Once the line in the sand was "Where were you when Kennedy was assassinated?" I was in my 20s then and the women with whom I worked would speak of the 60s and early 70s as formative years for their youth/young adulthood. I knew I was but a child and had much to learn because the answer to the question for me was "in a crib."
Now I've become the woman on the other side of the new timeline (though the question varies and is not nearly as dramatic, there's still some point in history that reminds me, "OMG, they don't remember _________" .... and maybe it's when we didn't speak in OMGscript). I spent today with some incredible young adults and I smiled when I realized they were listening to me and working alongside me just as I had my mentors almost 25 years ago. In fact, most of the people in the office today weren't born when I first got into the professional realm.
I thought that when my turn to be the "sage" came due, I'd be bothered by my age. I'm not. I celebrate it. I've managed to do a lot of living and pack in an incredible variety of experiences in a little over two decades. I might wish my curves weren't multiplying and my skin wasn't sagging but other than that ... I'm all good.
So I'm wondering what lessons I've learned that I'd like to pass on to my newest recruits in the "I have to work with Karen so I might as well make the best of it" team. I'm thinking . . .
- When you suspect that life sucks, realize you've got your hand on the air valve. Change is always possible; maybe not practical but definitely possible.
- Go somewhere where they don't eat like you do and chow down. Then, if you must know, ask what you just ate. You'll be a better person for culinary adventures outside your culture. And if getting to that table involved a plane ticket, you get extra points.
- Don't commit to a career; find a path. I am so glad that one day I realized I was more than my resume.
- Grace isn't just a word in an amazing song. Grace offered on a regular basis will forge friendships that feed your own soul. Hard thing is releasing the right to judge quickly and hold grudges. Reward is that grace can be both given and received.
- Keep laughing.
Don't know if I should start making t-shirts or cross-stitching on pillows or if maybe that's not a bad start to some lessons I need to capture in some form. But since countdown-to-the-next-version-of-me has now begun I thought I would at least remind myself of why I like me.