Tails: The BOOMER Perspective (cont’d)
Aging parents are downsizing but the struggle is: What to do with Everything!
Another boomer frustration comes from feeling that “them youngins’” just do not appreciate history or respect the heritage of how many of these items have been assed on from generation to generation. Some factors may have been that past generations could not afford to be declining anything that was being offered to them.
There may also however, be some truth that many in this generation just don’t care about their ancestors beyond giving some sentimental lip service. The fact that Great Grampa made the dining set or the grandfather clock is relevant enough to have that item be a part of their lives. It isn’t that they resent their ancestors; they just don’t care enough to take any action to make history matter.
From the Boomer point of view there seems to be a hope that the kids will grow over time to have a different perspective and regret not having these things. This is the Storage industry’s gold mine as Boomer store “stuff” for a decade or more waiting for someone to care.
For the youngsters, “It is only STUFF”. For the older generation, the STUFF has much more meaning, feeling and emotional attachment. There is a joy to helping provide continuity and consistency for a family as it goes through the long term time perspective. There is this hope that if people would care more for heritage STUFF then they will also have the tendency to care more for their ancestors, their family and for all people in general.
From a micro perspective: It is sad that they don’t see the longer bigger picture that their Grandpa made it, their Grandma dusted it, we all ate Christmas dinners around it for decades. There is a sadness that the Kids don’t seem to care.
From a macro perspective: It is a Boomer way to hope society will not become too self absorbed, callous and indifferent to both the family as an entity and society as a culture.
There is a some sentiment among Boomers is that the younger generations are simply spoiled and ungrateful. The opposite is also prominent. Quite common but also quite wrong. Or maybe both are correct. To whatever extend it may have truth, Boomers can only take the responsibility for it and move on.
The Boomers have created and the Millenials have accentuated a culture where life and experiences come in 30 & 60 minute bites.
We all have short attention spans, Okay - maybe there is a correlation between youth and shorter attention spans but most of us are guilty. Should it be surprising then that young people think furnishings should also have shorter 5 year life cycles?
Boomers (i.e. - the Middle Class BOOM) have had the historic luxury of higher incomes with more disposable income. There is much research supporting their tendency to create an expectation of a “keeping up with the Jones” lifestyle, an expectation to have NEW things, and to continue to try to manage their children’s lives well into their adulthood. Creates a tough environment from which to blame the kids because they want have new stuff doesn’t it?
Many Boomers feel patronized that the parents are paying for storage while the kids are just waiting until Mom dies to get rid of the stuff.
Well, what a surprise. Here we are. Another description of the Approach to Generational Transition by a Boomer who just keeps on taking responsibility rather than stepping in and making a real difference. After all is has been the Boomers that perfected the way for the Me Generation to become the Selfie Generation.
Many recommend a philosophical approach to letting go of possessions that children may not cherish but others may. By donating them to charity, one knows they weren’t going to go into a Dumpster and that someone in the Kincardine and Port Elgin area would purchase them who really wanted them.
Whatever the solution you choose, it is the right one (for you). Inevitably to keep good relations some degree of practicing (what seems to be a declining art of) compromise will be involved.
Morrison MacKenzie can help. Call 519-389-7153 or email firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any questions or wish to be pointed in the right direction when downsizing or retirement in the near future.
It is always a pleasure to be Helping You Mo’.