essays

Losing It

stress relieverIs it just me or is everyone dealing with someone “losing it?” And what is “it?” The “it” could be one’s sanity. Or one’s grip on reality. Or your temper. Patience? Halo? Equilibrium? Sense of proportion? The nest egg? Pick any three.

Sandwiched between aging parents and boomerang children, some boomers are finding that the confident grip on their own destiny that they once had is now turning into an oiled wrestling match. You try to pin down the problem but it keeps slipping out of your grasp.

There’s a reality show for swapped wives, bachelors, singers, dancers, models, apprentices and the dysfunctional parents of 8 kids, but no producer seems to want to tackle boomers in crisis. Is it because people are sick of boomers or because the situation we find ourselves in just isn’t compelling enough to warrant its own reality show? Tough one to call.

Watching their insufficient savings whistlerfor retirement get siphoned off by the cost of eldercare and lingering offspring is a considerable source of stress. Throw in the hit that boomers took on their home’s equity when the bubble popped, and you can see why a good chunk of the boomer generation feels like they are living on the edge.

Over-extended, overloaded, and overlooked, boomers have no choice but to carry on and to shoulder the burden. Do I want you to feel sorry for them? Not really. But how about some recognition that even when boomer parents are losing their minds, and boomer offspring are losing hope that they will ever find jobs, most baby boomers have not lost the notion that this too will pass and things will be better on the other side of the mess we’re in now.

We may be whistling in the wind, but at least we’re still whistling.

Jay Harrison is a graphic designer and writer whose work can be seen at DesignConcept. He's written a mystery novel, which therefore makes him a pre-published author.

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