Home Concepts Adult Development IX. The Challenges and Benefits of Generativity One

IX. The Challenges and Benefits of Generativity One

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Nancy soon turned the conversation from finances to the issue of responsibility for continuing attention to their adult children; she often went to help her children during times of great need. To her, as well as her children, this was an expected responsibility. However, according to Nancy, “John doesn’t like me to be gone for more than two days at a time.” John acknowledged that this was so, but he defended himself by asserting that Nancy usually goes to such events as the births of grandchildren. Then she’d come home and have to work 52 hours a week to make it up financially.

Engaging in Generativity One When Engaging in a Project

In the case of projects, the issue of time is often compounded by a concern for the appropriate and feasible allocation of money. How much do we want to invest in this new business? How much can we afford in terms of veterinary and boarding costs for our cherished dog or horse? Where do we find the money to remodel our prized kitchen? In the case of Larry and Harold—identified in Chapter Three— the remodeling of their home required the entangling of finances for the first time in their relationship. The financing of their home was, according to Harold, “like our marriage.” He went on later to point out, “our relationship has evolved into that of a married couple. We’re comfortable . . . much more domesticated. The house is indicative of our lives; it’s a blend of both of us. I like garage sales for clothes and furniture. Larry likes nice things.”

Larry and Harold had been successful in building their joint project (home and lifestyle) largely because they had honored and made use of their individual differences. Larry is the “financial caretaker,” “the designated driver,” “the vacation planner.” Conversely, Harold is the “navigator, cook, buys groceries, and cleans.” Harold is also the “spokesman and the social planner.” Larry is more “assertive,” whereas Harold is “the more verbal one.” They move eloquently together, allowing each other to take the lead at various points in their relationship, particularly with reference to their prized project of having a beautiful home.

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