I’m baaaaaaaaack and it only took me five months to meet the requirements to earn my Across Generations badge. Who am I kidding? I’ve been on other less important missions and now I’m back on track. So here’s a quick run-down of the Across Generations badge requirements. If you more details, refer to my previous post.
I completed four of the ten activity options with co-workers and by myself. Here are my discoveries:
I interviewed one of my “mature” co-workers and asked her about her life. She told me several things that have meant the most to her throughout her life so far: the birth of her son on October 10, 1981, the death of her mother on February 3, 2004, the assassination of JFK when she was in the 7th grade, 9-11, and January 1994 when she took a six month sabbatical from work and attended courses at M.I.T. Within those six months her life changed dramatically both personally and professionally. She found herself moving back to NC to be with her father just three years ago and the adjustment has been difficult.
So why did I choose to interview Valentine (not real name)? I loved her spirit and attitude. No matter how tough things may become or how tired she may be, she always comes to work with a great attitude and makes everyone else feel good also. In my opinion she is a rare asset to the business community and in the lives of everyone around her. The opening picture above is the collage I made to represent the events throughout her life. I wasn’t able to find a picture of JFK in my magazines, but used Abraham Lincoln instead. I cut a flag in half to represent 9-11, found a picture of a little boy to represent Charlie, found a picture of a woman to represent Valentine’s mom, and added several other pictures that represent the changes Valentine has made so far. The “Hold It, Buster” tagline represents her sassy side.
I have the great opportunity to work with really cool and diverse people from different ages and cultural backgrounds, but sometimes you’ve got to get your co-workers together and have girls night out. With this particular activity, my mission was to invite a person over the age of 50 who has a special hobby or skill to talk to my group. Well, as an adult Girl Scout, this involved meeting at a fly restaurant with co-workers and enjoying grits and shrimp washed down with a few weak Martinis (not for immature audiences). The person I interviewed is a 50something year-old Special Ed teacher named Hipster, whose skill is being a great mom and educator. She educated several young ladies over dinner about the ups and downs of relationships, motherhood, and getting older. It was a great experience because I would have never known as much about her or her likes and dislikes at work due to the professional environment. Ironically, after leaving the restaurant my co-workers and I met with Hipster’s son and his friends. It was very clear that she has a great relationship with her child, but also has the ability to make everyone else around her feel great about themselves too. She definitely reminds me of some of my favorite teachers and I’m sure that her great attitude is well received when she is educating her students.
I visited a nursing home, along with niece, and played the board game, Trouble, with several residents. We stayed there for several hours one day and then returned on a different day to do it again. It felt good to be able to put a smile on someone’s face by doing something so simple. Unfortunately, many people who find themselves in senior living facilities do not receive many guests or any at all. They are often forgotten. It was clear that they really enjoyed having younger people around them and my niece has even visited the center many times since we went together. It was a great learning experience for her also.
I have to tell you, this particular activity made me want to change the world. I had to learn about a person who is still active in a business career or the arts and is over the age of 65. For me, that person is none other than Jane Fonda. This unbelievable women is not only an exercise enthusiast, actress, writer, and former model, but she’s also an activist. Her ‘go get ‘em” attitude is very inspiring and moving. She is just as beautiful, sexy, and wise today as she’s ever been. I came across an interview with Jane and Oprah a few months ago that made me appreciate life even more. She’s very open and candid about life’s ups and downs and makes the best of everything. Since watching that interview, I have picked up every magazine and book with Jane Fonda on the cover just see what she’s been up to and what do you know? She’s just released a new fitness video at the tender age of 74.
Across Generations, Completed!