IKEA…Where are you?

Confession time. I’m, by nature, a slightly jealous person. Not in every occasion, mind you. Or even many. Just…once in awhile. I try to be happy when others have stuff that I don’t, but I’m simply not perfect, and this is one of my personality flaws. It’s not over cars or flat screen TVs or boys (got mine! No need for that drama). One thing that I’m pretty gosh darn envious about is simple: IKEA. *sigh*

I read some fabulous DIY/design blogs and inspiring magazines. But, I get hung up when they mention what, to me, seems an exclusive club – the “Close to IKEA Club.” Heck, I may be overreacting. It might be like wanting a Walmart to come to town SOOOO BAAAAAAAAADLY…and then, when it does, you come to hate it as much as dolphin killers and anyone with the letters “C.E.O.” in their job title. Please, friends who live near the coveted IKEA, do tell! Is it the land of milk and honey? Or, in my world, organic pop tarts and agave nectar?? (Sweet tooth much? Seriously, the pop tarts sound like a good idea…ermmmm, nope. Nasty.)

There’s so much to yearn for from IKEA. First of all, modern sleek styling. I’d love to incorporate, say, 20% more of this into our house. If you’d look at our style right now, you’d probably say it was traditional eclectic with some early Americana and Art Deco thrown in…aaaaaand we hear a whisper of the contemporary in the background. Not sure this is what I’d like our house to say about us. We’re all of these things, yes. But, how much of these things define us? If we didn’t live (and I mean truly LIVE; not idly cruise) in a modern era, we couldn’t embrace the historical as we do. So, yeah. A kick in the pants of modernity never hurt anyone. Gotta love the Swedes. (Although, we are trying to go for a wabi-sabi approach here, too, as you recall. Baby steps.)

Secondly, STORAGE?! Holy crap, would I have an entire wall dedicated to IKEA bookcases in the office, and the kitchen cabinets that have seen better days? Yeah, they’d come from IKEA. And all their other unique solutions for utilizing space functionally? Sign me up.

It’s time for Confession #2. I’m not a catalog person, and cringe when I get one occasionally. I’d rather buy from your online catalog, without needlessly killing trees, thankyouverymuch. But, I broke this rule. Remember when IKEA started their ads informing of their catalog? The envy struck again. So, of course, I ordered it. Normally, catalogs just come and are unwanted and get recycled. This is on my coffee table as “bored reading.” It’s not even technically READING material! Why the heck did I order a catalog full of stuff that I can’t order (because you can only obtain it at the stores)?? ‘Cuz I can dream, can’t I?!?! Just kidding. Fake drama queen moment. It’s over, I promise.

Anyhoo, I thought it might be fun to do as I’ve seen on Bower Power and create a wishlist. Y’know. For when, on our way into the city, we actually are able to stop and waste half a day perusing the Paramus, NJ IKEA. Someday. 😉

(Sorry so small. Took quite awhile to finally get it THAT size!) So, glancing at most of it, you must think “Wow, Meg. Not much color in your house, eh?” Aha! To the contrary. We’ve definitely got color. What we don’t have are substantial neutral pieces that help create a sense of calm and modernity. See? Still sticking with the wabi-sabi theme here. That’s also another reason that you see that I need more chairs in almost every room.

And, while we’re at it, I should say that I’m tres envious of those of you with a Trader Joe’s nearby, too! My dear friend Beth was sweet and thoughtful enough to give us a huge basket full of healthy snacks and goodies (my organic pop-tarts! And Spaghettios…although they were pretty nasty, admittedly) for our wedding. We brought along most of the snacks along to our honeymoon, along with several wedding cupcakes. I’d just love the opportunity to be closer to organic and all-natural options at a generally cheaper cost. *sigh, pine* (Okay, the drama queen thing wasn’t over.) Enjoy it if ya got it!

* I started writing this blog entry awhile ago – in January, 2011, to be exact. I figured I’d finish and post this one FINALLY because one of my dreams has come true: IKEA will deliver butcher board countertops. Of course, the ones I want are out of stock…but isn’t there light at the end of the fantasy tunnel??

