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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