Is This Your Midlife Crisis?
Oprah.com recently published an article on The New Midlife Crisis: Why (and How) It's Hitting Gen X Women.
In the article, the author, Ada Calhoun, offers a fascinating overview of the challenges faced by a generation of women, who are “some of the best-educated women in history.”
Of the women she interviewed, she says:
“They're smart. They're grateful for what they have. They're also exhausted. Some of them are terrified. A few of them are wondering what the point is.”
Does this sound like you?
Ada covers the economy, our general downward mobility, our lack of savings, the unstable job market, our dissatisfaction in our careers and with our salaries (you may have noticed, we’re still underpaid when compared to men and underrepresented in top management).
She talks to women who are without a life partner and women who left it too late to have a baby. She discusses the unequal distribution of childcare and care for the elderly (women still do more); women’s mental load (organizing family life); and women’s dissatisfaction in marriage.
She considers the endless pressures of social media, breaking news, answering late night work emails and the meditation/pilates/hiking we “should” be doing.
She sheds light on the symptoms of perimenopause and women’s knowledge-gap around it; and she highlights women’s escape routes – affairs, alcoholism, pill popping and excessive online shopping.
I encourage you to read the article and then ask yourself:
Is it the economy or is it about how we expected the economy would serve us?
Is it about the savings we don’t have or about the savings we thought we’d have? (There is a difference!)
Is it the uncertainty or is it that we think uncertainty is bad?
Is it our partners or what we expect from them and then the equations we formulate about our worth?
Is it our smartphones or is it what social media helps us conclude about everyone else’s lives and the world?
Is it everything out there or is it all about our expectations about everything out there, and our expectations about how our lives should have played out and should look right now?
AND do we have it tougher than our grandmothers?
We cannot cure a midlife crisis by blaming things we cannot change any time soon – the economy, unequal pay, a partner. And we cannot cure a midlife crisis by trying to "fix" our hormones, or by taking Xanax or by numbing our lives in some other way.
A cure comes from understanding that circumstances do not create stress. All stress is created from the inside out, NOT the outside in. There are women who can tick all the boxes as to what they have, and still be profoundly unhappy. And there are women who can tick no boxes, and have never felt more alive.
If you’re in a crisis and you want a healthy exit to a happier and calmer life, please send me an email. Together, we can find a way that I can help you, but I need to hear from you first!