Gen-X and Covid-19 – The Latchkey Generation Knows How To Spend Lots of Time At Home Creatively

My House

Photo-A-Day 2.0 #00454

Behind me is my house. I’ll be spending a whole lot of time there in the coming weeks because of COVID-19. Today I’m reprinting something that I posted to Facebook recently. I read a rather interesting article about my generation, #GenX. Nothing against #Boomers or #Millenials, but being of #GenerationX through this crisis does have its advantages. I couldn’t quite pinpoint it until I read this article. It sums up my thoughts on why I’ve been quick to adapt to the new normal of being home and not going too stir crazy, or losing hope. Then thoughts of my own spilled forth. Maybe it is lack of sleep, maybe I’ve just kept these thoughts inside and the article inspired me to get wordy. I may go off the rails a bit but I do come back and get on track in the end.

Being a latchkey kid was good training. Growing up as the technology did was good training because now I can remember what it was like before all this instant access to anything I may have ever watched,read or listened to before. I remember a time before cable tv. I remember not getting certain channels over the air. I remember going to my cousin’s house and seeing that they had different channels. I remember dial up modems and saving code to audio tape.

I remember audio tape and carrying around a vcr and camcorder to capture life’s moments. I remember taking photos and saving up to get them developed and then waiting weeks to get them back only to have one decent photo from a roll of 36 or 24 or to discover that I had exposed the film and ruined all the photos. We didn’t get auto-save, we got a hard reset and then had to start from square one.

I remember writing code for hours and hours and hours and one wrong move, “poof” all gone. I remember watching the Challenger disaster live and being sent home to an empty house. We are a generation of kids who just had to handle it. Grief counselors? Nope. Just handle it. Whether it was tv, video games, reading or writing, we found our escape and handed it.

We had no pickup lines after school. When school was over, you just walked home or took the bus and fended for yourself until mom and dad came home. Granted, my mom was a teacher so she was often home fairly early, but we did for ourselves for hours, unsupervised. I was the oldest so I was the responsible one, although my sisters would probably disagree. We came home and handled whatever we had to do.

We played video games that didn’t have auto-save. We got used to failing, losing and being disappointed and getting right back to it, whatever it was, and then starting all over again from scratch. When we got bored we got creative to stop being bored.

My heroes could adapt to any situation. Punky Brewster was an orphan but had a positive spirit and Punky Power. Goonies Never Say Die! The A-Team always found a way out of a jam, righted the wrongs, built something bad ass despite being hunted for crimes they didn’t commit. They and Michael Knight always got the job done. MacGyver could save the day with a paper clip and a stick of gum. Optimus Prime and his fellow Autobots we’re all about adapting to life on a new planet. G.I. JOE taught me the value of knowing. Master Splinter cared for four crazy teens in a sewer and taught them the discipline to be ninja. The Thundercats adapted to their new home after theirs was destroyed. Hand Panthro a samophlange and he could fix anything. Each of those groups started behind the eight ball and rose to the challenge. We can, too.

We played organized sports and we knew the score. We struck out, fouled out and lost, but we were back at it game after game no matter the outcome. Gen-X has had to roll with the punches and keep going. I think that is why my response to people who thank me for taking on the smallest things, in my eyes, is “I do what I can.”

Gen-X created and is aware of the “training montage”. We learned the value of ridiculous trials and hard work from Master Yoda and Mr. Miyagi. Maybe this period of our lives is just that, one big training montage and on the other side we come out better, stronger, more self-aware and self-reliant. We realize what is most important and we laser focus on that to be that best version of ourselves.

If you made it this far keep going and read the article. Can you even remember that this post was inspired by an article I read? So, go read it and then, I want to hear from my fellow Gen-Xers (born between 1965-1980).

Read the article and, for the hell of it, leave me the most Gen-X thing you can think of in the comments. It has to celebrate the adaptability that we have as Generation X to do what needs to be done.

Keep it positive people. No attacking other generations. No politics. No despair.

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2 thoughts on “Gen-X and Covid-19 – The Latchkey Generation Knows How To Spend Lots of Time At Home Creatively”

    1. Thanks Dad. It was one of those things that I wrote in between sleeping after work. Lots of things I remembered and lots more I forgot to add.

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