“The Times, They are A’Changin…”
I was a teen-ager when Bob Dylan released his sense-shattering song detailing the societal and cultural woes of the 1960s. My white-bread world in a small college town in Central Texas seemed a universe away from the turmoil and upheaval he sang about. To me, the world didn’t really seem to be changing much at all.
Flash forward a few years to 1968. October 1, to be exact. Etched in my mind is the memory of climbing into bed that night, “great with child” as they used to say, and thumbing through my new edition of Reader’s Digest. I was horrified and frightened as I read the articles about the violent campus activites as students protested the Vietnam “non-war”. During the 9 months of my pregnancy, I had watched Robert Kennedy and Martin Luther King be horribly assassinated, witnessed the out-of-control riots at the Republican convention, and listened to a steady barrage of nightly news coverage of the Vietnam debacle. I genuinely wondered if the world was ending. What hope for a good life could I give my yet unborn baby?
Well, guess what – She jumped into the fray the very next day, not afraid, not nervous – just noisy and hungry! She turned 40 last year, and is doing quite well, thank you very much, and so is her younger brother. It seems that in spite of the high profile and noise surrounding the upheaval AND my fear, the world didn’t end. Hmmm…
I’ve lived long enough to have seen turmoil, war, conflict, riots, massacres, political dirty tricks, and shameful corporate behavior before. The first few times, I let myself buy into the cultural anxiety that accompanies the wall-to-wall media coverage that drums the negative images and actions into our brains day and night. One of the big differences now? There are more avenues for the bad news to be shoved in our faces – louder, faster, more graphic – than there ever have been. Does it make it harder to not be swayed by it? Of course, it does. I have to consciously choose every day whether or not I’m going to sell out to fear. I choose not to.
OK – what does this have to do with Girls Who Print? Well, all the bad news is affecting our industry, too. I’ve been hearing from women and men over the last year who have either been laid off, or are waiting for it to happen. Eveyone says the same thing: “It’s tough out there”…And so, I’m reminded of the 1960s, when we were overwhelmed with change and turmoil, and genuinely afraid for the future. Yes, the times, they ARE a’changin’…and we have to change with them. Because it’s highly unlikely that the world is ending – it’s just changing.
Maybe you need to do your work differently to make it accommodate the changes in your company. Maybe you’re faced with taking a job that’s NOT what you love to do. I know we’ve certainly had to tighten our belt at home to offset my husband’s (Guy Who Sells…) inability to work during a serious illness.
The thing is, though…we DO it. We change, we adjust, we modify. We bob and weave as needed to get through the rough spots. Because they WILL end…and before we know it, we’ll be 40 years older again. And still wondering how we listened to Bob Dylan’s scratchy vocals!
Meet Mary Beth, and the rest of the Girls Who Print: