Thursday, November 20, 2014

Generation Gap

"I thought I would be in a different position at my age," she said as tears racked her body. I held her and let the tears finish. We had been talking about life, love, expectations. What brought on the sudden onset of tears was a discussion about wedding anniversaries. 

She had been talking about her parents 50th wedding anniversary and how they wanted to go back home to Scotland for this celebration. As part of that conversation, she mentioned that her mother told her that she and her father could not afford the trip. She wanted to be in the position to be able to pay for her parents trip. She was 36, in a seemly successful career, as she was working as a new Manager in a home care facility. However, I did not know that as a senior manager in a care facility in Canada she made less than my other daughter did working on the ski-slopes in Australia.

More came out of the conversation as she talked about how she had done everything she was expected to do to advance in her career and then some, but that she was still frustrated financially. She also talked about her new  job and how she was trying to bring about change in an organization where the people had been doing the same thing for the last ten years. She had been hired to bring in change, but she had not been given the tools or the support of her senior mangers, so she was frustrated.

She was also frustrated because with all of her hard work, she was still just getting by and I think she felt trapped and frustrated. She and my daughter had been talking and my daughter volunteered me to give advice. I don't like giving advice so rather than give advice I listened and asked questions. The questions led to the tears and through the pain to some realizations about paths forward that she could take. The young lady was like a daughter to me, and I hope that she will find peace. 

For her parents 50th she decided that she would contact her brother and sister and that the three of them would cover the cost of the flight for her parents. For her work she was going to talk to her senior manager and try to get some better tools to bring about the change the home needed. For herself, she was going to work hard at resting and taking steps to de stressing her life. I know that she is working hard at getting pregnant and my hope is that she is able to get this wish.  Her situation is not unlike many in the children of the boomers, they are not where they want to be and they are feeling trapped, but by the end of the evening I was confident that she was feeling a modicum of hope.

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