The Generation Gap

Posted by in Family on April 16, 2014 0 comments

It saddens me to no end, to see people fifteen + years older than me, who are afraid to get themselves out of a relationship or circumstances that no longer serves them. They may be miserable, they may be dictated to, they may be afraid of the consequences – violence, shame, losing children’s love and respect, or may be their interests have completely changed and are no longer compatible. To me, if you feel sadness, feel restricted or feel violated in that relationship constantly, then it’s time to get OUT!

Yes, there is merit in staying with someone who maybe sick and you are their carer, or you’re working towards a goal that you need to deal with the hardships first before you realise that goal (as long as that goal is that you enjoy your grandkids together/grow old together for the sake of the ‘vows’), but there really isn’t any other reason to make yourself miserable, stuck and feeling out of your depth if you’re not happy. As the only commitment in life you should ever have, is the commitment to yourself – to make sure there is happiness in your life.

I was talking to a girlfriend yesterday about the older generation and how they just don’t understand why we would talk back to a spouse, or why we don’t sweep things under the carpet and it be forgotten, why we ask so many questions to get to the depths of the truth and why we have courage to be our own person, not a puppet to our spouse or generation. I’ve had conversations with people 15-40 years older than me (I guess you call it the ‘Baby Boomer generation’) stating that it wasn’t their fault that I got divorced and that they shouldn’t have to be my backup spouse/parent (physically or emotionally), or, that they refuse to leave their spouse because they are worried that their adult children will take their spouse’s side and they will lose them forever, or they just ‘don’t like change’ and you’ll never change the way they think.

The saddest thing of all, is that these people are so set in their ways, that they are afraid to open their hearts to a whole new world that can give them vitality and re-think who they are and what they are missing. The best example of this, is this video I saw on Facebook this week, about two 70 year old ladies – one who’s husband loved to travel, yet she was too scared to fly on a plane, and the other who’s husband wanted to stay home and she wanted to see the world but sacrificed her own life to be ‘committed’ to his needs… until one day, they both went on a plane together. It’s absolute gold, showing you that it’s never to old to change. These two women made me realise that my adventurous spirit doesn’t have an expiry date, and everyday can be filled with love and laughter IF you value yourself, get out of your comfort zone and realise your dreams.

And I think that’s the biggest part, being able to value yourself. Some people put a monetary value on themselves ‘I’m worth $ this much money.’ Others value themselves by the amount of family they have around them ‘I have 3 daughters, 2 sons, 16 grand-children and 4 great-grandchildren’, where as the new generations of 30 and 40 somethings are learning quickly that it doesn’t need to be a number, it’s all about quality – quality of ‘people’ in your life that make you happy, laugh, be yourself, support you and allow you to extend yourself; the quality in ‘time’ you put into reaching your goals, being the best parent, friend and even person to yourself; the quality of ’emotional and spiritual being’ you are allowing yourself to be (again, another awesome ad… ), and the quality of experiences you give yourself to create a lifetime of memories – from walking the dog on a cool foggy morning and loving the coolness on your skin, to taking your kids to the last movie of the night and finding yourself in an empty cinema just for you, to kissing your beloved at the top of the Eiffel Tower.

Life is about living… and some Baby Boomers just don’t get that… They were dictated to by the government to save for their retirement, and work work work, sacrificing building relationships with their kids, sacrificing quality time for themselves, sacrificing speaking out to someone when they are alive rather than bottling up the hurt and airing it out when they are dead; sacrificing goals that were desired but were hard to be realised based on the social structure of what was expected from them. There were some who fell through the loop and made a stance against conformity, and they are the courageous ones – the ones who believed in themselves more than their circumstances.

It doesn’t matter how old you are or how scared you are, there is always time for change. Change for the positive, and a chance to bring eternal happiness to your life.