If I mention the words mid life crises I bet the first image that would spring to mind is of a balding older man with motorbike, ill fitting leather jacket and eyeing up younger women. A few might even imagine an older woman who is flushed with the menopause and worrying over her empty nest. Probably the last thing to spring to mind would be a younger woman. But according to a recent Relate survey, the mid life crises is no longer an exclusive right of passage for the older man. We women are more and more getting in on the act and not leaving it till were older.
So why are women having mid life crises earlier then men? A part of it is the pressure to succeed as early as possible; it has a knock on effect. In just a decade the average age of a chief executive has gone down from late fifties to the forties and with women as common in the work place as men it’s getting us too.
It’s often something big like the loss of a job or someone close to us that makes us stop and re-evaluate our lives. Its brought home that nothing is permanent and how fragile life can actually be. It can be an illness that changes our routine. Once out of the normal routine it can be a big enough jolt to make us realise there is a different way to do things.
Since turning the dreaded 40 my worries and thoughts have started to change and if I go by the symptoms and reports, I am just about there.
The new age to have a mid life crises in woman in 35 – 44 – Yep tick that box.
Have a feeling of lost identity – with my ex husband living within walking distance, my children have grown up rather free-range. There can be periods I hardly see them. Staying at dads, a sleep over here and there and woosh nearly a week can go by. I can feel at times as though I’m not needed.
Boredom- I can’t tick this one as I was an only child so the feeling boredom was something I tackled very early. I learnt very early that to keep myself occupied and it’s still with me today.
Feeling of worthlessness and lack of meaning – er yes I can tick that one sometimes but I am not going to dwell on that.
Time running out – I felt this first a few years ago and its starting to get worse.
Nearly two years ago I realised that for over 20 years I had been in full time employment. Nothing new there and I am actually very lucky to have been. I have been a seamstress, a shop manager and an office manager, oh and a PA to someone rather posh. I have loved all my jobs, so much so I always gave more than 100% but giving that much is stressful. To boot I had two children and a divorce in those 20 years too. So 2 years ago I went self employed. I wanted to be in control of myself. I didn’t want to answer to anyone else. I didn’t do it for money reasons ad have no fanciful ideas or drive to be so successful I employ others. When making the decision I talked to the children explaining what I wanted to do and that money would be a lot tighter. They unreservedly backed me all the way. In my two years eating baked beans on toast every day I have relaxed, I have become less materialistic. I don’t yearn for the finer things in life anymore. We have enough food in the cupboard, bills are paid on time and I am more of a free spirit. That’s me happy. So maybe my midlife crisis isn’t all that bad.