** I happened upon this IKEA ad while doing some searching for this post. It amused me. Perhaps it will amuse you, as well. 🙂 (You’re lucky I didn’t share the one in which a store is filled with cats. Didn’t want to be “that person.”)

Oh, and all pictures used are from ikea.com. Props.

Wabi-Sabi Hobby

motherearthnews.com

Dave and I are trying to put more thought into our surroundings and belongings; it seems to be an obvious step toward simplification. We’re considering feng shui concepts, particularly in organizing our office, and I’ve gotta be honest — it’s been TOUGH. It’s the hardest room we have to decorate; even harder than the living room (which still has its faults and quirks that we haven’t been able to figure out yet). I think that the wiring pretty much limits us to utilize the current arrangement for keeps…although I’ve drawn out a fantasy of what I’d RATHER do with the space.

An idea other than the well-known feng shui (which is an easy concept to implement, in my mind; it’s pretty much a “how to” guide of positive energy) is wabi-sabi. I found out a lot about this philosophy from a guilty pleasure magazine purchase I made. In the February/March 2011 edition of Mother Earth News, the article “Wabi-Sabi: Finding the Beauty and Peace in Ordinary Things” opened my mind up to a whole new perspective on looking at one’s surroundings. I love it. I hate it. I have a definite love-hate thing going on here.

You see, wabi-sabi (as defined by Kate NaDeau in the article) is “the Japanese philosophy of appreciating things that are imperfect, primitive and incomplete…embrace the authentic, useful objects and discover the sacred in the everyday.” This all goes hand-in-hand with the green and simplification movements — appreciate what you have and what you surround yourself with, flawed pieces, hand-me-downs, chipping paint, and well-loved objects. It’s a wonderful idea. The images in the magazine, I wondered, seemed almost too perfectly used and beautiful…was there not a stylist nearby primping? Enough cynicism; seriously, this is the perfect philosophy, especially for frugalistas.

And now I’m face-to-face with a difficult personal paradox. I want to embrace this concept, truly. However, I was raised with Western philosophies, and am pretty obsessed with home goods and, particularly, the purchasing of decor. I don’t over-spend, but I would say that I spend more on dressing my house than I do on my own clothes. (If you know me, you could probably attest to my wardrobe. I try to keep it mended and clean, but don’t do sprees. Dave’s even worse as far as clothes purchasing or yearning.) I go out of my way to create mood boards and design concepts for rooms, and change them as needed. But, as far as I translate it, this is pretty much a 180 turn from wabi-sabi. If I did more flea-market finding, this would be much more appropriate. The closest I come is maybe Salvation Army (or the ottoman I just bought at an antique/junk store a month or so back, just waiting to be reupholstered — there it is again! I need to fix it, to make it “pretty”…it’s too disgusting and ugly not to change it).

Besides, I’m working to get this house in a livable, resellable (if it comes to that) condition. I’m sure that the realtors of America aren’t wabi-sabi enthusiasts.

Where can I find the balance? The ultimate goal here is to feel good about the life decisions that I make. Not stress myself out even further.


I turn back to the article for advice, which it so kindly gives. I can definitely look to wabi-sabi sort of the way that Dave looks at Buddhism — while he’s not necessarily “Buddhist”, he finds great strength and wisdom from the teachings and concepts that Buddhism can bring. Love that.

So, what does it have? “12 Ways to Wabi-Sabi”, of course! Can’t have a feature article without a how-to. And, here, I find some solace.

– Cultivate Slowness: Their focus here is to rebel against the use of machines so much, like sweeping rather than vacuuming. This is something that I’d LOVE to revel in — when the carpet is gone and we have hardwood floors staring back at us. (Natural vs. synthetic is a theme with wabi-sabi, so while I’ll be craigslisting (or Freecycling) the rug so that it doesn’t end up in a landfill, and getting things patched and refinished with low-VOC methods, it won’t be an overnight process…unfortunately.) But the “slowing down”, I get.

