Sunday, August 11, 2013
Generation X Hits Mid-life
Born in 1970, I am currently forty-three years old with a successful career and two school-age children. I am also the proto-typical example of Generation X. While much of the media coverage of generations centers on the retirement of Baby-Boomers and the rise the Millenials, the members of Generation X have calmly and quietly moved into middle age with little fanfare or enthusiasm.
Story of our lives.
Profiled this week on Salon.com in an insightful piece by Sara Scribner, Generation X is heading into our forties with little of the outrageous angst that should accompany a mid-life crisis. That's about what you would expect for the "Slacker" generation - which is what we were known as before being tagged "Generation X" by the media, following the release of Douglas Coupland's first and insightfully prescient novel of the same name. We are apparently too lazy to bother throwing a fit about getting older. We'll leave that to the indulgent - and rather whiny - generations that precede and follow us.
As it stands, the generation that represented the first of the latch-key kids continues to simply live our lives, on our own, expecting not much from the world around us. Born and raised in the waning days of the Cold War and the rise of the Reagan Era, the members of Gen X learned to simply get by and do things on our own. That was, at least, the subject of an interesting analysis that saw as "The Ignored Generation." Though, for the most part, I think we were pretty much OK with being left alone. And despite that apparent isolation and coming-of-age amidst a world that at times seemed to have outlived its potential for progress, the members of Generation X, for the most, seem to be doing OK.
In fact, some people have argued that beyond simply doing OK, Generation X is responsible for "saving the world." While I wouldn't go that far, I would say the kids of the 70s and 80s are certainly doing alright, and are far too busy working and raising kids to bother with something as cliche as a mid-life crisis.
With a Judd Nelson fist pump, I say, "Nice job."