Daylight Savings Time is unequivocally my favorite time of the year. As a lad, it represented the ability to stay out and play later. As an adult, its longer days brings back those sweet memories along with the ability to…well…stay out later and play=riding my bike while there’s still some daylight out.
But what DST also brings are seasons…cycles of the sands of time that remind me that I only have a finite number of these special times left. The aging thing has spawned a lot of introspection in my life lately. It started recently when a young twenty-something co-worker was explaining to another co-worker that “older workers let these little things get under their skin and it makes them crazy”. She wasn’t referring to me, but might as well have been.
Here’s the deal. I like it when people show up and on time, return from their breaks on time, and simply do the MINIMUM that they are required to do. If they do those things, I’m cool. But where I work, those things are not strictly enforced. Hence, I get to do a slow burn every time one of those younger workers ignores what I consider to be a pretty basic covenant of employment.
It got me thinking about the work ethic of this new generation and the differences with mine. Am I wrong to let these transgressions get under my skin and react? Without a doubt…I own my response to any perceived violations of policy. But am I wrong to expect these youngsters to make more of an effort? Or at least care? I’m not sure. I know what I expect of myself and it’s up to me to do that. I’ve put a lot of effort this year into not reacting to the actions of others…keeping my side of the street clean, if you will. In fact, I wrote that in my performance review’s self-evaluation.
What I’m getting at is maybe this is a normal, albeit tragically sad, consequence of evolution. Maybe this is the best this generation can do and at their age, I was held to a different standard by my elders. Either way…it sucks as it’s an indication of the changing seasons.
And then tonight…I was again reminded of the fragility of life. One of my professors, whom I hold in high regard and respect, had what was likely a mini-stroke during class. I rendered assistance because of my background until paramedics arrived but drove home experiencing a profound sadness. He’ll probably be okay, but his fragility and utter helplessness reminded me that I’m not far behind, age-wise. I am so glad I am no longer a Firefighter/Paramedic as I have noticed a greater difficulty separating myself from these incidents emotionally prior to leaving the department. What used to roll off my back, suddenly strikes at my core.
At the end of the day, I know that intellectually this is all part of the cycle of life. And I wouldn’t really trade where I’m at now (okay, I’m lying, I want another shot at my 20’s) but the sands of time can still sting from time to time.
My prayers are with you Mr. S…