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10.11.2012

Benchmarks of Adulthood



A lot of people seem to like to worry about whether Millenials are reaching the benchmarks of adulthood on time. Or anything close to on time. I sometimes worry about whether the ones I love are ok today, and going to be ok, but I do not worry much about arbitrary benchmarks. Mostly because I feel that I have a tenuous connection to them myself. I feel about adulthood like I feel about the middle class, by some measures I am middle class, but barely and I know I could fall out of it in a few weeks or months if the weather changed.  When my dad left the planet after 88 years I was 48. The scariest thing about it for me was the elimination of the practical and emotional safety net. I didn't feel completely ready for the call to The Bigs. When the marriage of 30 years exploded a couple of years later the already faded and shredded security blanket sported a new and big hole.

I have tried to step up. I take my swings. I schmere a bit of voodoo chicken blood on my bat. I pray a lot, and when things work out I cross my heart, kiss my fingers and point to the sky.

Then there are days like today.  I had a big grown-up day scheduled in Portland. Daughter #2 was in the house and I had a nice breakfast with her. I thought I was on time, prepared - time to eat my oatmeal. Before I walked out I mentally went over whether I had what I needed for the day. Good.

Then I got half way to Portland and looked at the gas gauge. I was almost out of gas. I reached for my back pocket and realized that I did not have my wallet. No License. No credit cards. No cash. I also did not have my phone.  Fortunately, rummaging through my daytimer (yes, while driving) I found a small-bill cash donation for one of my small charities. I stopped and bought a gallon of gas for the car. I made it to my first appointment.

Then I had to suck it up and seek out some help. I drove to Marge's house, but Marge wasn't home. Carl was. So I had to admit my status to Carl. Of course Carl could help. Carl is a grown-up and a kind one. Now I have enough samoleans to buy some humble pie.  Actually I am at the Side Door Cafe, waiting for the people who think they are meeting with a grownup. I ordered the special of the day the "Salmon of Knowledge Sandwich." Figured it couldn't hurt. Of course, I am picking the capers out of my sandwich, because the Salmon of Knowledge helped me to remember that I am a fussy eater and don't really like capers.

So darlings, If that critical voice in your head harps at you about not making the benchmarks, and if the central casting of your subconscious voices that ugly with my voice, please remember that you are not really hearing from me. I think you are doing just fine. It's me I am worried about.

.

Comments:
Really? You think we think you're a grownup? I would never insult you in such a fashion.
 
This was so good for me, Peggy, I should post it on my wall. Thank you. :)
 
I am Mr. Failure to Launch. I know this admission comes as a great surprise. Try to contain your expressions of amazement.
 
So......Where's the fun in being a grown-up?
 
I have been interested by hearing the assumptions of consumer culture get louder recently - one is definitely 'young people should move out/away'. Yet if we look back into our roots that all of us humans share in the millenia of hunter-gatherers either distant or close, people lived in tribes. I think this 'young people should move away and get their own place' thing is more or less a phenomenon of cheap oil. So of course it evaporated when the cheap oil was gone.

Jesus is reconciling all of us to himself, the whole earth. I think like George Fox wrote that means we are being drawn into a new relationship with earth. That might look more like the hunter-gatherers in some respects. Maybe it looks more like folks will start doing up & moving into the empty house next or down the street when grown - requires roughly stable population not insanity/continuous growth. Of course folks might also team up and do up a house in the street where in-laws live instead.

In other news, respect for making it through that challenging day. I always find I learn more about God and trusting God when my pockets are empty, though it's not always fun.
 
It does seem that the concept of adulthood is actually quite fluid. And I don't think we have to go back to hunter gathering times to see this. Other less affluent cultures are way more collectivist and family oriented, partially due to economic reasons. The last 70 years of american history has been so wealthy we have been able to rapidly switch to a more independent model. Which is also unsustainable, disastrous on mental health, and for some reason a lot of boomers seem to think it's the only way to be.

Millenials also get accused of not knowing history. I think when boomers say "history" they mean things they remember from when they were twenty. history is bigger and longer than one generation.

Our economy has changed, culture will continue to change and adapt. All in all, humanity will be fine.

also boomers are totes the dumbest kthx.
 
Peggy, I am getting to catch up a bit with your blog after having my head way up into writing and designing my own book. I hope yours is coming along well. It's good to hear your voice again.

Sarah
 
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