Now, please don’t stop reading. This post is not going to be about inching closer to the next decade of numbers. I promise. No crisis here, just some good ol’ self-deprecating humor.
I’m reminded of being in my (ahem) late forties almost every Monday through Friday. I get Saturdays and Sundays to take my rest, I guess. You see, two of my teammates are in their twenties. Two whole decades of numbers down from mine. It didn’t take long for me to realize I could be their father- and now that one of them is expecting her first child, I could be a grandfather. Thank you, next.
Here’s some things about twenty-somethings.
They text very fast. With two fingers. I use one. I still get the message out, but slower, of course. In a recent meeting with my twenty-something colleagues, I was selected to send a question (via text) to another colleague (who is also likely younger) while they watched. And waited. And waited. And waited. When I looked up, I saw four twenty-something eyes staring at me as if I had just landed from planet rotary phone. Of course laughter ensued and forty stared in my face. Thank you, next.
Twenty-somethings have pop culture pumping through their veins. They can code-switch from teacher talk to pop culture lingo in a split second. Unbeknownst to me, we can be having multiple conversations in a meeting and I must either come up for a breath and/or show my forty card and ask for a quick translation. Sometimes one of them is kind enough to slow down a bit and offer an explanation, but not without an eye roll and a slap on the table “you don’t know who ___________ is?” And I’m thinking, well, no, I don’t. I thought we were discussing our students’ number sense and ways to make ten.
And that’s precisely how I learned who Ariana Grande is.
If you, dear reader, don’t know who she is, pause and breathe. I won’t laugh at you. Let Google or YouTube be your friend and then you can return to this post. I’ll be here. Search for Thank You, Next or Seven Rings.
Are you back? Don’t feel bad about taking a minute. I had to. I went home that afternoon and I did just what I was advised to do by the twenty-somethings. Only I did it in the privacy of my home on my computer. (In the meeting, one of them had pulled up an image of Ariana in a nanosecond to show me on her smartphone, but I was too stressed out about number sense- and remember- I can’t code-switch that quickly.) Anyway, dare I say, I kind of fell in love with Ariana that night. Her tunes are catchy and kind of low-budget creative.
I guess Ariana is pretty big right now. She’s the latest Beyonce, maybe? I do know who Beyonce is. She may be the last pop star I spent my time with before I noticed I was out of touch with the latest pop culture. Perhaps I was still texting on my flip phone when all this goodness began to leave me in the dust.
Since I’ve met Ariana, her lyrics pop up in my mind at the oddest of times. Thank You, Next (the title of one of her hits) has become a phrase I use on the fly. Yes, I did just say “on the fly.” Think about it. You can say “thank you, next” to dismiss many of life’s problems. Don’t want to clean your bathroom? Thank you, next. Grocery shop? Thank you, next. Forget about that long staff meeting? Thank you, next.
It can also be used to give yourself props and get moving on to your next accomplishment. Here are some examples: I cleaned the bathroom! Thank you, next! I made it to the grocery store before the mad rush. Thank you, next! I didn’t fall asleep in that staff meeting! Thank you, next!
Today, Friday, March 8th, 2019, I’m feeling not so forty (something). I guess I owe this to my dear twenty-something colleagues who I also consider my friends. I also owe this to Ariana. Yes, we are on a first name basis. I may or may not have downloaded two of her songs (so far).
And as for the forty feelings that are bound to creep up again? I guess I’ll turn to another lyric or two from Ms. Grande: I’ve got so much love. Got so much patience. I’ve learned from the pain. I turned out amazing.
Thank you, next.