I read an article several months ago by Gina Pell of The What. In it she coined a new phrase to describe a virtually indescribable group of people, perennials. That name, Perennial, stuck with me. Why? Because I am one, my mom, my son, my sisters, my brothers, and most of my friends are perennials. We are rooted in the now, stay current, are interested in new things, and are always learning. We can’t be pigeon-holed by age or income or race. We really can’t be sorted at all.
My mom is a Perennial. She studied Greek in college (before she got her Mrs. – I like to say that I’m her degree). She has always read constantly. When we were kids, we used to joke that we could set off a bomb next to her while she was reading and she wouldn’t blink. Of course, that could just be self-defense; at one point there were 6 of us kids at home ranging from newborn to 14 (me)….
The Leader of the Pack
Mom was on Facebook before any of us, including the grands. For decades, she has created birthday cards made up of collages of photos she’s scanned into her computer. Then, Daddy bought her a digital SLR camera and her projects really took off. She makes slideshows for birthday parties, reads knitting and crocheting blogs and knits, knits, knits then crochets, crochets, crochets. For your enjoyment, here’s a brief video of her most recent creation for me, a mermaid afghan:
28? 60? 80?
My clients are Perennials, too. Every one of them, whether they’re 28 or 60, is interested in the here and now. They seek out new adventures, don’t shy away from re-inventing themselves, learn new skills, and meet new people. They stay firmly rooted in the present – whatever the present looks like.
I’ve found that it takes courage to be a perennial. We have to be willing to try things and fail. It’s not always easy to pick up a new skill or to learn a new way to describe the work we’ve always done. It’s scary and it can feel precarious. I think the trick is to breathe deep and jump. Just like perennial flowers, we perennials keep going and going (uh-oh here comes the image of the Energizer bunny). We blossom over and over again.
And, as we embrace the hurdles of trying or even becoming something new, we realize that it’s a blast; it’s energizing; it’s life. It makes us perennial.