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  • Writer's pictureCoach Kat

Midlife: Where Misery, Messiness, and Magic Collide – Why I Rebranded to Coach Gen X Women

By Coach Kat, Mar. 29, 2024, copyright 2024 Bronwyn Katdaré. All Rights Reserved.



“Midlife”: a word that leaves my eye twitching. Gen X grew up being told we could have it all, be it all, and do it all. And, holy shit, WE DID IT! Gen X turned into over-achieving, super-functioning women.


Gen X women get the worst of both worlds, though. Gen X women were raised to do two things simultaneously: operate according to traditional gender roles and be independent, career-focused, hyper-achievers from the boardroom to the bedroom.


The expectation was to take care of the kids and work full-time. Now, it’s taking care of adult kids and their kids and aging parents, still working, still taking care of household tasks and cleaning, still acting as the taxi, still spending as much time with kids as mothers in 1975, still being paid much less than our male counterparts while men do just slightly more than THEIR fathers did (which was not a whole lot). We carry a heavy load for a lot of people, and this can be exhausting and overwhelming.


AND, we’re supposed to rock beach bodies. Doesn’t matter that we hardly have time to cook a healthy meal much less eat one, much less work out.


So, growing up Gen X were latch-key kids, learning to cook and clean and take care of younger family members, plus being told at home and in school that you have to work hard to get the best jobs, if you “just work harder” you’ll get the reward, if you just do more and excel, if you just get 100% on all the tests instead of 92%...”if you just”… You see, we became hard-wired to over-function at the top tier. We have EXPECTATIONS. And when others don’t meet our expectations, we just do it ourselves. Don’t just stand there and certainly don’t stand in our way because we will run you through even though we are so_damn_tired.


On the other end of this, others have EXPECTATIONS of us. Men simply expect women to take care of the kids and the household. Men don’t check in before heading out to the golf course or the gym. They just go. They don’t ask if we need anything while they’re out – or if they do ask and we send them off with the grocery list, they act very inconvenienced.


Let me be transparent here: I’ve never been married and I don’t have kids. This is true. This does not mean I haven’t experienced similar things in other types of relationships. 


Should you think this is complaining or a midlife crisis, it is far from it. Many women are burned out from burning the candle at both ends. But it’s not really even about the stress. It’s that women have given up WHO they are, THEIR dreams, and THEIR purpose to always, no matter where they are or who they are with, put others ahead of themselves. From talking with women worldwide, this is what I’m seeing: women over the age of 40 being stressed out, feeling stuck, feeling unfulfilled, and being unseen. Gen X women have come to a crossroad because their lives are not what they thought they would be. A part of them has died or is dying because they are not doing what brings them joy or being who they were born to be. It’s catching up with them.


According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, women ages 40-59 have the highest rates of depression among any age or gender in the United States. The National Center for Health Statistics reported the suicide rate for women ages 45-64 has increased by 63% since 1999 (Cecilia Dintino, PsyD, Psychology Today, January 25, 2018). It’s not just hormones; midlife is a time of loss – empty nests, ailing and/or deceased parents, career changes, and a loss of friendships, marital, or love partners (Kimberly Key, Ph.D., Psychology Today, May 18, 2022).


It's time to be unapologetic in setting ourselves as the priority. If you’ve watched the movie Babe, about the pig who wanted to be a sheepdog, you may remember the line, “Little ideas that tickled, and nagged, and refused to go away should never be ignored, for in them lie the seeds of destiny.” There are parts of ourselves we’ve locked away because we just had too much on our plates but those parts are who we really are and we will never, ever be fulfilled, truly joy-filled, or whole if we continue to lock those pieces away. Women are seeking community and support around the loss of identity. Gen X women have exponential experience and we’re scrappy.


Midlife (what else can we call this?!) is a time for figuring out who you’ve been, who you are, and who you are becoming. It’s time to reevaluate and reimagine your life based on what’s meaningful to you (and what isn’t) and what’s working for you (and what isn’t). Relationships, careers, hobbies, homes, and values should bring energy, and not upheaval/tumult/chaos, or suck the energy from you.


To begin sorting through what’s coming up at this point in your life, grab a pen and a journal. Write down these categories (based on the Seattle Midlife Women’s Health Study) and describe what’s happening in your life. Let the thoughts and words flow. No one else is reading this so don’t worry about making it pretty. Write down the thoughts and words that are coming up for you.


1.     Changing family relationships: Husband/partner, children, aging parents, siblings, and in-laws. Children leaving home, parenting teenagers, caregiving, divorce, separation, and/or untimely death of a partner, parent, or sibling, or starting a new relationship.


2.     Balancing work and personal life so you feel like you’re really living: Stressful job/career, unemployment/underemployment, balancing multiple roles, job change/career change, job loss, finding a job with health benefits, and facing retirement. 


3.     Rediscovering Self: Comfort with who you are, self-acceptance, finding meaning in your life, accepting not achieving life goals, realizing that the number of active years is limited, and difficulties of seeking new relationships. 


4.     Securing enough resources: Dealing with financial challenges such as college tuition, a partner’s unemployment, and lack of health insurance.


5.     Multiple stressors occurring at once: Stressors that occurred all at the same time, including divorce or breaking up with a partner, personal health problems, and the death of parents.


An issue I ran into while researching this blog was that so little has been written about Gen X or midlife women and the issues they are confronting at this point in their lives. In and of itself, that’s an issue. So where do women over 40 turn for support, community, or moving from the present toward the future?


As a Freedom and Reconnection Coach, I help Gen X women transform their mind-body health, free themselves from their past drama-trauma stories, and reconnect with their mojo. When you’re ready to step into your wildest dreams in an empowered way and spark peace and magic in your soul, reconnect with heartfelt purpose, feel like you are enough, and embrace the possibilities ahead of you, schedule a free Calm the Chaos Clarity Consult by emailing me at coachkathealth@gmail.com. Let’s really talk.


(Bronwyn Katdaré is a certified Hypnotherapist, Integrative Holistic Health Coach, and Jungian Soul-Centered Life Coach. She incorporates Shamanic healing, Medical Intuition, Reiki, Akashic Records, Young Living Essential Oils, and Kundalini Awakening Yoga into her coaching and healing practices).


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