Monday, April 12, 2010
Are You Having a "Female Midlife Crisis"?
I stumbled across an article this morning that was entitled “Drinking too much? Feeling worthless? Obsessively shopping? You could be having a FEMALE midlife crisis”…The topic was one of interest to me because I went through many changes as I crossed the midlife threshold. The title, however, didn’t describe my midlife crisis at all. I read on anyway. The writer described a variety of situations in which women suddenly found themselves at a crossroad somewhere between the age of 39 and 49 that had a noticeable impact on their lives. We’ve all talked incessantly about men’s midlife crises, and now women have the honor. Perhaps this is the end result of the women’s lib of the 60’s.
Transition and change are a very real part of life. Some are bigger than others and garner a more significant outcome. The female “midlife crisis” does exist for many. What I wonder is, is it new or even worth talking about. If we name a thing somehow we diminish it; a principle of the Tao. When we do this, the discussion then becomes one of quantifying, calibrating and comparing one “midlife crisis” to another -- not the issues. I suppose some people might drink too much when they’re going through a big change in their lives, or shop obsessively to fill the holes, but that is not the issue. It is just the arrow that points out the problem.
The term “Midlife crisis” also denotes something short, dramatic and sudden. In my experience, the transition that took place when my children left home, for example, was rather long and drawn out – the boomerang generation lives! I understand completely the feelings of an empty nester but as long as we’re naming things how about “boomerang empty nesters” – they go, you’re life is in flux; they return, you annoyingly readjust; they leave, you feel the loss…eventually you go numb and start to drink (that was a joke). Seriously, my point here is, change is a part of life. So is how we cope with it and what we take away from it. That is what I’d like to talk about. I’d like to try not to trivialize or overdramatize experiences in life that have the capacity to make us better, richer more self-actualized people. Let’s talk about the real issues.