Times HAVE Changed...

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A friend and I were speaking recently, and the topic came around to our parents' generation and what their lives looked like when they were our current age, 50+ (and we're still floored that we're over 50, btw!).

He was talking about all the things going on at once - home, family, work, house, and about five other things on his plate.  House-wise, a warping hardwood floor was the adventure-in-adulthood under discussion.  

He said that his parent's had "a guy" - someone they knew who was a general handyman, and was able to fix just about anything that went wrong with their home. Nowadays, he said, he felt he had to go online to research so he had enough knowledge on the issue, find at least a few people online who could fix the issue, see if their price was fair, arrange to be working from home at the time the work would be done, and so on, and so on, and... I'm sure you've had the experience!

Mostly, though, the conversation was about how our parents seemed to handle the stresses and challenges of middle-aged adulthood during our childhood - the 60's, 70's, and early 80's.  I could tell that he felt overwhelmed, and was, just for masochistic fun apparently, also comparing himself unfavorably.

First, let's acknowledge that it's our perceptions of how they handled it that we were talking about. And to me, he's beating himself up while comparing apples to oranges.

The world in which our parents "came of [middle] age" was a much slower world than ours.  Given everything we have on our plates today, and the constant digital/tech assault on our senses, I think it's a pretty safe bet that they'd be just as overwhelmed as most of the rest of us!  

My 90-year old mother recently asked me if I was "looking the newspapers" for a job (I'm job-hunting, again).  How cute-slash-frustrating is that?!  In her case, that was not due to senility, just a HUGE out-of-touchness with how life is lived today.

All that to say, ease up on yourself!  We have A LOT more on our plates in the 21st century than our folks did in the 20th.

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