While sitting around lamenting our millennial lives, a friend of mine shared this morsel of wisdom she'd gotten from an older acquaintance. It was something like, when you're young you have time and energy, but no money. When you're middle-aged, you have energy and money, but no time. And when you're old, you have time and money, but no energy.
Such is the quagmire of youth. While we're getting bombarded with messages telling us to YOLO, to "dance like nobody's watching," and love like we've never been hurt before -- we're busy dealing with unemployment, wondering how to pay for our weddings, and how to lower our astronomical student loan payments.
And the thing about having more energy -- well, I can't vouch for that. Consensus among my 20-something friends is we're tired. All.the.time. We're juggling young, new relationships, 60-hour workweeks in many cases, and the pressure to maintain the illusion of having "a life."
1. Two words. Senior discounts. Because there's no I-still-live-with-my-parents discount or student-loan-repayment- discount.
2. Not worrying as much about things will "turn out." After 50 or so, I'm guessing most major questions of life have been answered. Will I find the right life partner? Will I have kids? Will everything be okay?
My 65-plus father once told me that when he looks at young folks he feels sheer pity. Not what I was expecting to hear. But they're fit, healthy, and able-bodied I said confusedly. True, he agreed. But they just have so many hurdles ahead of them that they can't even imagine. There are so many uphill battles they have yet to face. I'm confident I've already faced the worst of my problems, he said. Let's hope he's right.
3. More mature relationships (hopefully). As a young dater or novice boyfriend/girlfriend, everything is so much more fragile and every fight leaves you wondering if you're headed for a breakup that will cause the devastation of a nuclear bomb in your heart.
I can't wait to celebrate my 30th or 40th wedding anniversary with someone I've been through thick and thin with. Someone who has essentially watched me grow up. That's the sort of intimacy that easily trumps the passion and fireworks of a budding love.