An aging population and a generation of young adults struggling to achieve financial independence are putting middle-aged Americans smack in the middle. Nearly half (47%) of adults in their 40s and 50s have a parent aged 65 or older and are either raising a young child or financially supporting a grown child (age 18 or older). A stressful situation lightened up by a beloved cartoonist.
The Panini Generation
There’s a book out that takes a humorous look at the struggle of the sandwich generation – middle-aged people charged with caring for aging parents – and one or more adult children who have returned to the nest.
You may remember the cartoon, Cathy. It was a mainstay in American entertainment for 34 years. In 2010, cartoon creator Cathy Guisewite (Guyz’white) retired, to focus on caring for her family. Now she mines the life she spent sandwiched between aging parents and an adult daughter, all of whom needed her.
Guisewite’s new book is titled, “Fifty Things That Aren’t My Fault: Essays From the Grown-Up Years” The amusing, self-deprecating observations that were in the Cathy cartoon are now applied to life in transition.
The author says the ‘panini generation’s days are completely different from what they expected at this time. Facing responsibility from both sides, trying to be a loving guide, yet still making time to have a life and take some selfies.
Guiswite confesses in her book that “the job of letting go and hanging on is wrenching.” She hopes that her essays can bring a beam of humor and understanding to an otherwise potentially depressing situation.
Good to have Cathy back in the game.
P.S. A new study reveals multigenerational living nearly quadrupled in the past decade, with the pandemic playing a strong role. https://www.gu.org/app/uploads/2021/04/21-MG-Family-Report-WEB.pdf