Warm relationships. Cheerful nice elderly man smiling and hugging his son while learning how to use a laptop

Sunday Sun: Confessions of a Boomer Dad

Where are we really going?

Ok, I probably lost you at the title. I am not ashamed to admit I am a Boomer, but truthfully I often feel like a Millennial trapped in this body. That’s a whole other story, not for this post. But here we go anyway.

Over the past couple of weeks, I have been hearing laments from younger people around me. Arguably, young people who could be my adult kids. There are so many issues they are struggling to resolve. The issues include work, return to school, job changes, relationships, obligations, etc. You could say it is pretty much everything adults face while living in the Big League of adulthood.

I was just about settled in on the idea “they’ll figure it out and be OK.” Then I received a feed about ‘hey hanging.’

Apparently, ‘hey hanging’ is a thing. And it is a growing source of actual anxiety, mainly at work. It involves the text or Slack post saying simply “Hey”. Nothing more, just Hey. It’s the pregnant pause, the unfulfilled message, the disappointed ending, … whatever. Apparently sending the message ‘hey’ and saying nothing else, is now giving folks anxiety.


For me, that was too much. It returned my thoughts about all the other recent moments where I’ve tried to counsel and consult to help young adults solve problems lately.

This is where my Boomer mindset jumps out. I want to scream “buckle up Butter Cup.”

Are you serious to tell me a Hey hang is going to cause you anxiety? Please go get a life. It’s not all about you Tinker Bell.

There are so many other life-changing issues you may face. When a medical crisis, or a job loss, or a relationship break happens, those are worthy of having anxiety. But getting an incomplete message like ‘hey’ from a boss or co-worker? Really????

Obviously, those who are feeling anxiety over that have not suffered true hardship yet. It’s never a matter of if, but when.

The more I think about it, I am actually very proud of my own kids and the way they have handled strife, fixed things, and made decisions to better their life. There hasn’t been any whining. No running away crying about it. Yes, there have been hurts and pain, but there has been resolve to come to workable, valuable solutions.


I am concerned about where the world is headed. As an example, I have educators in my clan. Their struggle is very real. The population at-large attending public school has no level of self-discipline. It’s an old-fashioned free for all in the classroom. Administrators are siding with parents, who themselves seem to think having a wild, out of control child is someone else’s problem.

Further, the rare child who genuinely wants to learn at school is disrupted or shamed for being a “try hard.” Yes, that too is a thing now.

Then there is the addiction crisis. I had an amazing visit with Adam Gunton on my podcast this week. Adam got addicted to crack at age 12, yet he went through high school totally undetected. He was an “A” student, played sports with great results (Little League World Series, state champs in football, etc.). The point of the story is that we may never know who is struggling with what. And it is a growing very real (unlike hey-hanging) concern.


When I speak to clients, audiences, and my podcast listeners, I share one common message. We need leaders. When you look around, there are so many opportunities for a family, a group, a church, an organization or a company to do more and be more. The only limiting factor is the leadership.

On one hand, there are some great leaders out there. Sadly, too few of them are willing to enter the political ring, but that too is another subject for another day.

On the other hand, I see good people being emotionally and psychologically abused by managers and people in positions of authority. You can’t even call them leaders. They are simply very bad bosses. It happens in business every day, but it also happens in other sectors like churches, synagogues, mosques, non-profits and volunteer organizations. It’s just sad when people work their way into positions of authority and have no capacity to truly lead the people of that organization.

I’ve lived long enough to see dozens of examples first-hand. I’ve been the target. And, if I have ever been guilty of being the perpetrator, my sincere apologies to those who may have felt harmed.

Introducing the WHY.os. Learn YOUR why, how, and what that drives your passion and motivation.


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