– Cultivate Vision: Learning how to find beauty in the mundane or everyday object, such as a coffee mug. I think here they were thinking about the handmade ones that fit your hands so nicely…and, honestly, I’m not a fan of those. But, again, the “looking at things through new, appreciative eyes”, I can get on board with.
– Cultivate Craft: Making and growing things. I like to create art, and am looking forward to growing my garden again.
– Cultivate Cleanliness: See, here I have to make a bit of a confession. My husband has come to learn this (and deals in a very sweet, silent way) that I accumulate clutter. Working on it. But, yeah, it’s a part of who I am…unfortunately. But the reasoning behind this, in wabi-sabi, is to create clean, sacred spaces. I can dig that.
– Cultivate Solitude: Finding a space dedicated to solitude and meditation, or even a quiet corner in a room (which is what we need in our tiny, crooked, well-loved house). I’ll work on this. This is one that, I think, would help Dave AND myself tremendously.
– Cultivate Space: Again, deleting clutter to promote clarity, physically and psychologically. Space and light are the most desirable objects.
– Cultivate Silence: Leaving the TV off for one night a week, practicing a few moments of silence before a shared meal, making time for a quiet cup of tea…another one that we could BOTH definitely get on board with. While I’m a bit of a TV addict (HGTV…Food Network…DIY…or Cooking Channel are comforting background noises for me), I do appreciate that nights that Dave and I just sit reading magazines or books, eating a meal, and heading to bed at a good hour. It freaks the cats out a bit.
– Cultivate Sabi: aka the beauty that comes with age. They suggest building with salvaged materials, which I’d LOVE to do if I could find a salvage yard around here. However, updating spaces makes this tough. I need to not feel guilty for purchasing new items to improve the home, but feel proud when I find antique items (like our console in the dining room) to meet our needs and add their own unique beauty. Oh, and I always have a huge soft spot in my heart for those who are really showing the signs of aging – grandparents and, now, our parents. Why am I tearing up?
– Cultivate Soul: My soul is, admittedly, in a sad state. I haven’t paid it nearly enough attention since, well, maybe high school. In a simpler suggestion, the magazine says to surround yourself with things that are made by human beings rather than by machines — inviting the souls of the craftsmen into your space. I find this intriguing. Maybe I’ll glance at those weird-looking pottery mugs more closely.
– Cultivate Imperfection: Hey! That’s me! Wait a sec!! They say here, and I quote, “Real people leave mail piled in the entry, let the flowers go a little too long in the vase (if they have them at all), allow the dog on the bed and have unpredictable cats. Wabi-sabi embraces these flaws.” Man, were they watching me? I’ve now put out a basket to collect the mail, but it still sits there. Otherwise…yeah, they’re talking about Meg. Whew! A saving grace.
– Cultivate Hospitality: The article suggests giving every room in the house a comfortable place to sit, with a blanket to curl up with, gentle lighting and a nice rug to make the invitation to stay all the more wonderful. This is a goal for Dave and me, to make the house a place that people want to be. Currently, we can only seat about 4 people comfortably in our living room. I need to look at our spaces. I like this one.
– Cultivate Simplicity: “Less stuff means more time to spend with family, friends and nature.” True, true. This is something that Dave and I have been working on since we moved in together, and while we haven’t beaten the game yet, we’re well on our way to the finish line.


So, while I’ll never be an expert at wabi-sabi, I can definitely hang it on my tool belt and get some good use out of it. I love that this concept is a little more abstract than the quite rigid rules of feng shui. Heck, it’s actually a sociological, economic and religious belief based in the Zen teachings, so it HAS to have more layers, which I find fascinating. In this way, it’s sort of the opposite of another philosophy that I have studied and admire, transcendentalism, which emphasizes more of perfecting oneself, whereas wabi-sabi embraces imperfection. I definitely respect a lot of what this philosophy provides and look forward to focusing on it.

