60: Empowerment and Disappointment

Lauren Traub Teton, photo by Lisl Steiner

60 is a Time of Empowerment

I am turning 60. It is a milestone. Turning 50 was not a big deal. It was more a time of confusion. My friends and I still felt and looked young. Changes were ahead. Life still seemed limitless.
Turning 60 is a time of empowerment for me. Life ahead has an expiration date. Friends are getting body parts replaced and taking lots of pills. It’s now or never for me to forge ahead and bring my ideas and visions to reality. This is the burst of vigor before the deep winter sets in. This is the last blast.

I was silenced in fourth grade by a favorite teacher after I very uncharacteristically and impulsively spoke out of turn about my enthusiasm for reading. It kept me from speaking up all of my life until now. I am healing and it is my time and age to speak.


It’s time to admit that I am disappointed with the way our society treats us. Don’t get me wrong, I have a great life. It’s just that I had hoped that my age group would be catered to, and our business and buying dollars would be valued and sought. Instead my age group is ignored, and often blamed for the woes of the world. We should be catered to and served in the marketplace! (video).

I created the concept and name “Twifties, the fun people around age 50 and up, years ago, in my 50s. If we could describe the “lively ones” determined to enjoy life, products could be designed to suit us.

I Did Not Go to Woodstock

The words “Baby Boomer” do not represent me. The age range is too vast and encompasses several disparate “age cohorts” as they say. The people most like me are what I call T-6, the 6 biggest birth years of the Baby Boom, from 1956 to 1961. I believe we as a group have needs that are not being met by the product-pumping machine that is our society. They want us to buy, but they offer us nothing designed especially for us.

I don’t see people my age or with my lifestyle represented in magazines or TV Shows. I have never seen a sit-com centered around people my age at the time. The products and services I want to buy do not exist, and so easily could. There is not even market research done specifically on my birth year and the surrounding ones. No one asks us or cares what products we want. How about using market research to steer product and service creation for T-6?

Convenience was a Cherished Value Growing Up

Politeness, etiquette, caring, customer service, simplicity, convenience and true relaxation are in short supply.  “No problem” is not the same as “you’re welcome.” Our lives revolve around a complicated expensive slippery breakable stealable hand-held computer communication device that takes hours of our time each day. Do we like it? Do we have a choice? Does anyone care?

I was raised and taught peaceful social protest at a young age.  My age peers may have been too young to learn to protest and now sit in quiet discontent, or perhaps don’t even notice their discontent as they are drugged by the tempting lure of personal electronics and unwholesome food. Mass shootings occur regularly and people hardly mention it. It is overwhelming, confounding, and we feel helpless and sad, so why talk about it?

Greed is Good??

Cosmetics and personal products and even our beds contain toxic ingredients and no one speaks. The products we are offered can make us sick. The pharmaceutical and health care industries boom. Simple solutions for health are not discussed in mainstream news. We were shocked in 1987 when Gordon Gekko declared “Greed is good.” Now greed has indeed become acceptable. Or are we just too distracted to notice and protest?

Let’s Share What Works

Loneliness is an epidemic. Much of the T-6 group is desperate for affiliation, that is activity companions. When we were young we hung out in groups. We want friends to do things with. It’s easier to meet people who like salsa dancing at the dance than to try to drag your friends. We have the means to make meeting people with similar interests easy. The Twifties Chill Spot is a booth or area at an event where Twifties who may have come alone can socialize comfortably with others. Let’s make it happen! 

We have a vast wealth of knowledge that we have accumulated and it can easily be shared now that we have the internet and time. At this time in our life let’s use our power to share what works. Let’s open small businesses that offer products and services to serve and delight our age peers and to the benefit of all. Let’s let our voices be heard to bring back the simple joys in life that we grew up with.

Lauren Traub Teton is a conceptual visionary and has created: Twifties and VibeMatch, The Twifties Chill Spot, The Teton NameScale, SnowboardSecrets and more. Lauren Traub Teton represents and is the self-appointed spokesperson for the birth year 1956. She has a long list of wishing well products and services that would make her and your life better and probably be successful. She chooses to use a flip phone as her main phone for its elegant convenience and reliability, and a smart phone as little as possible.

Her vision is to gather the T-6 cohort together in real life and online, and to ask them what could be done to make their lives better, then share the data with those who are interested and capable of making it happen.