Xer: Talkin’ ‘Bout my Generation

Xer. Generation X. Talkin' 'Bout my Generation.

I am an Xer as defined by being born between 1965 – 1979, though some demographers argue the range to be 1961 – 1981 because, when asked, those born after1960 typically self identify as Generation X. If I were making the rules, I’d say 1960 – 1979, and, really, that fits nicely in with one of the aspects of being an Xer–not conforming to convention.

Sandwiched between two larger demographic groups–Baby Boomers and Millenials–we don’t seem to get as much attention these days, and that tends to suit us as we like to “just quietly do our thing.”

I found it interesting to do the research for this post. At times I read about my generation and nodded my head in recognition with such descriptions as private, self-reliant, and unimpressed by authority. I hasten to add that the latter doesn’t mean a lack of respect, but rather a lack of hero worship. Mike (Hubs) and I had a major discussion about what mentorship meant, with my intense dislike of the term, whereas he didn’t necessarily view it negatively.

Some points that didn’t fit me personally: edgy, skeptical (at one time I was, but a relationship with our Lord and Savior can work wonders in that respect), latchkey kid (my mother didn’t work outside the home), child of divorce (my parents were married for 54 years when my dad passed away), bleak, cynical, disaffected. Culturally, I don’t identify with MTV–we didn’t have cable tv growing up–or Friends. In fact, I found the cast of that tv show irritating. They certainly didn’t speak for me, nor did I hang out with people like them.

I liked (and still like) Seinfeld, though, and some grunge tunes found their way into my favorites when I was in my twenties. Some of the movies from my younger days bring back fond memories–Ferris Bueller’s Day Off  comes to mind. Bueller, Bueller. . .

Although once considered aimless and unfocused, our generation is responsible for an entrepreneurial spirit, creating many start ups and small businesses. Also dubbed Generation 1099, more Xers found themselves filing form 1099 rather than a W-2 when paying taxes, a fact I totally identify with as being self-employed most of my working years. I love being my own boss, not having anyone trying to micro-manage me or direct my life.

Oddly, when reviewing the different generations, I also discovered aspects of the Silent Generation that formed the person I am today. Growing up in rural America, on a farm with parents, grandparents, aunts, and uncles of that generation, some of those good qualities were bound to rub off. Hard work, reverence, loyalty, responsibility, caring for your neighbor.

So what does that make me, a Silent Xer?

4 Responses

  1. What a great post!!! I certainly haven’t had a clear definition of anyone after baby boomers. Found this Xtremely interesting and informative! Isn’t what you are kind of up to you then? But I guess I would say that about all of us.

    Calen~

    • amy@amyharkemoore.com

      Yes, definitely! Those demographers had a term for that, too. They called those people “outliers.” Those who couldn’t be neatly shoehorned into their generation.

  2. I’m not a “generation x-er” but I have had lots of 1099 forms as a freelancer. Yes, I agree that being your own boss is definitely a better way to work. I’m a freelance journalist and a gardener, and I’ll never be rich but I think that the work that I do make other people (and me) happy. Life is a grand adventure and a great gift from God!

    • amy@amyharkemoore.com

      Thanks for stopping by, Alice. I love both of those things, too. 🙂 Too wet to get out in the garden much this week, in my neck of the woods, unfortunately.