Last month I posted a review of the book Slouching Toward Adulthood by Sally Koslow.Â I remarked that while the book – about Generation Y’s slow pace
through life – was interesting, I found it rather sad.Â Ms. Koslow, a Baby Boomer herself did a lovely job researching and writing about the history of both the Boomers and the Gen Y’ers.Â I, a Gen X’er, simply found the whole topic irritating and wondered how my generation fits in between these two massive, sometimes self-centered, hugely influential generations.
Ms. Koslow was nice enough to agree to answer a few questions to help me get to the bottom of my concerns – as well as to help me (and you!) get to know her better. I am so grateful that this author, teacher, editor, wife, and mother took a moment to speak to me…Welcome, Ms. Koslow!
Dr. S: Given that Gen Y seems to be having a lot of fun traveling, teaching English all over the world, and living as long as possible without taking on adult-like commitments like mortgages and 401K’s – do you think the rest of us would benefit from adopting their worldview? Are we missing the boat by being too serious?
S.K.: I see a lot Gen X-ers and Boomers having fun. No one can accuse us of being too deep. And while sometimes the random acts of wandering you describe among Gen Y-ers allow them to hit on the magic combination to a padlock that frees up lasting contentment, for some people,–letâ€™s be honest–this behavior is simply procrastination married to moral superiority. While researching Slouching Toward Adulthood, I met many Gen Y-ers who seemed to assume that there would always be enough time to do everything they want and that every light in front of them would always turn green. I worry that if they spend too many years in the activities you mention, they may miss out on other opportunities that they will enjoy. How many Gen Y-ers wonâ€™t evolve into cynics who wish that someone had kicked them in the butt when they were younger so theyâ€™d have already found a career path with which they can be reasonably happy and have started to build a life that makes it possible to provide a comfortable home for themselves and possibly children?
Dr. S.: As a Gen X’er I am interested to hear your thoughts about how my generation fits in between the Boomers and the Gen Y’ers? Or are we too small to be relevant?
S.K.: Many Gen Xâ€™ers are now thought leaders, rising in every profession. Your impact grows by the day.Â Youâ€™re had the good fortunate to have graduated from college and professional schools when there was less unemployment than there is now. Gen Y-ers have drawn the short straw.
Dr. S.: What are you reading now?
S.K.: Iâ€™m in the middle of The Odd Women by George Gissing, a British author popular in the late 1880â€™s. This novel is fascinating and surprisingly contemporary, though a bit one-note. Itâ€™s set in London and explores hardships faced by single women as well as inequalities in and outside marriage. Plus Ã§a change, plus c’est la mÃªme choseâ€”the more things change, the more they stay the same.
Dr. S.: Please tell me a bit about your new book coming out in June.
S.K.: The Widow Waltz, my fifth book, is a coming of age novel. One of the women is 50–itâ€™s never too late to grow upâ€”and will be published by Viking, It focuses on a recent widow as well as her daughters in their 20â€™s and the paths their lives take after the death of their husband/father. Itâ€™s a story of resilience built on the infrastructure of a mystery.
Dr. S.: One of the things I often write about is how to manage stress. We all know yoga is great, but I love to hear about some more creative solutions to stress management. For example, I have written that one of my go-to strategies is watching House Hunters. What do you do to manage your stress?
S.K.: Besides reading? I watch funny movies that Iâ€™ve seen so many times I can lip-synch. Topping my current rotation are Bridesmaids and As Good as It Gets. A few years ago I would have named Clueless and My Cousin Vinnie. After dipping into any of these films for a random ten minutes I feel mellow.
Thanks Ms. Koslow! To learn more about Ms. Koslow and her other books check out her website – www.SallyKoslow.com.Â Click here to buy Slouching Toward Adulthood.Â After reading it, let me know your thoughts!