Early this morning, I awoke to the sound of Sully crying for me. Mommy! Mommy! Mommy! Mommy! I went into his room and crawled into bed with him and soothed his fears. He said he had a bad dream. He was in a room all alone and it was cold. But, the room was his room, and it was not a dream. He’d kicked all his covers off, and he just needed someone to cover him up. I will cover you, Sullivan.
As I lay there staring up at Sully’s ceiling, a dozen posts marched through my head. I wish I had the time to write them all. The majority center on the challenges facing Generation X. I am not blind to them despite the mantra I repeat: the best is yet to be.
Do I really believe that? Many Gen Xers are in the late summer of life, edging toward a long autumn; the hurricane, the constellation dividing the two: a near financial cataclysm. Ever looming on the winter that has not yet come, 77 cents on every Social Security dollar.
And, so what am I suppose to write on my blog, when I feel so pressed down by it all? Somedays, I just want to be 10 again. Don’t you?
So, I pray about what I should write today because it’s the only way I know how to separate the wheat in my mind from the chaff. This is what came to me.
Recently, I was talking to a friend of mine who is a member of Generation Y. She’s one of the most talented people I’ve met in all my years in Oklahoma. She is engaging and articulate. She is confident without the burden of pride. She is talented, with a long list of impressive accomplishments. But, she told me the most astonishing thing the other day. She told me she had been iced-out of a particular opportunity by her peers. I know this young woman and I know the value of the knowledge and experience she is willing to share. But, her professional peers, most much older, didn’t want to listen to her, because in doing so they would have had to acknowledge her. Maybe she knew something they didn’t know.
Last week, I discovered a blog, Corporate Burnout. I was certain the author would be a Gen Xer but was heartbroken to realize it was a member of Generation Y. Corporate burnout before 30? It’s possible. This is a story that begs our attention. Our country’s bright, young minds slipping into the groove of disappointment already worn slick by the generation that proceed thems.
So, I left a comment for Corporate Burnout and breathed a prayer before moving on to the next blog. But, then yesterday, Corporate Burnout emailed me. That rarely happens, and it’s why I’m writing about it now. He explained that one day everything at work was going great, but then he made a stellar presentation on a marketing project he’d managed. It produced record, quantifiable results, and just when he thought he might get acknowledged the opposite happened. He ended up on the ropes with his mid-level manager who was clearly threatened by his rising star. Instead of seeing him as an asset, he was a threat to be managed and expunged. A 90-day action plan followed. Eventually, he was fired, lucky to walk away with unemployment. In the process, he lost weight, sleep, mind.
What I love about Generation Y is they want mentors. They reach out to Generation X and they ask for help none of us were courageous or hopeful enough to seek. I don’t know why, really. It’s just the way it went. I’m not an expert in this generational stuff. I’m just hear to give voice, to write my own memoir.
One of the greatest lessons in my life is that my greatest losses ushered in the most profound deliverance. Now, when I see a loss on the horizon, I look also for that from which I am being spared and saved. Surely the Lord restores the years the locusts have eaten. The best is yet to be because the best things are those that moth and rust cannot destroy. Hope does not disappoint. This the Apostle Paul wrote in his letter to the Romans:
“…But we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us.”