When I look at Google Images for “wabi-sabi”, I can find inspiration and, simultaneously, disappointment. Some people aren’t getting it, either…so I guess I shouldn’t feel badly, myself, that I know I won’t be able to master it; only to use it and show that I respect it the best that I know how.

from trendir.com

Yes, beautiful. But seriously. Where’s the comfortable, inviting space? I can see silence and cleanliness…but where’s the imperfection – other than that someone spilled the oranges?

Baby You Can Drive My Car

In case I haven’t mentioned it yet, I’m a pretty big Beatles fan. (Monkees, too…lots of old school music, in general.) So, I just HAD to use that title.
Photo by Paul Martin Eldridge/FreeDigitalPhotos.Net

Anyhoo, we’ve had some car headaches around the McCoy Dellecese household these past…well…actually since before McCoy met Dellecese. Mr. D. has a Saturn Ion, which he bought new in or around 2007. He’s had little strange issues with it from time to time, from his headlights turning on on their own to the security alarm awakening everyone in the neighborhood at 2am for no reason. Lately, it’s been issues with, well, the entire electrical system to the point where it cannot be turned on. It’s crazy, and it’s all caused by moisture.

When it rains, does my car not work? When snow melts, does my car’s lights decide to turn on? When we get sudden humidity, does my car stubbornly do its own thing rather than what I tell it to? No, my car’s a good boy. Dave’s…isn’t.

Currently, we’re battling, along with his very kind parents, with both GM (who is not handling all issues with Saturn vehicles…in case you didn’t remember that Saturn went under) and the certified Saturn mechanics. At first it seemed that we’d be getting more help than expected from GM — but now that it’s said to be water issues, there’s “nothing they can do”, and the mechanics are avoiding the GM rep, anyway. So, if we must, it will be on to inciting our state’s Lemon Law. *sigh* I just feel so badly for Dave…and his obnoxious car.

So, since I can’t really DO anything other than provide as much moral support and an ear to vent to, I busy myself by researching a new car. Well, “new car” is pushing it a bit.

We’ve discussed that, when the time would come, we’d like to have an eco-friendly vehicle. While the time may be approaching, we’re not in the financial state to purchase the latest snazzy hybrid or zippy electric model. But does this mean that the choice can’t still be friendly for the environment and helpful as the gas prices steadily rise? Of course not!

I found this article, Go Green – Buy a Used Car. It’s Better Than a Hybrid, which reminded me that not only do we need to buy a fresh, “lots-of-research-and-technology-made-this-possible…and-expeeeeensive” car (or furniture…or clothes…or decorative items). How I’m trying to keep an eye out at Goodwill when I get the shopping urge. Reusing is just as eco-friendly since it means that items don’t go to waste (literally) filling landfills. Anytime you can save something from the junk and not contribute to the “mine’s shinier than yours” mentality, hooray!

Not that we’re going to be getting a 1968 jalopy. Naw. We’re thinking we’d like to procreate, so for safety’s sake, that wouldn’t cut it. Something used from after the start of the “New Millennium” would be nice, and lots of research is going into the rest of the decision — something with good (or even excellent?! Is there such a thing?) gas mileage, and that’s safe and reliable. Simple. Or so it seems. I’ll share the final decisions, when all this stuff eventually dies down and gets worked out.

If you have any suggestions on more eco-friendly used vehicles and luck that you might have had, please feel free to share!

Butter Blog

Image by Paul
(some guy from freedigitalphotos.net)

I saw an article online today that initially just caused me to laugh uncontrollably. How ridiculous: a link title of “How to Make Perfect Toast.” Hee hee. It’s still kinda funny. Is this so challenging?

