I remember learning about the baby boom during my undergrad... how these many new babies busted the baby merchandise market and how manufacturers had to make tens of thousands of extra cribs, diapers, etc., etc. to keep up with demand.
How the public school system was overwhelmed as they all entered kindergarten... and so on and so forth- throughout their years and developmental milestones.
We learned how they skewed the job market and how they would impact our career opportunities as they delayed retirement.
We learned how they went from hippies to yuppies and how they changed the culture, the economy, and well, everything.
We learned also to anticipate - somewhere around the year 2015- that the Boomer generation would overwhelm the medical, retirement home, hospice and funeral industries.
Now, here we are. But I have yet to hear anyone talk about the connection between the (yes sad, but natural) course of the human lifespan and the incredibly massive ripple effect the Boomers have had and are having on every aspect of society.... and covid... or the flu... or any other illness that is more serious for an "older" person.
If we were in a different era, where the Boomers were still, say, in their 20s or 30s it would be devastating still, but the numbers would be lower.
I know this can sound sterile to those who experience things through more of an emotional lens. But step back and look at it from a historical / sociological perspective. I'm not trying to de-personalize individual experiences, at all. Just trying to provide another perspective besides mass hysteria and division.
Stay safe, smart and grounded friends - M
Photo credit: none was provided from the pintrest page I found it on https://www.pinterest.com/pin/156429787034821276/ but check it out! Lots of cool postwar baby boom pics there.
Hello Younger Me! Today is your birthday and I want to celebrate and honor you. You were meant to be here, know that for sure. I wasn't around yet, but let me tell you, I rejoice in the day you were born. You are the reason I am me. Actually, you are me- just older- but we'll get to that in a minute.
You are one tough cookie. Smart, too! You were given the burdens of your parents' pain. Burdens you never should have carried, but you did. You knew instinctively to help more, to try harder, to smile at the world and pretend everything was okay. (You have a beautiful smile, by the way even thought you aren't quite smiling in this photo here).
You did what was necessary for survival. I'm not sure how you knew all of that, but today I look at you and I am amazed! You... I... we... wouldn't be here today if you didn't know how to fight to survive.
We still use those survival skills from time to time, but don't worry about that. I have - older you has- been figuring out how to live in a world that is different; not as scary. Not as exhausting. And, guess what! You were right! You can grow up to be that person that you wished you had in your life- and you did. And that's where I come in- I am the older you that you wanted to give your pain a purpose. I am that you that you imagined could be.
I know it's hard to see right now because things are so inescapably difficult. You cry yourself to sleep at night because it seems as if your survival skills (you don't know to call them that yet) aren't working. You somehow know there is a God and you ask, no beg, Him for help. You can't yet see Him working all things together for good. You feel alone and lonely.
You struggle with feeling unlovable, too. Soon you will struggle even more... with self-hatred and a sense of extremely low-self worth. You will feel rejected, abandoned- as if you are downing in worthlessness.
Let me tell you, those feelings have nothing to do with you or who you are.
You see, kids are meant to face challenges in developmentally appropriate stages- where they can take the success and confidence of one stage and move on to the next. Think about how a child will learn how to crawl before he or she can walk, and so on. You wouldn't give a new born baby a steak and a bicycle and say, "Power up and ride, Baby!"
Well, this concept is true for all aspects of development- cognitive, mental, emotional, social, educational, and so on.
Some of the emotional and inter-relational developmental challenges you are facing are difficult even for adults who were able to reach the necessary preliminary foundational milestones. Basically, you are being handed level 10 challenges without even being trained at level 1. You are going to fail. And it's not your fault.
Be patient, Younger Me, one day we will go back and learn levels 1-9. We will understand why we do what we do. And we will have compassion on our self. We will learn to change our faulty programming in what is called "re-parenting." We will discover that we were fearfully and wonderfully made in the image of a God who loves us. We will have Aha! Moments, connect the dots, learn healthier coping skills and breathe a sigh of relief.
Later, you... yes, older you... will learn; I ... learned and am still learning and healing and growing. We will make sense of the past and put those old negative, self-defeating feelings behind us... for the most part, anyway.
We will learn to be comfortable in our own skin. Don't lose heart, Younger Me. We will make it- to half a century (!!!), at least. Maybe more. For sure, into eternity after our time in this world is over. Younger Me, I send you strength and peace and hope. Remember, you. are. loved.
What does your younger self need to hear from you today, my friends? Remember, you- you today and you of long ago- are loved with an eternal love. - M
Me "today." (not really today, but you know...)
The Motley Ms.
Hi! My name is Melinda. I'm a saved-by-grace-er, lifelong learner, INFJ, health & fitness trynabe, Mom, #vanlifer, mental health vlogger, and Director & Clinical Supervisor at a Child & Family Therapy Practice in Northern California.
The Motley Ms
The Therapist's Therapy Blog