You’ve heard the term ‘millenial,’ I’m sure. Millenials are that much maligned generation that currently ranges in age from approximately 17 to 36. Demographers typically use the early 1980s as starting birth years and the mid-1990s to early 2000s as ending birth years.
People within that age range are usually described along the lines of being spoiled, lazy, self-absorbed, and entitled. Pretty harsh . . . as well as unfair and shortsighted. We all know many who fall into this age range who are smart, compassionate, accomplished, loving human beings.
Recently, at the bloggers conference that I attended, there was a speaker who coined the term “Perennials” as a replacement to use instead of classifying people primarily based on their age range.
What a concept, right?
Gina Pell, co-author of the site TheWhatList.com, wrote an article that went viral in which she shared her vision of what is a Perennial. Here’s a partial description from her article. Read the full article here.
The Perennials. We are ever-blooming, relevant people of all ages who live in the present time, know what’s happening in the world, stay current with technology, and have friends of all ages. We get involved, stay curious, mentor others, are passionate, compassionate, creative, confident, collaborative, global-minded, risk takers who continue to push up against our growing edge and know how to hustle.
In her address at the conference, Gina went further with her description of what it means to be a Perennial – someone who marches to their own beat, is constantly learning and pushing out of their comfort zone, and is always looking for connections between themselves and others rather than differences.
Her famous examples of Perennials include Tony Bennett and Lady Gaga, Bob Dylan, Mick Jagger, Diane Von Furstenberg, John Oliver, Michelle Obama, Justin Trudeau, and Ellen DeGeneres. People who define themselves and then redefine themselves as they grow; they reach out across boundaries and break down obstacles – real and imagined.
I don’t know about you, but I hope I’m a Perennial. At least, I know I’m striving to be.
I have to admit, though, that sometimes I let my age hold me back or hesitate a bit. Sound familiar to anybody? I’ll think “Is it appropriate for me to do that, wear that, try that?” After a few minutes, I’ll usually self-correct, reminding myself that I can do, wear, try or be anything I choose to – as long as I’m ready to handle the responses or consequences. That’s when I’ll make my decision.
Would a Perennial do that? Maybe a true Perennial is so oblivious to age that she/he just carries on in their own way, on their own path.
Oh, that is something to strive for. But even in the striving, there is being. A kind of perennial grace, don’t you think?
“It’s time we chose our own category based on shared values and passions and break out of the faux constructs behind an age-based system of classification.”
I love that! If you ask me, this is the time in our lives when we are well equipped with the life experience and wisdom to be a true Perennial. To keep growing, learning, connecting.
Don’t we all want to live life full-throttle, especially as we age . . . er . . . irrelevant of age?
What do you think about the term Perennials? Will you join me as a Perennial-in-progress? Let’s build our own personal momentum and break down any age-based (and mind-based) rules, restrictions and judgments that may have been holding us back.
Till next time,