I just read a brilliant article by Ada Calhoun, The New Midlife Crisis: Why (and How) It’s hitting Gen X Women.
Gen X, the generation often ignored by researchers, employers or even in basic conversations and presentations about generational differences, had a very different upbringing when compared to their parents or their children. We are an ambitious generation that created successful companies but also struggled in careers while figuring out how to “balance” work, family and gender dynamics. Many remained unmarried and childless by choice. Others married and had children much later in life than previous generations-yes, that’s me!
Midlife has changed, and there is little understanding of midlife challenges and opportunities in the modern era. I agree with Calhoun about many of the challenges (underemployment, regret about life decisions, etc). However, I also think our bold and courageous generation continues to shape the world in many positive ways. Gen X continues to shape organizations, businesses and communities with their independence, work ethic and drive to have a personal life.
The pressure many Gen Xers put on themselves can be a blessing but also a curse. One key to a more positive midlife is letting go of regret and so much self-censoring while making life more of an adventure. Generally speaking, many of us were bold and independent in our youth. We are the generation of big hair, shaved sides, multiple piercings, video games, loud music and mohawks. If there is any generation who can find ways to enjoy it all more-it is ours. Gen X has done more for this country than most people realize without receiving or even needing the credit for their accomplishments. We have been leading under the radar for most of our lives, and it is time to raise our hands and voices to audaciously shape the future, especially for women (more on this in a later post).
What does this more modern midlife look like to you? How are you dealing with the challenges, pressures and stress? What great adventures are you having in your midlife? What new opportunities are you pursing? Let us know by leaving a comment. We would enjoy hearing from you!
Enjoy OWN’s hilarious video: