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这座豪华度假村帮硅谷的“长者”治愈焦虑

更新时间:2019/3/22 22:26:33 来源:纽约时报中文网 作者:佚名

A New Luxury Retreat Caters to Elderly Workers in Tech (Ages 30 and Up)
这座豪华度假村帮硅谷的“长者”治愈焦虑

EL PESCADERO, Mexico — At a luxury resort in Baja California Sur, everyone was recovering from a long day sharing how hard it felt to be getting older.

墨西哥埃尔佩斯卡德罗——在南下加利福尼亚州的一个豪华度假村里,忙了一整天分享变老的痛苦后,大家都在休息。

Some of the participants walked pensively along the Pacific Coast at sunset. Others read from the resort bookshelf, choosing from sections labeled: “What can death teach me about life?” and “What are the unexpected pleasures of aging?”

有人在日落时沿太平洋海岸散步沉思。还有一些人则来到度假村的书架旁,从“死亡会教我关于生命的哪些事”以及“变老有什么意想不到的快乐”的分类标签下取书。

The next day, the group would place stickers with ageist slurs all over their chests, arms and faces, and then hurl the stickers into a fire. Later, there would be healing sessions focused on intergenerational collaboration and accepting mortality.

第二天,这群人会在他们的胸前、双臂和脸上贴满年龄歧视的话,然后把这些贴纸扔进火里。之后,是治疗环节,重点是代际协作以及对死亡的接受。

That some of those on retreat were in their 30s and 40s did not strike them as odd.

参与者中,有些人不过三四十岁,但他们并不觉得这有什么反常的。

The resort, called Modern Elder Academy and located in El Pescadero, Mexico, opened in November. Guests don’t check in and out as at a traditional retreat; they submit “applications” for one-week programs and, if accepted, pay “tuition” of $5,000 to secure a room and three locally sourced meals a day.

这个名为现代老龄学院(Modern Elder Academy)的度假村位于墨西哥埃尔佩斯卡德罗,去年11月开业。它不同于传统度假村,客人不需要办理入住或者退房,而是要先向这个为期一周的项目提交“申请”,如果录取了,需要支付5000美元的“学费”换取一间客房以及一天三餐采用本地产食材的饭菜。

Modern Elder was started by a hotelier turned Silicon Valley entrepreneur, and it is aimed at workers in the digital economy — those who feel like software is speeding up while they are slowing down, no matter how old they really are. Tech is a place where investors are wary of funding any entrepreneur born before Operation Desert Storm, where Intel is under investigation by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission for age discrimination, where giants like Google and IBM regularly face the specter of class-action lawsuits from workers north of 40.

现代老龄学院的创办者原来是酒店业者,后来转型在硅谷创业,该学院的目标人群来自数字经济,也就是那些不论年龄大小,都觉得软件在加速,自己却在减速的人。在科技行业,投资者不太愿意把钱投在沙漠风暴行动之前出生的创业者身上;英特尔(Intel)正在接受就业机会均等委员会(Equal Employment Opportunity Commission)的年龄歧视调查,谷歌(Google)和IBM等巨头经常面临40岁以上员工集体诉讼的威胁。

In and around San Francisco, the conventional wisdom is that tech jobs require a limber, associative mind and an appetite for risk — both of which lessen with age. As Silicon Valley work culture becomes American work culture, these attitudes are spreading to all industries. More workers are finding themselves in the curious position of presenting as old while still being — technically, actuarially — quite young. And Modern Elder sees a business opportunity in selling them coping workshops, salt-air yoga and access to a shaman.

在旧金山及其周边地区,人们的普遍看法是,科技工作需要灵活、善于联想的头脑,还要喜欢冒险——这些都随着年龄的增长而减弱。随着硅谷的工作文化成为美国的工作文化,这种态度正在向其他行业蔓延。越来越多的人发现自己处于一种奇怪的境地:一方面老了,一方面又仍然年轻(从严格意义上讲如此,实际上也是如此)。现代老龄学院从中看到了商机,向这些人兜售应对工作坊、盐-空气瑜伽,还安排了一个萨满。

Come to Baja, the sales pitch goes. It’s hard getting old, especially when the elder years start at 30.

