Having grown up in a small tourist town in Northern Michigan, Memorial Day weekend has always been a different experience for me and mine. Tawasians don’t leave town for three-day weekends. Not only are we already in the kind of place most of the country is escaping to, but often, we work on Memorial Day. A town can’t close down when half the state is visiting. Plus, there’s invariably some parade of indiscernible tone happening that you have to be in or organize or attend.
I went to prenatal yoga at 11am yesterday. It was a Monday. Perhaps nothing has made me feel more at the top of the human food chain. Who does that? Who gets to change out of their pajamas at 10:30am, drive downtown on a Monday and spend 75 minutes doing yoga?
As it turns out, the answer really shouldn’t have been me. I only went because I can’t make my evening class this week, and at 31 weeks pregnant, I am fearful of what could happen to my poor body if I go a week without making sure it can still bend in half. But though I worked before and after the session, it screwed up my productivity of my entire day to the point that I just gave up around 7pm and decided to start again tomorrow.
But here’s the thing: That was just fine. I wasted a day of my regular productivity, and I was fine. I have a beautiful home, the mortgage for which I can afford, even with an occasional day off; I control my own schedule; I genuinely enjoy what I do, so if I spend 14 hours doing it tomorrow, that’s fine; I absolutely have 14 hours to dedicate to work each day; but I don’t have to. I stop when I want.
Who is this person? When, I began to wonder when assessing all of this, did I become a person surrounded by comfort? And exactly how is it going to destroy me?
If I had a dollar for every article I’ve read about how the business world is readying itself for the millennial workforce, I might not be insanely rich, but I could at least take pretty swank trip to Spain with my loot. I know this because I’ve written a bunch of those articles, and dozens of others for research. And each time I do, I think, “Wow. Would have been pretty cool if the world cared so much about this 10 years ago, when this millennial was entering the workforce.”
Ah. The woes of a millennial elder. Though the dates bookending my generation vary, the most common – and accurate, in my experience – call 1982 the dawn of the millennials. This means I am seven days away from being as old as millennial gets.
Now, of course the lines are blurry. I know people up to a year older than myself who definitely fit into my generation, and those a year or so younger who are startlingly Gen X-ish. But, by and large, if there a way to define a millennial elder, someone born in January, 1982 is about a close as it gets.