Stuck in the Waiting Line

I know a dozen people [aged 25-30] that can’t seem to think long-term enough to get past the ‘wishful thinking’ phase.   They have desires for a fine future, but seem powerless to start working toward that future. Even simple things like having a hobby, learning a new skill, keeping a tidy home.         I realize that the Millennial generation may never reach the traditional milestones  of past generations, because we’re struggling to accept our own adult responsibilities, like: basic home/car maintenance, healthy diets, financial responsibility. It’s like we’re stuck in the waiting line, unable to truly  get started on our real-life adult endeavors.

I read an article several years ago, about how the popularity of fantasy and science fiction in current movies/hobbies/games is a symptom of a depressed generation which prefers to experience their leisure activities in fiction because their reality isn’t enjoyable. And several years later, it’s still true.

Of every acquaintance I have in real life, only 2 are married, both are careless, only 1 owns property, and neither have children. Despite the mounting social pressure to get married and start families, no one in this age group seems truly capable of successfully achieving it to the standards that past generations expect.
We aren’t well-rounded, we’re a generation of dreamers, burdened by our social-political-economical situations, twiddling our days away because there’s no end in sight.     Consider IF people living during the 1930s Great Depression knew that it would eventually end, or if every single person  worried everyday about  their friends and neighbors who were going to die in poverty because things were never going to get better.

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Sweat

Quite suddenly I find myself preferring cooler weather to warmer weather.  I say suddenly, but in reality this could’ve been a gradual change over the past year. It might be because of my ever increasing stress threshold, and subsequent  sweating  because of it. This doesn’t exactly solve my stress problem, but cooler weather would be a remedy for the sweats.
This new temperature preference occurred to me when the first heat wave of Spring arrived, and I found myself rushing home to wrap a wet towel around my face and neck to cool myself down. Apparently the 20 minutes of direct sunlight the side of my head gets in the car ride home was enough to shock me into heat exhaustion.
Maybe if the weather was cooler, I wouldn’t be such a hot mess all the time.

Why People Want

I’ve come to realize that lots of people act impulsively, but they don’t know where their desire stems from. Most prominently with love and money, people seem to rush into things because of an intense desire for something that they can’t fully explain.
So let’s try to analyze shortsighted ‘desire’, the ultimate goal of why a person would start something.
Love?
People seem to rush into relationships because they enjoy the stability of being in a well-defined relationship. People yearn for the traditional trajectory of a ‘stable relationship’ because it’s easier to predict  than unformulated casual-dating. Stable relationships lead to Marriages. But Marriage is frequently an impulsive decision, brought on by cultural pressure, or financial, or legal, or convenience.  Since human emotions are fickle, it’s unlikely that the couple  legitimately fell in love, and half of marriages end in divorce.  But still, society looks favorably on the idea of marriage, celebrating it as a valuable milestone in a person’s life, instead of a simple cultural norm.
Spending?
People impulsively buy things they don’t really need, because of some sense of grandeur they find in it. Buying a flashy sports car or high-end home appliances, generates the impression of popularity,  acting like a symbol of status, creating the illusion of prestige; same thing with smaller purchases, like fashionable clothing, new technology, trendy home décor. Buy a product and maybe it’ll change your life.
Their motivation isn’t having the money itself, it’s their purchases.
People use their purchases to motivate themselves, believing that since they bought it they’re more likely to use it and reap the benefits of it. Gym memberships, healthy lifestyle options, sporting gear, self-help books.  As if the purchase is the first step toward a grander life, and now that they’ve bought it, they’re on their way to reaching their goals.
It’s all superficial and culturally based. Items that are highly valuable in certain social circles, becomes worthless in other circles. Consumerism means popular items change every season, so impulsively buying consumer goods actually means that you’re locked into cycle of upkeep. Shortsighted impulse buys become worthless quicker, because you never really needed the item in the first place, you just liked the idea of what it could potentially do for your life if you actually used it.

Weird Year [glitch in the matrix]

The weather has been weird, these past 12 months of weather have been uncharacteristic for the area. It’s been raining for the past several weeks, which is several weeks more rain than we’re used to. The last summer was unusually  hot, the winter was warm, and now this spring is unusually cold and rainy.  So basically, weird enough to take note. We joke that this is the swift and sudden onset of ‘global warming’ changing the weather patterns.
This also seems to be the year of illness.  I can’t recall if the flu season was this bad last year, but this year, there’s a special type of super-flu that sneaks up and gets you multiple times. A few people have died from it, and more people from other illnesses mistaken for it.
The latest topic in the news this season is Gun Regulation. But the politicians are shifting attention to literally anything else to avoid talking about it.
There’s a Tesla in space. Stephen Hawking died. Toys R Us closed. Healthcare costs increased. Opioid crisis.
The president fired more of his cabinet, and moves to start a reality show, admitting marital infidelity with 6+ women, including porn stars.
It’s been a weird year. Feels like there’s a glitch in the Matrix.

