Is the mid-life crisis a modern day phenomenon for women?

My co-author and I have written a lot recently in our blog about our current dissatisfaction with our careers and have put this down to experiencing a mid-life crisis.

This has got me thinking about the whole concept of a mid-life crisis.  It seems as though this was once the domain of men only.  It was not unusual to hear of ageing balding men who went out and bought a motorbike or a sports car and/or traded in the wife of many years for a younger model.

I have been wracking my brains to think of examples from my childhood and teenage years of women in my life who experienced similar turmoil in their lives to my co-author and me.  I simply can’t think of anyone!  My mother always seemed perfectly content with her world.  Even my sisters who are much older than me seem to have been very content.

This leads me to speculate as to whether the mid-life crisis in women is in fact a new phenomenon of the modern world in which we live.  Has this in fact come about as a result of us striving to have it all?  More than any other time in history women have the freedom to choose our life’s path and many women have a successful career which would have been unthinkable 100 years ago.

When I contemplate people who are in business for themselves or are pursuing their life’s passion or involved in philanthropist activities they seem to be so much more satisfied and content and happy. Perhaps it is about doing something you love rather than doing something because you have to.  Perhaps it is about having found a sense of purpose in their lives.

Perhaps we are just exhausted.  All of the so-called time-saving devices in our lives don’t seem to have given us any more spare time.  In fact there seems to be much less leisure time than previously.  Many people are hooked in 24/7 to electronic devices which don’t allow for us to switch off and relax. Every day I see people walking down the streets with their eyes fixed on their phones, tapping away, completely oblivious to everything and everyone around them. Has technology improved our lives?  I’m not so sure.

So, is it then the daily grind of having a job which is the problem? Is it the need to have to go and work for someone else to survive, the common thread?  Is it the ‘job’ (Just Over Broke) which drives both men and women to feel the yearning in their middle years to do something different, to make a difference, to escape to a new life?

I would be interested to hear other people’s view on this and have some debate about what people think is the cause of the mid-life crisis.  Does the mid-life crisis even exist or is it really just a label for being grumpy and feeling out of sorts?

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6 Comments

  1. Maybe it’s waking up one day to the realization that “this is as good as it gets” and the knowledge that “this” it’s not what you expected or hoped or planned for it to be.

    Reply
  2. I just think we grow and change as time passes and sometimes it takes us a while to work out what we really want out of life – when we discover what it is we want, the mid-life crisis kicks in. To do the thing we want may mean a lot a changes to a life in which we’ve become settled. And so we wrestle with our choices.

    Reply
    • What you wrote touched a chord Debs. I think the reason why we wrestle with our choices much more in the middle years of our lives is because by that stage we have committments. Whether they are family or financial and suddenly changing direction is not as straight forward as it was when we were younger and less encumbered.
      Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

      Reply
  3. I’ve mentioned you here:
    http://lexokat.wordpress.com/2012/06/13/ive-been-awarded/

    Thank you for always visiting my blog and most of all, thank you for being an inspiration to me and everyone else.

    Reply
  4. I started my blog, jennsmidlifecrisis.com on a whim, something that is in itself “not me” I’m loving it. I am at a point in my life where I’m really discovering who I am, what I want, and what I’m good at…and letting go of the insecurities of “youth” that have held me back from so many adventures. The fact that I reached that point on the verge of 40 is likely just coincidence, but if it gives me an excuse to break out of the box, try some new things, and have some fun, then I’m jumping in to my mid-life crisis with both feet! 🙂

    Reply

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