So, of course, I let my curiosity get the better of me. I clicked it. It went on to slightly-sarcastically describe a gourmet toast recipe (including cooking in olive oil); still laughable. Then, I got to the “butter rant” paragraph. Here’s what is said:

“We recently moved in together and we decided to defy our families’ traditions: We’re keeping our butter on the counter, outside the fridge. (No, it doesn’t go bad there.) We think this is a defining household feature. Think about the homes you know. More relaxed homes: butter out. More uptight: butter’s in the fridge. (If the household is near the equator, philosophy does not apply.) We’re not really doing it for our reputation, though. We’re doing it for the toast. It means the butter is always soft enough to spread. Don’t you hate when the cold edge of refrigerated butter roughs up the surface of your bread? This is exactly the kind of thing I’m glad we’re finally talking about.” (http://shine.yahoo.com/channel/food/whats-your-recipe-for-perfect-toast-2460188/)

Dave and I use real butter, unsalted. (I’d rather control the amount of salt I use, even if it does make the stuff a little…bland.) We used to use a generic version of “I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter”. There was much conversation as to which was healthier, margarine or butter (or something else altogether). I think this is a controversial issue that hits the news every few years or so, much as the sugar vs. HFCS debate, which I also read more about today.

Ultimately, we chose real butter, as it contains more “real” ingredients, which is a big component of our whole foods diet. Yeah, it may be fattier, but I’m not as concerned about fat as I am knowing what’s going in our bodies. If I can get Dave to cut down how much he uses, we should be all set! (And he’ll have to get me to cut down on how much I like on our air-popped popcorn.)

But what I’m actually writing about is the fact that we don’t refrigerate our butter. Apparently we’re relaxed! Who knew? While I WISH we were that “relaxed” couple, I know better. We can be pretty uptight about some stuff, or at least what people see of our messes, etc. Maybe I should take a lesson from our butter…

Where do you keep YOUR butter?

Just Gotta Share…

I should be getting showered, visiting my parents and mentally prepping for the second night of our show…but Dave’s been inspired to put together a $16 clearance bookshelf for our office. So, while I give him the occasional hand putting together the pressboard-can’t-believe-how-cheap-o-it-is-but-will-serve-its-purpose-for-now monstrosity, I thought I’d share with you guys an inspiration for our FUTURE office.

This space has given us many a headache. We’ve currently got one 5-shelf bookshelf, 3 very random desks (which Dave likes because they’re “ecclectic” — I’ve come to dislike all of them, but agree that we need to keep the good-quality rustic one for any future children), and a mess. The room is also awkwardly-shaped, with one wall being half of a slanted ceiling (sharing the roofline) and the other side giving us a strange angled…conundrum. Just…weird. We’ve splattered the walls with tons of mismatched art (from newspaper articles Dave wrote to cartoon films to my Philadelphia Story poster), but it just doesn’t feel like anything more than a mismatch.

So, after lots of thought, we’re still not positive what to do with it. We hardly use the space because it just doesn’t work for our needs. But, I’ve got some ideas…once again, thanks to my favorite blog, Young House Love.

They do a house crashing series, showing some truly inspirational homes and spaces to drool over, and the fact that this one wasn’t the largest of houses helps our situation. Here’s the link for their “House Crashing: Stunning In Sydney” post, but I’ll be sharing a couple of pictures that I think will help us in our office organizing journey. (Giving props now: I don’t own these, they’re from YHL! Hoping they don’t mind.)

This picture shows a very simple office. Doesn’t seem like much, but I’m in love with it. I’m actually thinking of making a wall-length desk using another method shown on YHL (utilizing inexpensive doors…yup), but their use of sawhorses is awesome. However, what I’m really grooving on in this shot is the above storage. To accompany the wall-length desk idea, I’m thinking that wall-length shelving (using all the vertical space available — which, honestly, isn’t THAT much thanks to the pitched ceiling) would give us tons more storage and decorating options; very clean, very useful…and I want to figure out an inexpensive way to do it.

Another possibility for added storage is through the use of even more shelving, but in a different format. See, we really do own a lot of frickin’ books…and other (pardon) crap. If this shelving can keep kiddie stuff in order, just think what it can do for us grown-ups! (Although, admittedly, we’ve got so much random paraphernalia, it might not look too different from what you’re seeing.)

So, there are just a couple of ideas that will hopefully help to transform our third bedroom’s “boring, cluttered office” status to a “more modern, clean, actually-wanna-spend-time-there” place. Oh, and I KNOW there’s some hardwood hiding under this carpet (which may not even HAVE to be refinished — the other two bedrooms are livable with the hardwood that we uncovered), so that’ll add a completely different dimension, too.

