Aging Gracefully

This is day 9 of the #30daywritingchallenge. I apologize for missing a couple, and will be making up for some of the lack now.

Ageism – prejudice or discrimination on the basis of a person’s age.

I’d like to believe we don’t think or talk about this very often, but it’s a common subject around our house.

My Companion and I both feel our ages. We should, getting to be 40 isn’t easy. We’ve learned a lot through the years, and it makes me chuckle now, how things go in circles.

When I was a teenager, those old people had nothing to teach me. Even though I was full of questions. What did they know? They were young when horse and buggy was still the preferred method of travel, right?

Being older and wiser, they knew I was full of it, along with their preconceived notions of what everyone thought Gen X kids are/were. By the way, we all have jobs – and shower regularly – so we proved you wrong! Neener neener pumpkin eater!

Now we’re of an age where we aren’t applying for jobs, we’re the people hiring the kids for the jobs we used to do. Like that isn’t headache enough, but we look at this generation and wonder wtf is wrong with kids these days? Can they do anything without staring at their phones? If they wear pajamas all the time, how in the hell are they going to dress for a business casual job? Why do they seem so lazy at work?

Let’s take those point by point. Just because we weren’t raised with the Internet capable phone, that doesn’t mean Gen X isn’t obsessed with theirs. We’re just looking at different things.

“Hey, do you want to go see that one movie with that guy from that other show?” isn’t a sentence that happens very often anymore. Thanks to our phones and the unlimited information at our fingertips … well, yeah, we’re all guilty of it.

We all wear pajamas all the time. Teachers, car salesmen, IT guys, authors, tax assessors, receptionists… when we get home from work, our immediate reaction is to put on comfortable clothes. For guys this may mean comfortable shorts or sweatpants and yes, often for women, it equals yoga pants and sweatshirts. Pajamas. The only difference is we don’t wear the ones with the cute cartoon characters out and about. Unless you’re me, and 40, and don’t care.

Why do they seem so lazy at work? Because they’re kids. This job you’re training them for may be their first work experience. When you had your first job, did you know immediately what to do, how to do it, and what to do when you have spare time? I didn’t think so. If you honestly believe these kids don’t know, teach them. Is he leaning on the counter, checking texts? Hand them a rag and show them how to clean the counter. Do NOT expect them to simply know. It doesn’t work that way.

So that’s three points we killed, and that was with barely a thought.

Ageism drives me nuts. I feel bad for the really young and the really old. No one takes them seriously. I like being where I am, 40 in less than 5 months. I’m the key demographic for many things, mostly because we’re the ones with disposable income.

I try not to rag on the younger generation. It’s hard for them, and it’s going to be harder. If you think our politics are crazy in 2016, give it another 10-15 years. The people being raised on how we campaign now will be coming of age, and guess what? People don’t get less extreme. I can’t blame the youngers for this, this is on us and what we’ve decided we’re willing to accept from candidates.

Ouch.

Next time you’re dealing with one of “those damned kids”, or if you’re a kid dealing with one of those “f’ing old people”, remember, we all have different perspectives.

I’m in a weird place. I don’t look my age, I don’t act my age, but I am definitely my age. I know this when I hang out with people in their 20s. It makes my head and heart hurt. I’m also slightly envious of all the learning they have yet to do.

 

 

 

 

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