“来巴哈吧”(Come to Baja)是它的营销口号。做一名长者不易,尤其是30岁就算步入老年的时代。

‘People feel irrelevant younger’

“年轻人觉得自己无足轻重”

Chip Conley was surprised when he first realized his colleagues saw him as old. It was 2013, and he was 52. A longtime hotelier — he had founded the Joie de Vivre boutique hotel chain in 1987, and had a string of iconic properties to his name — he had taken a job at Airbnb, the San Francisco startup fast upending the hospitality industry.

第一次意识到自己在同事的眼中是老人时,奇平·康利(Chip Conley)大感惊讶。那是在2013年,他52岁。作为一名资深的酒店业者,他1987年创办了精品连锁酒店Joie de Vivre,名下拥有一系列以他的名字命名的标志性物业。他在旧金山的初创企业、迅速颠覆了酒店行业的爱彼迎(Airbnb)找了一份工作。

His younger co-workers, with their zippy metabolisms and surplus collagen, started referring to him as “the elder.” Conley — who in his 20s started San Francisco’s best party motel and is a longtime Burning Man and local night-life fixture — was a little confused but resigned himself to the idea.

他的那些新陈代谢旺盛、胶原蛋白过剩的年轻同事们开始称他为“长者”。康利20多岁时创办了旧金山最好的派对汽车旅馆,是火人节(Burning Man)的资深参与者,也是当地夜生活的常客。对于长者的名号,他感到不解,也不愿接受。

“We are all elders in the making,” Conley said. “If you’re 40 years old and surrounded by 25-year-olds, you’re an elder.”

“我们都在成为长者的路上,”康利说。“如果你40岁,周围都是一群25岁的孩子,你就是长者。”

What was hardest, though, was the loneliness. He was the oldest person he would see at work for days. “It can feel strange,” he said.

然而,最困难的是孤独。在工作场合,他是所有人里年纪最大的一个。“感觉很奇怪,”他说。

As Airbnb grew, and his stock vested, Conley decided to start a new hotel with a simple premise: Embrace the term “elder.”

由于爱彼迎的发展,还有就是拿到了公司的股权,他决定开一家新酒店,它的创意很简单:接纳“长者”这个词。

He found a plot of land about 40 miles north of Cabo San Lucas and set to work. He remodeled a house — a grand Mexican hacienda with big wooden doors, a fountain and a courtyard. There are 18 rooms, several arranged around a pool, and the kitchen, living room and a long outdoor wooden table are communal. It all sits on a bluff overlooking the beach.

他在卡博圣卢卡斯(Cabo San Lucas)以北约40英里(约合64公里)处找到一块地,开始工作。他改造了一栋房子——一座宏伟的墨西哥庄园,有着宽大的木门、一座喷泉和一个庭院。共有18个房间,其中几个房间围绕着一个游泳池;厨房、客厅,户外有一张公用的长木桌。它坐落在能俯瞰海滩的悬崖上。

As Conley began bringing friends south to test the experience, he imagined that his resort’s core demographic would be 45 to 60. But after announcing a public opening last fall, he was surprised to field interest from people in their 30s. In the nine Modern Elder sessions he’s hosted to date, the oldest participant was 74, the youngest was 30, and the average has been 52.

康利开始带朋友们南下尝试这种体验,他觉得这个度假村的核心人群应该是45岁到60岁的人。但在去年秋天宣布开业后,他惊讶地发现,30多岁的人也对它感兴趣。在他迄今主办的九次现代老龄活动中,年龄最大的参与者为74岁,最小的是30岁,平均年龄52岁。

“People feel irrelevant younger, especially in places like Silicon Valley,” Conley said. “But they’re going to live longer, so there’s excitement and bewilderment. And everyone is wondering, ‘What do we do now?'”

“年轻人觉得自己无足轻重,尤其是在硅谷这样的地方,”康利说。“但他们会活得更长,所以会产生兴奋和困惑。每个人都在想,‘我们现在该做什么?’”