Impending Socio-economic education divide

I have a theory, about an impending social divide based around education [or lack thereof]. Societies are frequently divided along social lines; race, class, affluence, circumstance, popularity, ect.  and I want to try and predict a future social divide resulting from a generation torn between the high costs of college, inadequacies of public high schools, and the minimum wage.  An education divide.

Presently, the ‘good jobs’ are safeguarded with extreme qualification requirements, usually an expensive education. So most of us are in debt having paid for the education [and not saving for our futures], so most of us are poor [for various reasons].
We have a whole generation of people that aren’t well rounded, educationally or otherwise, because millennials didn’t learn common sense lifestyle skills at home, or in high school, or in college. Because our own parents didn’t have the ‘time and money’ necessary to help their children become exceptional adults. And now we’re adults, and we’re in the workforce trying to make a living in a competitive job market.  We have odd social habits, and poor grammar.
Part of this theory involves considering that no one in this day-and-age has the surplus of ‘time and money’ necessary for children [we’re all working, because we’re all poor]. It’s multigenerational ignorance, caused by a slow economic decline, and misplaced faith in the value of a 4-yr degree to earn an generous income.

The generation will be torn to shreds as they try to reach conventional adult milestones, while burdened by their debts [homeownership, marriage, children, financial stability]. Maybe some drop out of college because of financial strain, maybe attending a cheaper 2-yr college instead; but either way, the job prospects and potential income shrinks.
So in the future, after the minimum wage increases, and the cost of education decreases,  millennials will work alongside younger people who didn’t have to go into debt to get their foot in the door. More iGens will attend college because of this low barrier of entry, just as GenX did, creating a socio-economic rift that’s education based.  But because of the years of debt sponging up all the millennials spare income, the whole millennial generation will continue to be judged for failure to meet expectations. And this is how the working generation of iGens will surpass the Millennials.

Mother mind-games; obstacles and goals

My mother believes that she’s helpful [although she is not].
She picks apart situations, and informs you of everything you need to do, immediately, because the current situation is simply incorrect.  She does this from a place of love and concern [though it’s impolite and unwelcome].    When you inevitably resist or dismiss her instructions, she proceeds to ‘worry about you’, escalating the situation, inflicting more damage.
It’s horrible, and it starts to stress us out.
She sees that we’re stressed out, and proceeds to ‘worry more’, because clearly the problem is that we didn’t obey her instructions in the first place. So she gives more instructions.
Weeks ago, without having a single conversation with me or anyone else about my life, my mother decided for me that my life was squandered. She then commanded me to move to a different city, quit my job, and start doing something else entirely ; honestly believing that I’d be happier.  Instead of arguing about how tactless and invasive she is,  and I walked out of the house.
I tried to not talk with her the rest of the week.
She was annoyed with this strategy, and so, she invited herself to come back the following week. And the week after, and the week after.
She has been near me for the past several weekends. Providing commentary on my diet, hobbies, and cleanliness. Disrupting my habits, and literally forcing me to change my personality so that she doesn’t accidentally learn new information about me.
My mom sees everything as ‘obstacles/goals’, and she strategizes with a sense of such monumental urgency, that she’s already visualizing the end-game, and you’re already a disappointment.

Multigenerational Ignorance

I think basic medical training in elementary schools would greatly improve the hygiene of the population in the long term.
I have a friend who is a Registered Nurse, and I am constantly trying to get her to go into her kids school and teach the children about hygiene; washing hands, bacteria,  flu, colds, meningitis, and food poisoning.
In regular public education, there was practically no health or medical training. I think 9th grade biology was the closest I ever got to learning about infections.

