A while back I saw a Facebook meme that read, “Never pick a fight with a woman over 40. They are full of rage and sick of everyone’s shit.” The quote was attributed to Kate Blanchett and had thousands of shares. Around that same time, I started seeing this candle line popping up everywhere that has labels inscribed with phrases referencing everything from throat punching people to PMS and multiple uses of the F word. Apparently, there’s a market for it. Then a few weeks ago, Grove Press released Ada Calhoun’s book Why We Can't Sleep: Women's New Midlife Crisis, and as of this writing (28 January, 2020), it is temporarily out of stock on Amazon.
If any of this resonates, please know you’re not alone. The physical and mental illnesses of U.S. adults are reaching epidemic proportions, yet not enough people are speaking publicly about them, sharing their struggles, and taking real action to change things. Please take a minute and truly let the following statistics sink in. A CDC report released this week shows that 70 percent of U.S. adults over the age of 20 are either overweight or obese. U.S. consumer debt is at a record high. Nearly half of U.S. adults report feeling some type of loneliness or social isolation, which experts say can be as harmful to our health as smoking 15 cigarettes a day. And – this is going to be hard to read, but I have to share it – a 2018 CDC report showed that suicide rates for women aged 45 to 64 increased by almost 60% between 2000 and 2016. No group of women saw a higher suicide rate. That one hits home particularly hard for me. I never got to meet my maternal grandmother, because in her 40s, decades before this CDC study and Calhoun’s book, she took her own life.
I used to read that after 40, women are supposed to be more comfortable in our skin, more established in our careers, more fulfilled by familial ties and friendship bonds, more financially secure, and more free to pursue the passions and interests that round out our comfortable, fulfilled, secure, carefree lives. Instead we’re overweight, overworked, underpaid, disconnected, depressed, broke, and stressed AF. I mean, we’re literally buying crap emblazoned with snarky rants about our shitty lives, and we need a book to tell us why we can’t sleep??
Any time one launches a new venture, sage advice says, “Start with your why.” So, here we are. My why is woven together between the lines of the paragraphs above; in the twists and turns of my family history and my own struggles with anxiety and depression and maintaining a healthy lifestyle; and in the stories I hear on a daily basis from friends and colleagues and see playing out in the landscape of social media. Blissburg Mindset Coaching + Lifestyle Design is officially launching in less than two months, offering a range of individual and group programs and live events. As a 40-something, I earned my certification as an Integrative Life + Wellness Coach and started Blissburg to offer alternatives to the bad vibes of snark, cynicism, and barrage of negative news, and provide real solutions for our unfulfilled and unhealthy lives. I wake up every day with the passion to live in love with my life and work, and my calling is to help other women do the same.
I’ll be sharing weekly updates moving forward, along with oodles of information to inspire making more meaningful connections and healthier life choices, and experiencing more joy on a daily basis. I hope you’ll continue on this journey and perhaps be moved to share your own stories, struggles, and strategies to help support others and build a happier, healthier community that reshapes the dominant stories about what it looks and feels like to be a woman of a certain age in the United States.