The sandwich generation.
I was able to spend this past weekend in Chicago with my 3 college roommates. What an amazing gift! 4 Gen Xers reflecting on the past, the present, and our hopes for the future. None of our lives look quite the way we anticipated back when we took turns sitting in the pink chair and sharing our dreams in our quaint off-campus rental. What struck me most about this weekend was that each of us are so busy thinking about what immediately lies in front of us that we really don’t have much time to reflect or process all that life has dealt us. Whether we have 5 kids, aging parents that require more attention, or a full-time career or 2, we feel so sandwiched between it all that sometimes it feels hard to come up for air. As I travel and speak to Gen Xers all over, this is a recurring sentiment. With our parents living longer than they have in the past, delayed childbearing years, and careers open to women in a way that didn’t used to be, Gen Xers have found their lives full of everything except time for themselves. Being independent and flexible, we work hard and typically have enormous capacity. We don’t need to be micromanaged. Rest assured, we will get the job done. However, it would be nice to have those around us take note of our self-motivated generation and offer some space for rest (which we probably won’t take, but we will appreciate the offer).