Wednesday, June 7, 2017

New World Order-- Are Gen X'ers to blame?

I watched a news segment on the new ways businesses are running to accommodate the Millenials in order to get the best out of their generation. The story discussed how the business world is beginning to realize a 9 to 5 in the office does not work for everyone and produces better outcomes if you can move these boundaries for employees. These businesses have had great successes with employees who now work remotely or work shifts or days.

These changes in the workplaces supposedly by Millenials,  the children of Generation X'ers. So I started to think are we to blame or thank for this generation and their new ways. I think so. When we chose to raise our kids we were the first generation to look and think-- maybe beating the shit out of our kids with switches and belts is not the way to get the best results. We thought maybe we will play with our kids. Maybe we will ask their opinions on things. Maybe we won't make them clean their plates.  We were the divorce generation. We wanted more for our kids.

I never thought my kids would be from a broken home.  I wanted to be a throw-back to my grandparent's generation of working through every problem. Not having disposable marriages. Then my marriage fell apart. Then I separated from my husband. And now I am looking at things in a whole new light. Our family has not broken just our marriage.

Eighteen years and many good times, I have to ask, how can we do this differently than our parent's generation? My parents eventually got it right, becoming friendly and being able to be at events together. But I want more. I want my daughter and son to see that we can move forward as a family in a new way. The family unit that we all used to know is gone. But it will just be different but not broken.  For one person, grandma is part of their family and that is normal. For the next family, daddy is the lone parent. And in another great granny is raising three great-grandchildren on her own. Two mommies can be just as great as the old standard of mom, dad, son, daughter, and spot.

What really matters is the love and time spent with the members of the family. You can live in a house with someone and spend zero quality time or you can see a parent on the weekends and have the best relationship.  It is all about how you spend your time.

Some of us are the parents of the Millenials and Generation Z. We raised them to look at the world differently. We taught them that the ways of the past do not have to stay the status quo. And they have taken our lesson and they are changing things. We have to quit complaining about their ways of enacting change and look to see how we can put some of those new ways in our own lives.

We do not have to fit in boxes designed by others. Our families, our jobs, our kids, us. It's not about thinking outside of the box. It's about getting out of the box and recycling or upcycling the box into something better.

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Number two to no one?

No one’s number two
It is inevitable that we cannot all be number one. In a culture where we give every kid a trophy for showing up and paying for the entry fee, everyone wins! Right? Wrong. Many of us grew up and tried out for sports or cheerleading and did not make the team. We were not chosen. And it’s a powerful lesson. We cannot always be someone’s first pick. It puts that horrible drop feeling in your stomach that for a second you think you're either gonna puke or never eat again. Maybe you cry, maybe you scream or maybe no change outwardly happens and life just moves on.
There are lessons in every time a door just in our face leaving the door knocker pressed up against our nose. Am I even at the right house? Or am I early or late to the address I thought I was supposed to be at? But the real point is, the door is closed. And there are other doors, windows,  even smokestacks and keyholes that may contain the avenue that you are meant to follow.

The path we are on and where we have ended up is a series of no’s, yes’s, half-ass choices and strong firm decisions. We cannot go back, Marty and Doc have yet to show up in the DeLorean offering any of us a chance at redemption. So we must make TODAY the one that counts. My neck would look like something from Exorcist if I tried to second guess and look back to every what if in my life.

If you're gonna be number two, it better be to someone awesome like Mother Nature or someone’s mother.  

Thursday, May 4, 2017

Learning to Fly --- warning blog contains fbombs

When I left college, I was so full of dreams and hopes for the future. Twenty-two years old and the world seemed so open and beautiful. Fast forward eighteen years and I had gotten to a point where I saw life in grey, had migraines every day for over six weeks and I had no pleasure in anything but watching the same movie at bedtime every night.

I never believed in soul searching. Seemed like a cliche thing to do, I need to go find myself. More like you need to go fuck yourself.  How does one not know who they are? But in my cloud of suck, migraines and Fantastic Mr. Fox, I need to find not myself but a path off of the perpetual Merry Go Round at some demented County Fair.

That is how I started to fly. That is how I started to soul search. Damn it, I am one of those flakes looking for themselves when really I was here the whole time-- bullshit. No, I really started to examine and look at what I used to really love to do-- what could I change in my life to make me feel joy-- my job. So I examined hobbies and any topic that used to hold my interest. Further, in the process, I listened to Pretty Hate Machine by Nine Inch Nails because it was the first album that I felt expressed what I was feeling at the time in my life that I heard it, it was revolutionary and it was not on the radio. It was breathtaking and I loved it. Trent's music is a little angrier than I am now but the feeling of my youth is woven in those electric drum beats.

And now, I am continuing to learn to fly on my own. I have gone back to those years before the kids, before the marriage. To see who I was before I was mom, before I was wife-- when I was just Danyel.

When Danyel could be and do whatever she put her mind to. Still in the cocoon just waiting to pull her beautiful butterfly wings out.

Now, I am back. Danyel has had a Phoenix rising moment. This time out of the cocoon, I come with so much more information, two amazing kids and a great support system helping when this butterfly is caught in a net.  

Monday, May 1, 2017

Not my circus, not my monkeys... Unless I'm a monkey's uncle

Part of my growth has been to identify what are my issues, what are other people's issues and what I really need to be involved in; particularly when it comes to my stress, emotions, and my time. We are raised to think that we should do anything and everything for our family. Family first. But in a day in age when family members could steal your Care Bear or dance costumes for some herion those ties that bind really get reevaluated by the younger generations, I think. I am Generation X and I do not think blood is thicker. I have seen shit behind peoples backs and it sickens me. Then again I have had friends old and new that have been truer to me than those with my same red life-force. What makes loyalty? What earns trust? Not a last name. Not blood. Not always.

It is the interactions each time you are with that person. We all have friends or family we can go years not seeing and pick right back up like no time has passed and no love has been lost, just time. Because most interactions with them are good, happy and not negative. So getting back to the title of this blog-- who do we count as our monkeys?

My monkeys first and foremost are my kids, then my siblings, nieces, nephews, cousins, parents, grandparents and Meena. She is like the Y. She counts in all categories. Friend, family. Consonant, vowel. Meena is all things. Then a few select friends and few select aunts and uncles, but not all. I have one cousin that has been loyal to me since he could talk, literally since he was a toddler he has been loyal, loving and one person I know I can call for anything. He would ask me when he was little, 'Sissy, can we talk?' And we would sit at the kitchen table and talk for hours. And we still do.

I realized in the last year that the drama and negativity of some family and friends do not have to be mine. That was hard to say no to. It is hard to separate yourself from family especially when you realize they are toxic to you and happy living. Now I am learning to find the happiness in everything which will help in dealing with these toxic people in new and happier ways that don't leave me reeling for hours later in their and my own negativity over the situation.

I thought the only way was to cut them out of my life, but that is not always possible. New ways, new life, new view.