From reading the blogs of other folks my age, it seems there is an overwhelming number of people out there who are lost, sad and generally not satisfied with their lives. Even though fourty is supposed to be "the new thirty", we all know we've been around a while already and, on the same hand, the clock is ticking.
Most of us have a degree (or two) and about 5-7 years work experience which, on paper, usually means reaching senior manager or even director level in a corporation. Many of us, unfortunately, have not. Still toiling away as individual contributors, or worse, sitting on our asses unemployed. Office Space and Dilbert are frighteningly realistic reflections of our lives. To add to the pain, many of us missed the economic boom, only to catch the bust and watch thousands of dollars in stocks and options slip through our fingers. Bad bad timing.
And as we approach the big 3-0 and watch as friend after friend gets engaged and then married, it's hard not to hear our clocks ticking louder, reminding us that now is the time to find a mate and settle. But those plans are hard to firm up when the rest of your life is an emotional and financial mess as are your career plans.
This all makes me wonder if we're pioneers in this lifestyle. For the generations before us, life was a little more scripted. The men got a lifelong job at XYZ corporation working 9-5, the ladies stayed home and took care of the kids, upon retirement they'd collect their pensions and move to Florida. OK so it was a little tougher for those of us with immigrant parents, that is for damn sure. But still, they somehow had this collective optimism that people of my generation just don't seem to have. Maybe it's because we've learned that there's no such thing as "the American Dream", we seen too many instances of hard work going unrewarded or even punished, and we just don't see the light at the end of the tunnel. We are the jaded generation.