Being Twenty Something Right Now

Empathy for our young adult friends and children is in order. Imagine being them and trying to:

  • cultivate a sense of purpose
  • find a job that contributes to the common good, pays a livable wage, and comes with medical benefits
  • find an affordable place of your own to live
  • afford a car or other forms of reliable transportation
  • get out of debt
  • save some money each month
  • develop the self discipline and knowledge to smartly invest for future expenses
  • find a caring, loving, compatible partner with whom to be intimate
  • decide whether to marry and have children
  • decide whether to commit to a faith community, if so, finding a compelling one
  • contend with friends and acquaintances inauthentic, curated selves on-line
  • create a close circle of friends who aren’t so overwhelmed with all above that they have the energy and desire to spend time together
  • worry about growing social inequities and the fate of the natural world
  • cultivate the discipline to eat well, exercise, and maintain decent physical health
  • manage your anxieties about all of the above and maintain good mental health

In the context of a global pandemic about which so much is unknown. How bad will it get? When will it end? How should we “reopen”? What exactly will the “new normal” be?

This pandemic presents unique challenges to many twenty somethings, whom for whatever reasons, already struggle with anxiety, depression, and related mental health challenges.

Extra patience and kindness with our young adult friends and children are in order.








I Bought a Time Machine

It only took about ten years of the love of my life putting “inexpensive turntable” on her Christmas list for me to finally pull the trigger. Now she’s happy that this bad boy anchors the family room and nostalgia reigns. The Best of Bread. Michael Jackson. The St. Louis Jesuits. Dan Fogelberg. The Beatles. The Elements (also known as Earth, Wind, and Fire). And of course The Pipes and Drums and Military Band of the Royal Scots Dragoon* Guards (not to be confused with dragon guards). “Eclectic” doesn’t do the collection justice.

Having to listen to entire records has been jarring and illuminating. Our turntable is a time machine. Our time machine has forced me to acknowledge that modern tech has made me more impatient than normal. I fast forward through my digital playlists all the time. All it takes to skip to the next track in my new car is a quarter inch movement of my left thumb. I often record sports events to fast forward through commercials, but often find myself watching them at slightly faster speeds. At home I sometimes speed up television shows and movies too. I constantly switch back and forth between radio programs while making dinner.

Digitized content has played havoc on my attention. It’s difficult to put toothpaste back in the tube, but maybe I’ll learn to be more patient while perfecting my Michael Jackson dance moves. In which case the turntable will prove an invaluable investment.