‘I’m approaching 50 at a software company’

“我在一家软件公司工作,快50岁了”

In November, a group of 16 people, ages 37 to 67, traveled to El Pescadero to be the first Modern Elder class. I tagged along.

去年11月,一个年龄在37岁至67岁之间的16人团前往埃尔佩斯卡德罗,参加第一届现代老龄课程。我独自跟随他们。

In a van heading down an unpaved road to the facility, Cheryl Crippen, a 50-year-old clinical psychology professor, was worried. “I said before coming down, ‘I don’t do woo-woo,’ and my mom was like, ‘Don’t drink the Kool-Aid and get in a Jim Jones situation,'” Crippen said. “But I wanted a week to think. I’ve got 40 years left. What’s next? There’s always got to be something next, right?”

我们乘坐一辆面包车,沿着一条未铺路面的道路前往旅馆,50岁的临床心理学教授谢丽尔·克里彭(Cheryl Crippen) 感到很担心。“来之前我说,‘我不想搞装神弄鬼那一套。’我妈妈说,‘别喝Kool-Aid,别弄成吉姆·琼斯(Jim Jones)那样。(指1978年的人民圣殿教集体自杀事件,教主吉姆·琼斯逼迫信众喝下掺有氰化物的Kool-Aid饮料自杀——译注)’”克里彭说。“但我想用一周的时间来思考。我还有40年好活。接下来要干什么?总得有下一个目标,对吧?”

She told her students she was going on a business trip.

她告诉学生她要去出差。

Conley, who is lean and sinewy, with a shaved head and bright blue eyes, greeted everyone at the doors in a tank top and flip-flops. The shaman blessing ceremony would be Tuesday morning, he said, and there was an option for private sessions that he highly recommended. (These involved sitting on a cliff and screaming.) Crippen looked nervous but put her bags away.

康利身材瘦削,肌肉发达,剃着光头,一双蓝色的眼睛炯炯有神,他穿着背心和人字拖,在门口迎接大家。他说,萨满祈福仪式将在周二上午举行,他还强烈推荐个人活动(包括坐在悬崖上尖叫)。克里彭看上去有点紧张,但她把行李收拾好了。

That evening, the group had beer and white wine on the veranda. Attendants lit bug candles for the mosquitoes, and I asked a few of the guests why they had come.

当天晚上,这群人在门廊里喝着啤酒和白葡萄酒。服务员点上了驱蚊的蜡烛,我问几位客人他们为什么来这里。

“I’m approaching 50 at a software company,” said Tracy Stevens, 48.

“我在一家软件公司工作,快50岁了,”48岁的特雷西·史蒂文斯(Tracy Stevens)说。

“All my colleagues are 30, and I’m almost 40,” said Margareet Paauwe. “Marketing used to be about feeling. Now it’s all data and I have to speed up with the data. So I do feel older.”

“我所有的同事都是30多岁,我都快40岁了,”玛格丽特·帕维(Margareet Paauwe)说。“以前做市场营销主要靠感觉。现在都是靠数据,我得加紧学习数据。所以我确实觉得自己老了。”

Those in their mid-30s today came of age on the cusp of the digital revolution. Many older millennials didn’t have internet at home until high school, didn’t join social networking sites until college, and didn’t get an iPhone until they had already begun their careers. The arrival of Generation Z into the workplace is showing millennials what a true digital native looks like.

如今,30多岁的人正处在数字革命的风口浪尖。许多年龄较大的千禧世代直到高中才开始在家上网,直到上大学才加入社交网络,直到开始工作才有了iPhone。Z世代进入职场后,向千禧世代展示了真正的数字原生代是什么样的。

Their anxieties are well founded. In Silicon Valley, the hiring rate seems to slow for workers once they hit 34, according to a 2017 study by Visier, a human-resources analytics provider. The median age of a worker at Facebook, LinkedIn and SpaceX is 29, according to a recent analysis by the workplace transparency site PayScale.

