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Why We Can't Sleep: Women's New Midlife Crisis Why We Can't Sleep: Women's New Midlife Crisis by Ada Calhoun
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“One of the main problems in making dreams come true? They cost money.”
Ada Calhoun, Why We Can't Sleep: Women's New Midlife Crisis
“We kept hearing again and again that we could be anything we wanted to be. We had supportive mothers insisting we would accomplish more than they had. Title IX made sure our after-school classes were as good as the boys’. We saw women on television who had families and fun careers. So, if we happened to fail, why was that? The only thing left to blame was ourselves.”
Ada Calhoun, Why We Can't Sleep: Women's New Midlife Crisis
“Gen Xers are in 'the prime of their lives' at a particularly dangerous and divisive moment,' Boomer marketing expert Faith Popcorn told me. 'They have been hit hard financially and dismissed culturally. They have tons of debt. They're squeezed on both sides by children and aging parents. The grim state of adulthood is hitting them hard. If they're exhausted and bewildered, they have every reason to feel that way.”
Ada Calhoun, Why We Can't Sleep: Women's New Midlife Crisis
“We’re the first women raised from birth hearing the tired cliché “having it all”8—then discovering as adults that it is very hard to have even some of it.”
Ada Calhoun, Why We Can't Sleep: Women's New Midlife Crisis
“What I see in my Gen X patients is total exhaustion. They feel guilty for complaining, because it’s wonderful to have had choices that our mothers didn’t have, but choices don’t make life easier. Possibilities create pressure.”
Ada Calhoun, Why We Can't Sleep: Women's New Midlife Crisis
“She does not believe that women should grin and bear it. Here is some of her advice for us: Get daily exercise, especially weight-bearing exercise; a good diet; and plenty of sleep. For hot flashes, she advises layering clothes and keeping a dry set of nightclothes next to the bed so you can change quickly if you wake up in the middle of the night. She recommends keeping the bedroom cool and getting your partner an electric blanket if he or she complains. Other nonpill things can make life easier, like absorbent “period-proof underwear” and period tracker apps. She advises”
Ada Calhoun, Why We Can't Sleep: Women's New Midlife Crisis
“We bear financial responsibilities that men had in the old days while still saddled with traditional caregiving duties. We generally incur this double whammy precisely while hitting peak stress in both our careers and child-raising--in our forties, at an age when most of our mothers and grandmothers were already empty nesters.”
Ada Calhoun, Why We Can't Sleep: Women's New Midlife Crisis
“In the words of the Pew Research Center, Generation X is “America’s neglected ‘middle child’ … a low-slung, straight-line bridge between two noisy behemoths.”3 We are the Jan Brady of generations”
Ada Calhoun, Why We Can't Sleep: Women's New Midlife Crisis
“Gen X women often try to exert control over their bodies at midlife only to find that the middle-aged body is remarkably resistant.”
Ada Calhoun, Why We Can't Sleep: Women's New Midlife Crisis
“My expectations are way lower. I no longer believe that at this age I should have rock-hard abs, a perfectly calm disposition, or a million dollars in the bank. It helps to surround myself with women my age who speak honestly about their lives.”
Ada Calhoun, Why We Can't Sleep: Women's New Midlife Crisis
“Generation X marks the end of the American dream of ever-increasing prosperity. We are downwardly mobile, with declining job stability. It used to be that each generation could expect to do better than their parents. New research confirms that Generation X won’t.”
Ada Calhoun, Why We Can't Sleep: Women's New Midlife Crisis
“Between 2000 and 2005 and since 2013, home prices have outpaced salary growth39—resuming a trend by which, from 1970 to 2000, the cost of buying a home rose by more than 80 percent, adjusted for inflation.”
Ada Calhoun, Why We Can't Sleep: Women's New Midlife Crisis
“It’s a strange state of vacillating between having our shit together and feeling less and less like we give a damn about what the rest of the world thinks.”
Ada Calhoun, Why We Can't Sleep: Women's New Midlife Crisis
“Because now I can plot out how it’s all going to go, and I hate that. Who will I marry? How many kids will I have? All those milestones, gone. I’ve done it. Now it’s just seeing my kids off to college and traveling with my husband,”
Ada Calhoun, Why We Can't Sleep: Women's New Midlife Crisis
“Generation X women keep many lists: grocery lists, chore lists, deadline lists, schools-to-apply-to lists, holiday-card lists. Some are on paper and some on smartphones or sticky notes or whiteboards, but they can also seem to loop on a scroll behind the women’s eyes.”
Ada Calhoun, Why We Can't Sleep: Women's New Midlife Crisis
“If you don’t help,” she told him, “I’m going to smash your iPad.” He still didn’t move. As if possessed, she grabbed a hammer and whacked the iPad to pieces. When she told me this, I thought of how many parents I know who have fantasized or threatened this very thing, and here she had actually done it. I laughed.”
Ada Calhoun, Why We Can't Sleep: Women's New Midlife Crisis