It doesn’t seem like anyone teaches basic life skills anymore. Not schools or parents . We have whole generations that aren’t proficient in basic domestic skills. It seems like these skills were lost a generation ago, and we now have children that won’t ever learn it, because their parents never did.
Would you know how to handle a flu? Change a tire? Cook an omelet? Mend a torn garment? Care for wood furniture?
Health and hygiene stand out to me, because I see a generation of adults that aren’t good caregivers or housekeepers. They feed their young children junk food, and neglect their home maintenance.
In light of such large societal failings, the normal solution would be for the government pick up the slack, but with the shrinking budget for public education, this seems unlikely. I see the quality of life decreasing with every generation.
Health is on the decline; Heart Disease and Obesity rates  climb, healthcare costs raise, drug addictions lower life expectancy.  Indispensable luxury items strain finances, and the barriers to owning property increase.   Living paycheck to paycheck, people will prioritize, and cut corners where they can. All the while forgetting unnecessary information, like basic health, basic maintenance, and basic courtesy.

Religion for sale

I don’t know how, but I got stuck on a hypothetical question I overheard in a restaurant last week.
The customers asked their waitress what would a Church could do in order for her to consider being a repeat supporter. The waitress gave an  open-minded response about inclusiveness, but it wasn’t really specific.
I was a business major, so I started thinking about a Church like a ‘product’, which changed the question to : how can this company more effectively market their specific product to  me [aka their target audience]?
I think Churches often desire a diverse congregation, but the more diverse an audience, the more watered down their marketing strategy becomes. It wouldn’t be reasonable to advertise traditionalist stylings to a congregation of all ages, infant to senior, since not everyone wants that. It becomes difficult to lecture when only half the audience finds the presentation  relatable. I wouldn’t go to a store that specializes in the types of products I wasn’t shopping for; it wouldn’t be a good fit.

Most religions have the same types of teachings. Which means that the differences between Churches are created by the communities that surround them.
Like most Millennials, I spend a great deal of time online. It would be easiest for a company to market products to me with social media, and with as much emphasis on my age group as possible.
Most people age 25-35, aren’t interested in products aimed at families, children, or seniors. Millennials have their own way of doing things, and have something specific on their mind. In order for a Church to effectively market to me, it would have cater to people my age and demographic;   understand what’s important to me, and talk to me about things that I find relevant.

Hobby or Habit

Hobby or Habit; There are some things that can be both, depending on the person.
A regular leisure activities; like collecting, sports, or creative pursuits, are obviously hobbies, but if a person gets into a routine of doing the activity, the repetition becomes unconscious, and at that point it’s hard to stop; like an addiction, but most of the time perfectly harmless.
Fitness and hygiene; Both are common habits, and most people have dedicated routines for these activities.

I’ve gotten into arguments about whether or not video games are a hobby. It’s a leisure activity, but for some people it’s an addiction, and for others just it’s to combat boredom or loneliness.   Much in the same way that Gambling is intended to be for entertainment, but people have been known to become addicted to it.
Being a wine enthusiast is a hobby, but alcoholism is an addiction.
Food is not  itself a hobby [since everyone eats], but activities like cooking or seeking out a creative fine dining experiences is.
I’m thinking that some parameters make hobbies more realistic.
For example; restoring antique bicycles is a  hobby, but commuting to work via bicycle is a habitual activity, and undiscriminating hoarding all varieties of bicycles is an addiction.

I was fairly certain that everyone had a hobby of some kind. But the older I get, the more lackluster people I happen to meet.  People that have habits, but not really hobbies.
I’m always puzzled by these hobby-less people. I find that they’re spending their spare time on unskilled activities; like binge watching tv, or posting pictures with food. We live in an age of ever-present social media, so people don’t ever have to be alone [with themselves] in their leisure time.  The ability to ‘constantly update’ means that the habit of scrolling through the main feed is their hobby.

Closet Hoarder

I find myself to be a hoarder of fancy clothing.
Clothing that I rarely wear, that I possibly got for a special occasion but have never worn again. Clothing that I can’t bring myself to get rid of, because of how pristine it still is.
When the opportunity arises, I find myself accumulating more formal clothing, for the possibility that I will at some point in the future, go to a fancy party.
This clothing occupies a special section in my closet, which has slowly managed to take up more and more space over the years.
And it only recently occurred to me that I don’t go to fancy dress parties, that I collect things that I don’t use, and that I am a hoarder of formal clothing.
The easiest way to remedy this situation would be to start going to fancy dress parties. Or simply start wearing fancy clothing to normal events. Or perhaps, to stop purchasing causal clothing, so that I may be forced to wear the nicer clothing.
It doesn’t seem like a difficult thing to do, yet, every day I find myself wearing jeans and a shabby t-shirt.
I fantasize about situations where I might theoretically want to wear fine clothing, and then I remember that it would never happen. Not once ever have I been to a gala, met royalty, or been to a formal new year’s party.
I’m not sure why these garments were created, it doesn’t seem like anyone actually needs to own them.