他们的忧虑并非空穴来风。人力资源分析提供商Visier 2017年的一项研究显示,在硅谷,一旦求职者达到34岁,受雇的速度似乎就会放缓。职场透明度网站PayScale最近的一项分析显示,Facebook、领英(LinkedIn)和SpaceX员工的平均年龄为29岁。

At Modern Elder, several people introduced themselves by rounding up their ages — one woman said she was “soon to be 39,” another was “almost 42,” and a third was “pretty soon looking at 50.” Some said they chose to come south because they thought vacationing would be more serene without 20-somethings in the mix.

在现代老龄学院的活动中,有几个人在自我介绍时大致提到了自己的年龄——一个女人说她“马上就要39岁了”,有一个人说自己“快42岁了”,还有一个人说自己“马上就要50岁了”。一些人说,他们会来是因为觉得如果没有20多岁的年轻人参加,度假会更加平静祥和。

“I wasn’t having to think, ‘Oh, this is going to be a fashion show every day,'” said Libby Wann, 38. “It’s relaxing to know I’ll be with a group of older folks. There’s less to prove.”

“我用不着去想,‘哦,每天都要上演时装秀,’” 38岁的利比·万恩(Libby Wann)说。“知道自己要和一群老年人相处,我觉得很放松。没什么需要证明的。”

The void between baby shower and funeral

婴儿礼物会和葬礼之间的空白

On the second day of the retreat, at 7 a.m., everyone gathered in the living room, where the tables were covered in white lilies.

度假第二天,早上7点。大家聚集在客厅里,桌上放满了白色的百合花。

“We as a society do a really good job helping people through transitional times: quinceañera, graduation, wedding, baby shower,” Conley began. “But between baby shower and funeral? Nada. What we’re going to do now is create a midlife atrium.”

“我们的社会在帮助人们度过转折点方面做得非常好:成人礼、毕业典礼、婚礼、婴儿礼物派对,”康利说。“但在婴儿礼物会和葬礼之间这段时间呢?什么也没有。我们现在要做的就是创造一个人到中年的驿站。”

We took turns giving emotional check-ins. Conley shared a recent cancer diagnosis. Crippen talked about a cat sanctuary she runs at her home. Others talked about divorces. A few joked about being unsure if they’re in menopause.

我们轮流谈起情感问题。康利分享了最近的一次癌症诊断。克里彭谈到她在家里经营的猫咪收容所。其他人则谈起离婚。有几个人开玩笑说,不知道自己是不是到了更年期。

Each elder got a binder with the week’s curriculum. Thursday, there would be a session on millennials. This was illustrated with a young man with groomed facial hair holding a disposable coffee cup.

每位长者都得到一本装有当周课程的活页夹。周四将有一个关于千禧一代的讨论会。活动图片是一个留着络腮胡的年轻人拿着一次性咖啡杯。

One handout was a rainbow chart showing a life span. It began at “growth mind-set” (0-15 years old), illustrated by an egg. It went to “embodied elder” (65-85), illustrated by a butterfly. After that was just a flower — the elderflower.

在一份讲义上绘着一张彩色图表,显示人类的寿命。它始于“思维成长期”(0-15岁),这个阶段的插画是一个鸡蛋。最后是“体现老龄期”(65-85岁),插画是一只蝴蝶。在那之后,只画着一朵花——接骨木花(elderflower,有“老人花”的字面含义——译注)。

“The flower of a human,” Conley called it. He added that elderflower juice is quite healthy.

康利说它是“人类之花”。他还说,接骨木花汁很健康。

Some of the attendees said their friends had been confused by the word. “People interpret ‘elder’ as you’re old, you’re senior,” said Lorenzo Jones, 55, an executive coach. “'Time to go out to pasture and let us run things.’ But ‘elder’ in this context has a whole different meaning. To me, it means being relevant.”