Daydream Believer…

With our collective brains pretty much inundated with opening-week theater stuff, I was surprised to find that Dave and I are totally willing to talk about, well, anything non-theater related. Just last Monday, we discussed different “must have”s for a future house, projects to tackle when money and time allow, ohhh lots of stuff.

I even gave in to my urge to try prying off a few wall tiles from the bathroom — with a flat-head screwdriver. From it, I’ve learned that it won’t be as challenging of a project to tackle as I feared. I’ll be patching some of the unevenness just to be sure the job’s done right, but it’ll all be covered with bead board, anyway. Now, I can’t wait to just rip up all the carpeting in the house!! (And if it’s rough underneath, it’ll MAKE us go forward with refinishing.)

The exhaustion has since set in and pretty crappy news (from car problems to bumped-up loan payments to the state of our school staff in 2011-2012) is making me feel like the recession is becoming a depression — seriously, at what point does a depression overcome the “recession” title? I looked up the definitions of each and a recession seems reeeaaaaaally tame compared to what the U.S. has been experiencing, and not to get political, but it clearly ain’t over yet. Long story short, things are my school will probably be turned upside down next year — but it’s still a heck of a lot better than what lots of other local (and other-stately) schools are dealing with. At least our doors will be opening.

So, what did the folks of the Great Depression era do (other than give up a hell of a lot more than we do — skipping meals, Hoovervilles, using a paintbrush to scoop up spilled sugar, REALLY doing without…)? Found distractions in the simple things, like time with family, being active in community organizations (the theater continued to put on 3 shows a year throughout — how cool is THAT? Even if they did steal building supplies from folks’ backyards. I think they were badass.), and finding escape at the movies (which didn’t used to cost the same as a down payment on a house).

Here’s one reason that I love my blogs, magazines, theater and family. And dreaming. (Hence the title of this entry – also a shout-out to the new Monkees tour) Dreaming about things we can’t currently have, but that are modest and will keep us hopeful and working towards goals. Goals like…

…getting refinished hardwood floors (not NEW floors, mind you),
…a budget-friendly modernized bathroom, a first-ever-brand-new driveway,
…a flood of sunshine in the front yard after disposing of the dangerously huge oak tree living far too close to the house (which is also giving us concern of structural damage…that sucker’s gotta go, even if we are treehuggers around this joint)
…a home that “matches” our personality better, with a better mix of eclectic and modern while trying to embrace wabi-sabi….

And, then, there’s OTHER goals, non-house-related. Getting a better grasp on our spending (and what’s really important to spend on), determining what career(s) to take us into our future, SIMPLIFICATION-SIMPLIFICATION-SIMPLIFICATION, creating a more organized and fulfilling lifestyle…y’know, all that fun stuff.

But, for now, we’ll focus on the task at hand — pulling off a near-perfect opening night (and subsequent performances) of Agatha Christie’s “And Then There Were None”. If you’re in the area, come check it out! Once this genuinely awesome, fun, exciting endeavor is over — on with the bathroom “before” shots (and lots o’ chippin’) and carpet-rippin’! Some daydreams are free to achieve.

Any daydreams you’d like to share?

Talkin’ ‘Bout My Generation

(Check out the start of Pete Townsend’s hearing loss at the end. Courtesy YouTube)


While I’m knee-deep in stuff to do for the theater (all stuff that, while I enjoy, can admittedly get me bogged down with all sorts of stress), I thought I’d take a quick breather to return to something that REALLY helps me escape. It’s like my blog is the opposite of “bog,” even though I feel the occasional guilt over not updating as much as I’d like. The encouragement from the silent readers when I meet them out and about sends me through the roof, though, so that helps.

