The Lost Generation

A photo by Milada Vigerova. and friends are all zooming towards our middle aged years. We were camping at the weekends and I had a good time, although at one time I felt like I was on the outside looking in. One couple recently downsized due to debts; the others are extending and buying up and everyone is being pulled apart in all directions with family and work commitments. These were my reflections:

I watch them through the Fishbowl. See them fight for control. Complaining about work powers, who puts in the longest hours. But the pressure’s intense. Tension’s bursting at the seams.  Still they chase bigger dreams. Be worth it in the end. Or so they say. The state of the world now. Brexit, Trump – wow! Should we get off? Boomers post war blessed. Millennials status obsessed. Generation X are forgotten. Others spoiled rotten. Where’s our generation headed? Their parents begin to decline; and kids, man, they can whine! Women guzzle wine and listen to 90’s songs. They dance away life’s wrongs. Talk up their sex lives again, but ignore the strain. Wonder why she wants him – with a marriage so grim? And they keep on dancing. But the last dance is spent. Twenty years just – went. Slaves to ambition, was it the wrong mission? The party must go on. They all drink a few, forgetting what’s true. “Come on men, how’dya get your kicks?” “Tell us the same chicks!” And I wonder how they do. Did they forget as they grew? Manicured lawns and mortgaged to the hilt. Reputations built. Elevated in stature, they found a dream catcher. Worked hard and they’ll get there – they will.

B u t   i t ‘ s    a l l    s o    b l o o d y    d u l l .

17 thoughts on “The Lost Generation

  1. I so related to that – though I’m from a different generation. Watching from the outside – you describe it so beautifully – it took me back. I bet your clothes sense doesn’t quite match theirs, either… I wore Wranglers, while they were baggy and shoulder padded, ’90s style. I was sandalwood and patchouli, they were Poison and Opium. I went on marches, they went to Ann Summers parties. They dressed for power while I screamed for it – and ultimately failed. Those were the days…

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    • Thanks. They all say I’m very laid back. I don’t fight to be the centre of attention (any more) and care less about how I appear to others. As much as I’d love to say I am like you though, I’m all talk and no action. Hence, I’m questioning my priorities in life and where it’s all going. Mid-life crisis perhaps?

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      • Talk is an action that influences people, and so is writing, but if you’re feeling dissatisfied with you life, you probably need to make some changes… who am I to talk? I feel exactly the same. My campaigning days are over – I haven’t got the energy any more, although I’m currently canvasing for a local council election – wearing my green rosette, while I secretly long for the red.

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      • Some of us never have enough energy (motivation) and I thank you for giving your time to campaign when you had it. Are we ever satisfied? I’m always looking around the corner for the answer. Does pride/stubbornness stop you from switching?

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      • It’s a combination of factors – one of them being that it’s my nephew who’s standing for the Greens in the local election, and he’d make an excellent town councillor. He’s determined to follow up all the issues brought up on doorsteps, whether or not he gets elected. If only the voters knew how sincere he is.
        I was an active member of the Labour party all through Margaret Thatcher’s term of office, but Blair drove me away, and our Labour candidate in the last general election was of his ilk.
        I love and hate politics…

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  2. There’s SO much there to identify with. And I’m older than Jane! Part of it could be we just started to grow up sooner than our friends. And that we have a deeper understanding of the complications of life. It does suck some of the fun out of it, though, doesn’t it… We’re the oldest in our group of seven families that have raised our kids together, and I feel very much on the outside these days.


  3. Ha! I can relate, in fact I can relate every weekday afternoon that we spend at the playground after school. Work, houses, gardens, vacations…. and lots of worries. Sometimes I wonder if I’m too laid back. Or if may be I’m too much of a dreamer who never really grew up.

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  4. I enjoyed your narrative. You live in the plastic generation where anything is accessible. Living on credit is a dangerous thing. It is sort of like the frog riding across the river in Aesop’s Fables. In the end he gets eaten by what he thought was saving him. Being from the “older generation,” we have always tried to live within our means. We never use a credit card unless we can pay it back in thirty days. There are ways to have more with less. DYI and used furniture from the Restore, for example, saves hundreds. Now we retire with only a little house payment debt. I can’t imagine having a twenty thousand dollar credit card debt on top of it all!

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    • I know what you mean, my parents only debt has been their mortgage. Many people of my generation want the fancy car and so on. House prices have increased dramatically and although it’s difficult for our generation, I’d imagine only the affluent millennials would be able to buy nowadays.

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  5. Powerful piece of straight from the gut writing, keen observation, too. A close friend of mine died on Monday morning. He was 70. The old hippies, ’60s people, are going too. Right to the end, he cared about people even when they didn’t care about themselves.

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