As Lady Boomers we’ve spent the last fifty years or so getting multiple degrees, developing career paths, cracking our heads against glass ceilings, raising children, volunteering at school functions, serving on Temple and church boards, and managing households. I guess it’s not surprising then that “reliable and dependable” dominate as the leading personality traits or characteristics defining Lady Boomers. The Kitchens Group (a market research firm of which I am a principal) conducted an internet survey of 553 Baby Boomer women between the ages of 46-65. A series of words and phrases were provided during the course of the survey to which respondents were asked how accurately the phrases described them. Eighty percent said “reliable and dependable” very accurately reflected who they are. Now, compare this response to “spontaneous and flexible” which elicited only a 27% “very accurate response” or “playful and fun”, where only 33% fell into the “very accurate” response category. Only 27% acknowledged “creative and artistic” as a defining characteristic.
While no one will argue dependability and reliability aren’t perfectly wonderful qualities in a partner, parent, or friend, don’t you want a little more for yourselves? These words describe someone who is in constant service to others- admirable of course, but far from self nurturing, and maybe even just a little dull. What about applying our overdeveloped sense of work ethic to discovering our own colorful spirits? What have or could you do that might be just for you? Let me know.