So, I noticed an interesting article on Yahoo today called “Why GenY Might Be Too Frugal”. Without giving a while summary, the points that I found relevant were these:
GenY has done battle with the economy. “The tight job market is slowing down their path to adulthood even more,” says Ray. “Young adults are saying, ‘I just feel stuck.'” In addition to citing the challenge of finding a job, 20-somethings told Ray and Settersten they feel weighed down by student loan debt. Paying $500 a month toward student loans can make it harder to afford an apartment and other costs of living independently–which is one reason so many young people move back home after graduation.” Yep. Couldn’t have said it better myself.
“They might be too afraid of debt.” This implies that GenYers may not invest in what they should, being too fearful to spend ANY income; things like further education, saving for retirement, and investing in a small business venture. I was lucky enough to get a huge grant to cover a vast majority of my Masters degree, and I save silently for my retirement…but I’m simply UNABLE to save up for the business venture I’ve got floating around in the ol’ noggin. Honestly, I don’t know how many folks around my age who HAVE the money to spend on things…but I’ve noticed different spending trends between them and GenXers.
“That frugality could last a lifetime.” You say that like it’s a bad thing! I don’t think we’ll be quite as thrifty as the Silent Generation (y’know, the ones who have money in their mattresses and have saved every newspaper they’ve ever purchased. Ever.), but a very serious lesson is being learned here. It’s painful, but valuable.
“Job-shopping is different from job-hopping.” I’ve had a ton of jobs. So far, they’ve all been stepping stones to where I am today. In this section, the article clarifies that job-shopping is actually mapping out one’s career and making decisions that will help in those goals; job-hopping isn’t controlled. They also mention “swimmers” (those getting ahead, albeit slowly) vs. “treaders” (most of this generation, who are struggling). I still haven’t figured out which I am.

They also said that there’s more of a reliance upon parent support, and while I lived at home for awhile after college, I worked hard to get out on my own. At that point, I wasn’t getting so much emotional support (not that I needed it — I just think that lots of GenY has gotten coddled by the Baby Boomers, and my mom isn’t the traditional Baby Boomer; she’s more conservative and practical than hip and lovey-dovey), although I was grateful. It just wasn’t how I was raised; I was raised to be independent, no matter what, always remembering what my parents went through as well as their parents before.

After reading this, I was thinking about “my generation”, so decided to look it up…and found out that, depending on the source, I’m either definitely part of Generation Y or just at the end of Generation X. Whuh?! There’s a HUGE difference there. I have three older siblings — all GenXers. Husband? GenX. And, while I’ve got certain interests in common with all of the above, I’d definitely have to argue that I’d agree that I’m a GenYer. It’s kinda like how, no matter what the cosmos may dictate, I was born a Taurus and will die a Taurus, regardless of “the shift.” (Probably what most Tauruses are saying, given our stubbornness.) The Population Reference Bureau, cool name and all, can kiss my hiney.

That being said, what are some of the traits that I share with my generation? Well, we’re supposedly family-oriented (appreciating things like flexible schedules, a balanced work/social life, etc), tech-savvy (whether good or bad we know what we’re doing with our tech tools and would rather text or email than talk — which is very true of me), achievement-oriented (craving meaningful work with a solid learning curve), team-oriented (loyal, committed, wanting to be involved and included — and dedicated to teamwork. Gee, maybe I should turn my attention back to that program for the play I’m acting in ;-D), and attention-craving (generally in the form of feedback and guidance…which I do appreciate…but, I’d say that I’ve, for better or for worse, always been more literal as far as this one’s concerned. Being the youngest, I often felt ignored, so I’ve acted out in many ways, always been outgoing, and it’s now led me to a much healthier involvement at the theater).

After comparing these characteristics to the GenXers, I can see where Generation Y is a lot like the previous group (having some overlapping life experiences, such as parents with a high divorce rate and observing the “Me Decade”), but with its own, slightly more down-to-earth, optimistic-yet-realistic. Generation X is a bright, self-evaluating group of incredible individuals, but can, at times, be more cynical than my generation.

But, that’s how I evaluate it. You may feel differently — especially if you’re part of, heck, ANY generation. Let me know what you think! (Only…y’know, keep it polite, please.) 🙂 Back to the program!