I’m a late-40-something who finds joy in the journey and a whole lot to think about along the way.
As a Director of Alumni Relations, I spend a fair amount of time thinking about generational attributes and how they influence the choices we make. On a personal level, I think about my generation, Generation X, that rather small generation sandwiched between the Baby Boomers and the Millennials (also known as Generation Y). The older I get, the more I realize that the people who study and identify generational differences do indeed know what they are doing. The adjectives I see used to describe each generation prove to be accurate time and time again.
Now at mid-life (boy, that is a scary thing to type), I have the benefit of perspective that comes from having lived a few decades and learned a few lessons. I have plenty of hindsight (all of it 20/20, of course) and, dare I say it, foresight, a sense of how I will navigate the way ahead, or at least the factors that will guide my choices. And when I stop to ponder, I see that my journey thus far has indeed fit the Generation X path, and I think others have reached the same conclusion, so it can’t all be coincidence, right?
What I’m not doing in this blog is analyzing Gen X; there’s been enough of that by people who know a lot more than I do. Rather, it will be my reflections on my life, which, on the one hand, has been unique and one-of-a-kind, and on the other, quintessentially Gen X-ish. If you are a Gen Xer yourself, you may find it interesting, and if you are a Boomer or a Millennial, it may help you to understand the few, the proud, the Xers. And if you couldn’t give a darn about this generational mumbo jumbo, you may just enjoy reading about the mid-life flailings of a higher education administrator/communications professional, who’s also a wife, daughter, step-mom, and yes, step-grandmother.
About Anita Baumann:
Anita Baumann grew up in the Washington, DC suburbs, the youngest of three children. She earned an B.A. in English/journalism from Saint Francis University in Loretto, PA, and an M.F.A. in creative writing and publishing from Emerson College in Boston, MA. Professionally, she, like many Gen Xers, has had quite a few jobs and at least two different careers. She’s worked as a media relations specialist, health writer, magazine and newsletter editor, research analyst, and for the last 11 years, as director of alumni relations (first at Saint Francis and now at Penn State Law and Penn State School of International Affairs). And she’s also a professional photographer. She is married to Fr. Chris Baumann, a retired Naval officer turned Anglican priest (and a Baby Boomer), and is stepmom to two Millennials and step-grandma to four Generation Zs and two Generation Alphas.