Sunday Sun: Confessions of a Boomer Dad

Doug Thorpe
4 min readAug 6, 2023

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.

Seriously?

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…

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Doug Thorpe

Business Advisor and Executive Coach for Entrepreneurs & Large Corp Executives | Maximize People, Process & Profits