Updated: Feb 19, 2019
Today my husband looked tired, he has worked hard for so long..
Lots of great things came out of 1965, and our men are one of them.
This generation of males are the ones to navigate out of the cold war era into the information age, and the struggle is real, and I believe little discussed.
They were raised on going to work, work hard, earn a living for your family and everything will be alright, everything will work out, just like it did for our parents before us. An age where effort equalled reward, loyalty, common sense, integrity and security.
The best way I heard it described is by Lucy Cavendish who wrote in her article, ‘they are part of the ‘sandwich generation’ where they sit between the baby boomers and the digital natives’.
Caught between their traditional upbringing and education where the man must provide but he is now battling in a world where business values have changed. Remember when you could have friends in business? In this regard I think we women have a better capacity to evolve and grow when we see the world around us change (hence my 74-year-old mother showing a receptionist at least 25 years younger than her how to print off an attachment from her smartphone!)
I think that men, certainly my husband, have found it much more difficult to evolve into the new information era and the changes in the way a traditional business operates now, the playing field has changed. It’s not to say they aren’t evolving, but the lack of similar values that once were normal and held in esteem in business are disappearing, certainly in our industry. The climate they now operate in is dog eat dog rather than loyalty, and it’s a hard shift for them to assimilate when they have only ever acted with integrity and loyalty as the framework of their moral compass. Working hard now is not guaranteeing any results or financial security at all.
Enter the added pressure of keeping their health up, it’s now the equivalent of maintaining an expensive collectible car, parts wear out, and aftermarket parts are expensive ;)
Changes in the economy in the last ten years have put paid to thoughts of early retirement, especially for the small business owner. No little wonder they look tired, and have the constant feeling of “what in the world am I doing wrong’’.
Ironically, despite all the communication devices available to us, I believe that men find it incredibly hard to talk to not only to us but to their friends about how they are feeling and the fears that they may have. I think we all tend to define ourselves by the work we do so when that is being challenged, or challenging, unhappiness prevails.
So here is to our men who have provided for their families, who are learning to be a ’co-washer upper’ and have learnt to use the washing machine. May your journey forward be filled with personal growth of the happy and healthy kind.