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December 16, 2018
Magnolia Banner News

Boomer disorders, Millennial quit-itis

By Deena Hardin
This article was published January 23, 2018 at 12:04 p.m.

Recently, two of the half-million emails that hit my inbox weekly were from authors hawking books about Baby Boomers (one) and Millennials (the other), so I’m not the only one thinking and writing about us and them. Looks like there are a lot of Baby Boomers worried about Millennials — their children or grandchildren or great-grandchildren, depending upon where the elders fall in the Baby Boomer age range.

One of the authors said there is an “unspoken illness” on the rise among Baby Boomer women across America. Treatment centers for eating disorders are reporting a 42 percent increase in the number of older, female patients during the past decade. The only eating disorder specifically named in the teaser for the book, The Secret Life of a Weight-Obsessed Woman by Iris Ruth Pastor, is bulimia.

Anyone who still has some vision left can tell that bulimia has not been and likely will not be a problem for me in the future, so I can’t tell if I’d relate to that book, but the teaser did promise that Pastor addressed multiple eating disorders. My main trigger for eating when I shouldn’t has always been depression, a feeling of helplessness/hopelessness that plagues some people. Depression tends to run in families, and it has run so hard and fast on the Hines side of mine it should have won some kind of derby by now. I’ve done my best to stay ahead of it, which can be exhausting itself.

Pastor’s book also promises to point out other sorts of triggers for eating disorders among Boomers — such as empty nest syndrome, divorce, the death of a loved one — and how to control them, how to become the “best version of yourself.” Self-help books seem a bit pie-in-the-sky to me but, since they sell like hotcakes, they must be helping some folks. Pastor also writes that younger women, especially those in college, may fall victim to eating disorders. One thing this book could definitely be good for is helping someone recognize symptoms of eating disorders in loved ones.

In Lead Your Tribe, Love Your Work by Piyush Patel, he asserts that 91 percent of Millennials plan to leave their jobs in the next three years. He claims that their mass exodus will cost companies at least $30 billion annually until (if?) they recover. “Millennials don’t want just a job and a paycheck,” he wrote. “Millennials want to change the world and have their work mean something. They want to feel like they’re part of something bigger than themselves.” Sound familiar?

Well, kiddos, that’s exactly what most of us want (or wanted). Best of luck!

Mr. Patel’s book is intended to help retain Millennials in their current jobs by giving industries and businesses strategies to give the young workers more of a sense of purpose, a strong team mentality, and greater motivation. Motivate your whole workforce while you’re at it! This book’s author claims it’ll do the trick. Patel recently also claimed that his book can help prevent a toxic work environment, such as one that includes sexual harassment and/or unequal pay (same thing, really), which is the bedrock of the “Time’s Up” movement.

Our son and his wife (Millennials) did indeed recently change jobs within weeks after saying they were going to — they decided they were going to get better jobs and they did, by golly. Both are working in similar positions but found companies that promote quickly, reward richly for quality work, and treat them better than some people treat their own families. In other words, exactly what they were seeking. I was amazed and happy for them.

Now, Miller and Shae live just outside Austin, which is a fast-paced, overcrowded city with lots of available jobs. As much as I loved Austin when I lived there in my early 20s, and as much as I still love to visit, I’m not sure anyone could pay me enough to live there now. That traffic! Anyway, our son and darling DIL (daughter-in-law) leveraged their new, higher-paying jobs into a newly constructed, eco-friendly home in a “green” development on the east side of I-35. Wait — east side of I-35? My first reaction was, “That’s a terrible neighborhood!”

These days, the east side of I-35 just north of Austin is a tony, environmentally-friendly hotbed for Millennials … and their Segways, purebred dogs, overpriced lattés, electric cars, etc. We can bet that they’re happy and fulfilled in their jobs or they’ll be finding new ones. Soon.

As (I think) architect Frank Lloyd Wright said, “I like a house that has gotten over its troubles.” Not once have I inhabited a brand-new house of my own, but it was interesting to visit theirs. And wonderful to spend time with two funny, hard-working Millennials who keep setting goals for themselves and achieving or surpassing them. Praise the Lord, we don’t have eating disorders, and they don’t have quit-itis.

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