Why We Can't Sleep
Women's New Midlife CrisiseBook - 2020
Calhoun decided to find some answers. She looked into housing costs, HR trends, credit card debt averages, and divorce data. At every turn, she saw a pattern: sandwiched between the Boomers and the Millennials, Gen X women were facing new problems as they entered middle age, problems that were being largely overlooked.
Speaking with women across America about their experiences as the generation raised to "have it all," Calhoun found that most were exhausted, terrified about money, under-employed, and overwhelmed. Instead of their issues being heard, they were told instead to lean in, take "me-time," or make a chore chart to get their lives and homes in order.
In Why We Can't Sleep, Calhoun opens up the cultural and political contexts of Gen X's predicament and offers solutions for how to pull oneself out of the abyss—and keep the next generation of women from falling in. The result is reassuring, empowering, and essential reading for all middle-aged women, and anyone who hopes to understand them.
From the critics
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"When the tough things happen -- parents get sick, relationships go sour, careers stall -- we might ask ourselves if the situation is a prison or a school: a place to escape or one in which to learn."
"'I remember after my second kid was born,' said one friend of mine, 'and putting on three pounds every year, and thinking, Huh, this isn't that great ... Okay, these are the things I'm going to do to work out and blah, blah, blah, and then at some point being like, Can I actually just be a mom? Can I not have to be a MILF? I'm just about to hit forty, so I'm solid MILF material, but also could I just be a squishy mom? Do we ever get permission to look forty rather than twenty, to just be old? And not even old, but 'Yeah, I popped a couple out, give me a break.' I don't want to go to Pilates. I don't remember all our moms looking that good at forty.'"
"This is the time of life when we learn that we don't have to be pleasing; the work now is just to become more ourselves."
"I'm just saying, I guess, there's another version, after this version, to look forward to. Because of wisdom or hormones or just enough years going by. If you live long enough you quit chasing the things that hurt you; you eventually learn to hear the sound of your own voice."
"... hormones are affected by diet, stress, exercise, and sleep. While it's not easy for all of us to maintain a healthy weight, sleep eight hours a night, or go back in time and spend our whole lives eating a soy-rich diet, it's nice to know that at least theoretically some of that might help."
"'Why am I irritable at work?' she says, 'Well, you don't just have work. You have work at work and work at home and work in the family and work in the community.'"
"Money is weird, because it's a primary source of stress, and nobody's allowed to talk about it."
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