Ada Calhoun is having a mid-life crisis, and if you are a middle-class woman born between 1965 and 1980, it's quite possible that you are, too.
In Why We Can't Sleep: Women's New Midlife Crisis, Calhoun sets out to determine why so many women who seem like they should be happy (married! with kids! and a career!) are actually miserable, anxious, and so, so tired. What she finds is that while the crisis isn't new, the specific circumstances of mid-life for Gen X women pose an entirely new set of economic, cultural, and existential problems. Raised with an unprecedented expectation of success and the belief that they would be able to "do it all," the women who grew up making mix tapes and mailing zines now must contend with the pursuit of perfection across multiple social networking platforms.
So what can we do to empower a generation of overworked, underestimated women – and make sure the next generation has a smoother segue into middle age? Calhoun guides the reader through her own experience and speaks with women across America who are trying to strike a balance and learn that even if mid-life isn't perfect, it's enough.
In this audio excerpt, Calhoun discusses social media, Instagram filters, and why Oregon Trail is the best computer gave forever.