Happy birthday to me, Happy birthday to me, Happy birthday dear Liiiizzzzzz…. Happy birthday to me!
Now that I’ve gotten not one, but two songs in your head, lets talk about this years birthday!
Talkin ‘Bout My…Generation!
OK CMO, calm down with the song references. You’re showing your age.
I am a sometimes Gen X, sometimes Millennial, and occasionally Xellenial, person. This means I was born in 1980, which is a year that gets lumped into different generations depending upon who is writing the article and what source they used.
Also occasionally 1980 is just left out of generations altogether – like we don’t even exist.
When I was in my early 20’s, we were part of “Gen Y”, which was much younger and cooler than those darned Gen Xers. Then at some point Gen Y was rebranded to Millennial, and the years 1980-1982 became tacked onto the end of Gen X.
In this article from USA Today, about how one in six millennials has saved over $100k, published in January 2018, defined “millennials” as up to age 37. I was 37 at the time.
However this article from Adweek defines millennials as starting in 1981.
Millennials like cactuses. I like cactuses. Maybe I am really a millennial?
This article from Business Insider, published on June 16th, defined millennials as being up to thirty eight years old. On June 16th I was, indeed, thirty eight. So now BI says I’m a millennial.
Interestingly, I don’t think most people picture an almost forty year old woman, with three kids (one of whom is going to be a junior in high school), who has owned a home for thirteen years, when they say “millennial”.
But I’m cool with destroying businesses and eating some avocado toast.
As long as I don’t need to go back into student loan debt to join the club.
Turning Thirty Nine
Yes, that’s right, this year I’m turning thirty nine years old. That means it’s only one more year until the big 4-0.
As many of us old folks say, I don’t feel much different than when I was in my early 20’s. I feel like I’m the same person – how did I blink and so many years passed by?
The life I live now – the job I have, the family I have, the successes I’ve had – was unimaginable to me back when I turn thirty.
If this much changed in the past ten years, how much will change in the next ten?
And I’ll be honest, knowing there’s only one more year until I turn forty is a big inflection point.
Am I focusing my life on the right priorities?
Am I making a difference in other peoples lives – helping them to learn and grow, motivating them, and supporting them? Can I be doing more?
What do I want to accomplish before I turn forty? I only have one more year now. Time is ticking.
And what kind of life do I want to have at fifty? By that time, two of my three kids will be done with college. The little guy will be fourteen, starting high school.
These are hard questions. I don’t really know that I have good answers.
Back when I was twenty nine, I had two little kids. I hadn’t started my MBA, and I was working at a different company. My income was about half what it is now. We were in the throes of the Great Recession, and my husband lost his job a few months after my birthday. I didn’t know my husband was going to almost die only a few years later.
I most certainly never thought one day I would start a website, and would be featured in places like Forbes, CNBC, Marketwatch, Business Insider, and more of the sites I read every day.
I never knew I would one day meet in person the people I had read about online.
The world of technology has also changed a lot since then. Smartphones were not yet ubiquitous. Creating a website was hard, and social media was just starting.
Industries have been destroyed, and new ones created, all in the past decade of my life.
What will the future bring? I don’t know. I’ve been thinking about what I want to accomplish over the next year before I turn forty, and I feel strongly I want to focus on helping more people.
Maybe I can help people learn about money, and succeeding at work.
Perhaps I can help other young moms manage family and work.
It could be that I can help other female breadwinners in different ways than I already have.
Maybe there’s more I can do with my family, and my community. And for myself.
Or even something I’m just not thinking at all about.
Your Gift To Me – Your Ideas!
If you were on the cusp of forty – what would you be looking to accomplish? Where would you want to see yourself in ten more years? What would you regret not having done? I’d love some ideas. Plus a few “Happy Birthday!” comments are always welcome.
I hope you have an amazing day!