Last Wednesday Oprah.com sent me its monthly newsletter. The featured post entitled “The New Midlife Crisis.” Was so impactful that it became my personal topic of the week for friends and colleagues to discuss. As I read through the post I went from joyful, to sad, to “Oh My God, I’m not Crazy.” Ada Calhoun accurately captures the “new midlife crisis” many Generation X women, myself included, are currently facing as a result of being a sandwich generation.
Women born between 1965 to 1984 are sandwiched between taking care of their Baby Boomer parents and Millennial children, or in my case, just my separated parents. In addition to being sandwiched between Boomers who can’t afford to retire and millennials who are young, easy to hire, and technology savvy. In her post she shares that more than one in five women within this age range are on anti-depressants, overwhelmed by life in general, and overstressed according to a Medco report entitled America’s State of Mind. This high-pressure situation can create barriers to transitioning into older age gracefully, finally having children, or starting a new job or career.
When I read articles like this, I’m always searching for a solution or a way that maybe I can find solace after so much truth. However, the post also shared that Gen X women feel overwhelmed by the trappings of yoga, meditation, and communing with nature because of the pressures which are the usual prescription for these feelings of stress. I thought this was preposterous, but after a few conversations with peers and colleagues I realized, there was a pressure there to get it right, as well as, the idea that they needed to add one more thing to their already packed schedule in order to feel, at the very least, normal.
My question is, why not?
Why not carve out space in your life that is just for your own personal health and pleasure? What would it take away from any other pressure-filled task you’re doing? Aren’t you worth it? This is not to say that I don’t feel as Calhoun does in this article, as my joy ebbs and flows like everyone else’s. In fact, my go-to stress-reliever is always a hot shower where I let the water run down my body and hair and keep my focus on how that moment of warmth feels. For someone else, it could be sitting on a bench in a busy bustling park. For another, it could be playing out in the garden for pure sanity. We are individuals and yoga just isn’t for everyone.
While this post by Calhoun offered no solution because haven’t we received enough of those, it did make me sit down with myself and ask:
What will bring me absolute joy and fulfillment right now?
Ask this question of yourself, and act on it because continuing to repeat the same activities expecting a different result is insanity at it’s best and it may be time to switch things up.
Enjoy the read!