State of the Union? For Boomers, its spelled “A-N_X_I_E_T_Y”

Tonite, President Obama will give his State of the Union address. While the focus will supposedly be on “jobs” and “the economy,” both topics strangely absent from the liberal manifesto given at inauguration, I wonder if he will hit the hot buttons for Boomers.
Just when we thought it was safe to head towards retirement, the stock market and economy collapsed, sending most of us into high anxiety. The plan to sell the big house and use the proceeds for that cute condo in Sun City when out the window with the housing crash. As adult children, well-educated yet un- or under employed, moved back home with their college debt in tow, it added to our stress.
We all know this. So what’s the plan? We need a strategy for this country that puts us back on a growth track now. A strategy is a choice, and provides clear goals for setting the agenda. It is not vague, it is not partisan, it is not high- minded. Unfortunately, those adjectives seem to apply to the president’s messaging. No, Boomers across both parties should listen up tonight. If there is a growth strategy that is well articulated, we can all take a chill pill. I fear that is not in the plan.

Something every Boomer should know about READING

From Lumosity, a brain-training APP/online tool: “Researchers from the Stanford Center for Cognitive and Neurobiological Imaging took brain scans of several literary PhD students as they read a chapter from Mansfield Park. First, the PhD students were asked to read the book casually, for fun. Then students were asked to switch to a critical reading mode similar to how they might analyze it in a literature classroom

This switch in reading modes created a significant shift in brain activity patternson fMRI scans. Casual reading activated pleasure centers while critical reading increased activity in the prefrontal cortex, which is responsible for the executive functions heavily involved in attending to tasks like reading.

Executive function is responsible for more than just attentive reading: this brain function helps moderate how you divide your attention, use your working memory, and generally direct your brainpower. It plays a powerful role in decision-making.

While the findings of the Stanford study are preliminary, they make a good case for further research on the impact of reading on cognition. Philips posits that critical reading could serve as a type of training, “teaching us to modulate our concentration.”

There is other evidence that reading can be good for your brain. A 2007 study from the Center for Occupational and Environmental Neurology found that avid readers benefited from an increased cognitive reserve. Cognitive reserve is the concept that challenging intellectual activity — like reading or brain training — can protect the brain against negative cognitive impacts later in life.

The studies on reading indicate that investing in intellectually challenging habits as early as possible can benefit your brain over the long term.”

I think every Boomer can agree. And every parent should get their kids reading!!!