Generation P

I think I’m a member of “Gen-P”, the “Peter Pan” generation who grew up in the shadow of the 1953 Disney production that touted the idea that we never have to grow up.

Figure 1: “Boat off Jeckyll Island” by George Jones is licensed under CC BY 2.0

Figure 1: “Boat off Jeckyll Island” by George Jones is licensed under CC BY 2.0

A friend who’s a few years older than me recently related trials she is having caring for elderly parents. Nine years ago, my father moved to be near us. For the last 5 years of his life I spent time providing help to a very independent-minded person who rarely admitted he needed my help. This included an incident where I had to take the car keys from someone for whom driving was a right of passage into adulthood. It was not pretty.

Somewhere in the late fifties or early sixties (when I as born), I think the old notions of independence that were common in the 30s, WWII, and my parents generation and earlier went out the window. They lived in a much harsher world, and understood that fact. Farming. The depression. WWII. The bomb. There was nowhere near the economic prosperity that came in the decades after. There was nowhere near as much social safety net as there is today. Shades of Archie Bunker’s “Those Were The Days” are now drifting through my head" … it’s time to stop this line of thought.

Then came Peter Pan. “A Generation Lost In Space”. I look in the mirror and sometimes wonder who that old man is. When addressed as “Mr. Jones”, I wonder who they’r talking to? To hear my daughter-in-law call me “Dad”, seems very strange.

But life moves on. The lost boys and Wendy do, in fact grow up.

Back to my friend who’s caring for her parents. Enjoy the seasons of life. If you’re in a position to help someone (kids, older parents), be glad about it. Life can be rough. Pre-“Boomers” seem to have gotten that more than me. Almost in spite of my self, I’ve learned that some of the deepest meaning in life comes in stepping up to deal with adversity.

Have fun in never-never land. I don’t think I’m coming.

#42 of #100DaysToOffload take 2.1,