The Middle Generation

The definition of the middle generation for me is the generation that currently has senior citizen parents and are raising children. The middle generation is where I’m currently located.

We seemed to be extraordinarily stressed out over the last year in a half. For a while, I thought it was just the pandemic but then I realized that being in this middle generation meant I wasn’t just worrying about myself and my spouse but also the health of my parents and my kids.

When the vaccine came out and all of our senior citizens got vaccinated, it helped but then my worries shifted to my spouse and I. Then we got vaccinated and it shifted again to my children which is where it has sat since.

On top of all of that, those of us in our late 30s and early 40s had to finally look mortality straight in the face. It’s not something most of us have had to think about yet. We were just starting families and needed to be there for them. All of a sudden, we had to be seriously aware that something could happen to us and we would have to think about our children’s futures.

I think this middle generation has had an especially hard time because we’ve taken on the worries of our entire family. It’s not limited and it doesn’t stop. I find that if I’m not worrying about my kids in school, I’m worrying about my parents working or doing every day errands. It doesn’t stop. It just shifts.

And it’s not just covid anymore. We have grown so accustomed to not getting sick due to masks and distancing that even a minor cold causes more worries than it should. It’s strange because I definitely remember a time when, as long as my kid didn’t have a fever, they were fine. Sneezing and coughing was no big deal. Not so anymore. Every thing out of the ordinary is a stressor. It’s like I don’t know how not to worry anymore.

This is without mentioning that being around crowds of people immediately brings out high anxiety. Even smaller groups of people whom I know are vaccinated will keep me thinking for days after the meeting.

I don’t know how to go back into an easier mindset. I don’t how long covid will keep me in this headspace. I feel like it might be a few years before I feel at ease with regular illnesses. It might be several events where I’m overcautious before I go back to feeling safe around other people.

There has definitely been a shift in how those of us in this middle generation live and think. I guess the big question is will we ever learn how to relax again?

I’m Terrified Because I’m Brown

I haven’t written too much about politics because every type of article is already being written.

I did write a previous post about the tolerance for racism and hate that our president has.

I wanted to write this one based on how I’ve been feeling.

And to be honest, I’ve been scared. I’m an Asian Indian American who was born in Southern California and have lived here all my life. Not once in my 35 years on this planet have I been worried about how I was treated because of my ethnicity. I know that I’ve been lucky. I have family that has felt racism based on their skin color. I either have been oblivious or around so many different ethnicities that there hasn’t been room for that feeling of being judged.

I remember the election day and feeling like so much was riding on it. I could see all the way through it that racist people were given a pass for acting the way they wanted. I remember feeling terrified because I was worried about hate crimes occurring as soon as that election day was done.

And they did. It made me scared to leave my house. I have small kids and I don’t want to ever have to think that I’m putting their lives at risk. It’s sad to think that even with living in one of most the liberal and ethnically mixed areas in the country, I continue to worry about the type of people who don’t want those of us with a different skin color or religion here. I can’t even imagine what I would do if I didn’t live in an area like Southern California.

My family and I went out to dinner last week. I’m hyper aware of my surroundings in general but even more so than usual now. An older Caucasian man who was eating with his family kept looking over at my husband. I saw this and I couldn’t even imagine what he was thinking. I don’t believe that anything would have happened but the idea that someone didn’t want us to be there for no good reason did bother me. When the family finished, he got up and came over with his wife and told my husband that he was doing a great job handling our baby while trying to eat simultaneously and to enjoy the time because the kids grow up fast. It turns out that he was admiring our family.

It’s moments like these that remind me that as much as things have changed, nothing everything or everyone has. It reminds me that most people are still good people. It reminds me that there is still hope that this country will be a better place than it is right now.

But I’ll be honest. I’m terrified of how much we are going to have to deal with before we get to that place.

Just Give It A Chance

Have you ever felt insecure about trying something new? I remember when I was younger I’d even have the fear of talking to someone because of this irrational idea that they were judging me. Now, I have to meet new parents all the time if I want my kids to be involved in activities. It forces me to step outside my little safe box every single day of their lives.

It’s not just insecurity about talking to new people but also of doing new things. I remember when I started a new dance class at the age of 29. I was terrified. I had to talk myself into it and convince myself that it will be okay and that I just needed to try it. I had to push myself not to just stay home because it was the easier thing to do. I ended up loving the class and took it for 2 more years and am still friends with the teacher.

It’s easy to avoid doing things just because it’s the easy path to take. I know that there are a few other things I want to try but the fear of rejection makes it easy to push it off. But I won’t accomplish anything if I don’t at least give it a chance. It will take work and it will take some courage.

The insecurity is still there. I still have to convince myself to try things that may or may not be worth it. Sometimes, I don’t have a choice and have to force myself to speak to someone new or try something new. In the end, it’s a good thing. It pushes me out of my safe bubble and opens my life up to so many new people and experiences. I wouldn’t have become friends with half of the people I am now if I hadn’t given them a chance. I wouldn’t have accomplished all the things I have so far if I hadn’t just taken a step to try.

Yes, I still have to talk myself into doing certain things and convince myself that no one is judging me and that if it doesn’t work out, it’s not the end of the world. But I’m more willing to not let me fears get the best of me.

Why I Can’t Change My Facebook Profile Picture To Support France

A few days ago, unnecessary violence happened again in multiple countries in our world. After the explosions and shootouts in France, almost everyone on my news feed┬áchanged their profile picture to the colors of France’s flag in order to show their support for the country in this horrible time.

I haven’t. And I want to explain why.

It’s not that I don’t support France. Or any of the other causes that have happened where you could change your profile picture to show your support. And I want to expressly state that I am not judging anyone who does change it. I’m positive that it helps the people in these countries or situations to see so much support from people all over the world. I know I would feel better if it was me in that situation.

It’s not that it doesn’t affect me. I literally started crying when I was reading what happened. The people that got hurt were people who were just doing what any of us could have been doing that night. They were in restaurants, watching concerts, hanging out. We went out the night after and all I could think is what would I do to protect my daughter if something like that happened where we were. Because, as we have seen through so many of these violent tragedies, it could have.

It’s because I can’t do anything to stop it. Changing my profile picture won’t stop these people from hurting innocent people again.

When my friends started changing their pictures and colors to support France, I thought about it. That “try it” button is so easy to press. But I couldn’t press it. Because all I could think was “Is this all you can do to help?”. I felt guilty and sad because I don’t want that to be all I could have done to make their pain less, to make things better for those people. I want to be able to do more.

I hate the fact that I feel so helpless in these situations. I wish I could gather up all of these crazy people and keep them away from everyone and everything good. I honestly believe the majority of people and all of the religions in the world are good. I want to live in a world where I can raise my kid and not worry for her safety because the people around her would help protect her as opposed to want to hurt her. Unfortunately, we don’t always live in that world.

But we do live in a world where others do need our help. And, as I feel almost every time after some horrible tragedy happens, we need to figure out how we can help.

I keep trying to figure out what I can do. And until then, I can’t do something that doesn’t physically make things better for the people who have gone through it.

If you have ideas or suggestions, maybe it’s time for us to start trying to make a change. Please share your thoughts on how we can do this together.