I cannot say enough about this book! I want everyone to read it! Gen-X women are having a unique menopausal experience in the history of humanity. As the generation raised to “have it all”, Gen-X women born from about 1965-1980 are dealing with a set of circumstances unlike Boomers and Millennials about whom much more has been studied. The last generation to not “get a trophy” for everything is feeling like a failure at midlife. A lot of women my age and those around them are being profoundly affected by the issues studied by Calhoun: credit card debt, divorce, underemployment, exhaustion, profound anxiety. And we are being told to “lean in”, take “me time”, “tidy up” and a host of other suggestions usually just another way to sell us stuff based on our fears. This easy to read book offers practical suggestions, but more than that: it offers the voices of other women in the same place, dealing with the same issues, providing a much needed source of empowerment for Gen-X women like myself and those who love us.— Kelly
A generation-defining exploration of the new midlife crisis facing Gen X women and the unique circumstances that have brought them to this point, Why We Can't Sleep is a lively successor to Passages by Gail Sheehy and The Defining Decade by Meg Jay
When Ada Calhoun found herself in the throes of a midlife crisis, she thought that she had no right to complain. She was married with children and a good career. So why did she feel miserable? And why did it seem that other Generation X women were miserable, too?
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 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.
About the Author
ADA CALHOUN is the author of the memoir Wedding Toasts I'll Never Give, named an Amazon Book of the Month and one of the top ten memoirs of 2017 by W magazine; and the history St. Marks Is Dead, one of the best books of 2015, according to Kirkus and the Boston Globe. She has collaborated on several New York Times bestsellers, and written for the New York Times, New York, and The New Republic.