Enjoy Your Cookies

Life may be uncertain, but one thing I know for sure is that time literally flies. I remember New Year’s Eve 1989 feeling so excited about my first decade change, and now 2022 is just around the corner. While 1989 feels not so long ago, the 30+ years in between brought so much change to my life. I went to college, saw a hurricane change our city, fell in love, got married, started a family, and so much more.

by Julie Finkelstein Steinhaus, Director of Business Service

I sit and ponder how it is possible that my 40th birthday will actually be here next month?  Yes, I have heard that 40 is the new 30, and yes, my two nursery school-aged boys are keeping me young, but it seems impossible that the kid thrilled to welcome 1990 is now a mother staring down 40. What’s more scary is how did my parents get to be 70 years old so fast?  

My husband and I are a dual-career couple, or a family with kids in which both parents in the household focus on advancing their careers instead of one being the primary caregiver and the other being the breadwinner. Due to our work schedules, we lean heavily on my parents for child care assistance. We are so lucky to have this resource, and I know my children will appreciate this time with their grandparents as they grow up. While things are manageable now, I can’t help but wonder about the future. Sometimes my husband and I curse the weekends because our Monday – Friday day jobs are a whole lot easier than our off-work time.  My now “retired” parents are supposed to be here forever to take care of me and help me with my boys, right? 

Well, actually, no. In reality, my husband and I have joined the 9.3-million and growing Americans, who, according to the National Alliance for Caregiving, are part of the Sandwich Generation. Now I love a poboy as much as the next New Orleanian, but, unfortunately, the Sandwich Generation has little to do with whether you want it fully dressed. The Sandwich Generation describes middle-aged individuals who face pressure to support both aging parents and growing children today.  I did not ask to join this special group, but since I’m now a card-carrying member and chocolate chip cookies are my favorite food, I have renamed the club. We are now the Sandwich Cookie Generation.  

Food analogies aside, my parents have always impressed upon me that the cream always rises to the top. So, I’m trying to put the cream in my cookies. I’m trying to focus on the blessings in my life and remember that, while it’s hard, it’s also a privilege. Things get really hectic around Hanukkah in our household, so this season I’ve made a point to stop amidst the chaos and enjoy it. To soak up my sandwich cookie generation joys. I don’t know if my parents will be here to welcome 2030 or 2040 with my kids and me, but I do know that I’m going to enjoy every last morsel of welcoming 2022 with them. So not only will I be 40 soon, but I am honored to be the CREAM right smack in the middle of my tasty cookies.

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