一些参与者说,他们的朋友被“长者”这个词搞糊涂了。“人们觉得‘长者’就意味着你老了,你是老人了,”55岁的高管教练洛伦佐·琼斯(Lorenzo Jones)说。“‘你们该退休了,让我们来管事吧’。但在这个语境中,‘长者’有完全不同的意思。对我来说,这意味着变得更重要。”

Many of the attendees said they felt shocked that age had crept up on them. “I’ve always been the youngest, and I’m kind of surprised that I’m actually getting older,” said Wann, 38, a little later, as she walked through the contemplation garden. “Now people are coming to me for advice, and I’m seeing myself as someone whose lived experience is worth passing on.”

许多参与者说,年齿日增让他们感到震惊。“我一直都是最年轻的人,我有点惊讶,我居然真的变老了,”38岁的万恩在会后走过冥想花园时说。“现在人们都来向我寻求建议,我觉得自己的生活经历值得传承下去。”

‘For those frightened of yoga, this is not yoga’

“对于那些害怕瑜伽的人来说,这不是瑜伽”

The next morning, there was another circle with more sharing. The main activity that day, Conley said, would be “a purge with the fire.”

第二天早上,又有一个小组分享了更多东西。康利说,当天的主要活动将是“用火净化”。

When the time came, Conley and his assistants filled a table with stickers that had ageist anxieties scrawled on them. The elders were told to pick any they felt applied to them and affix them to their chests.

时间一到,康利和助手们在桌上摆满了标签,上面潦草地写着各种有关年龄歧视的焦虑。长者们被告知,挑选他们觉得符合自己情况的标签贴在胸前。

Stevens put on “Millennials rule the world” and “I wish I was a digital native.” Jeff Hamaoui, 47, who ran a supply-chain consultancy before joining Modern Elder as its director of education, wrote his own: “I am not practical or handy.”

史蒂文斯选了“千禧一代统治世界”和“我希望自己是数字原生代”。47岁的杰夫·哈马维(Jeff Hamaoui)在加入现代老龄学院担任教育主管之前,经营着一家供应链咨询公司,他自己写了一个标签:“我没有实用价值,没什么用处。”

Others covered their chests and arms with stickers. “I fear being an old lady or man on the streets.” “I’m out of time to try something new.” “I feel increasingly invisible.”

其他人把贴纸贴在胸前和手臂上。“我害怕成为流落街头的老人”、“我没时间去尝试新鲜事物”、“我觉得自己越来越‘隐形’了”。

The group members wandered silently, looking at each other and reading the notes. One by one, they peeled the messages off and burned them in a fire pit on the veranda.

小组成员静静地来回走动,互相打量对方,读着标签上的话。然后他们一个接一个地把纸条揭下来,用走廊上的火炉烧掉。

Lunch was lentil soup, beer and cheese.

午饭是扁豆汤、啤酒和奶酪。

At 5:30, the schedule called for restorative yoga, and as a small panic spread it became clear this was not a cohort accustomed to retreat culture.

下午5点半,他们按计划要做康复瑜伽,这时小小的恐慌蔓延开来,显然,这群人不习惯静修文化。

“For those frightened of yoga,” Conley said, “this is not yoga, this is lying down.”

“如果有人害怕瑜伽的话,”康利说,“告诉你们,这不是瑜伽,就是躺着。”

The instructor, Teddi Dean, showed up. He had long, shaggy blond hair. “Recognize that you’re in a body, recognize the weight of a body,” he told the group as the sun set.

导师泰迪·迪恩(Teddi Dean)来了。他有一头又长又乱的金发。“感受你的身体,感受你身体的重量,”他在太阳落山时告诉大家。

Conley’s expansion plans include building a Modern Elder retirement community near El Pescadero. Hamaoui, who is leading that effort, said the new facility would accommodate both short and permanent stays. He and Conley are imagining it as an “intergenerational community,” he said one evening, leaning back on the Modern Elder veranda. He expects millennials will want to join.

康利的扩张计划包括在埃尔佩斯卡德罗附近建立一个现代老龄退休社区。负责这项工作的哈马维说,新设施将同时提供短期和长期住宿。一天晚上,他靠在现代老龄学院的走廊上说,他和康利想象这里会是一个“跨代际社区”。他预计千禧世代也会来到这里。

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