Hello friends! Midlife loves company, and Merry Middle is your source for GenX perspectives on life, parenting, money, travel and cooking. As I’ve reached what some might call “middle age,” the resources I’ve found make me sad, like suddenly getting AARP mailings and life insurance pitches. Suddenly we see all these celebrities turning 50 in 2021 and we’re like, um, excuse me? Winona Ryder. Snoop Dogg. Ricky Martin (WTF?). Eryka Badu. Missy Elliott. Amy Poehler. Nope, not true. It has to be a lie.
I didn’t come to “middle age” easily. After all, what the f*ck is middle age anymore? A staunch Gen Xer, I mostly feel like a 25 year old with an increasingly shitty body. My husband, Jesse, feels the same. Are we still cool? Yes, before 9 pm. Are we healthy? When we want to be. Are we great parents? Some times. Does it all get to be too much sometimes? Definitely.
What I’ve noticed is that there is a ton of content for young moms and singles and not so much for those of us of a certain age. Circling around the big midlife milestone, still feeling like we’re 25 in our brains, but dealing with a whole host of different issues than we were at 25. Yes, we are getting older. But we’re still cool right? And that my friends, is what we will talk about. I don’t want to see soft florals in this header and people of a certain age gazing into the sunset. Not for me AT ALL. Let’s celebrate our lives with expletives and vigor!
Parenting has changed a lot — many of us have moved well past parenting young kids and are dealing with teenagers and adult children. Their issues get bigger and we may find ourselves struggling with giving our kids the independence they need versus being too controlling. We may struggle with empty nest or wish our nest was emptying sooner.
The way we look at health is changing. The days of running until we’re hungry and then getting a bearclaw might be behind us, but we’re finding new fun in midlife– hiking, running, pole dancing 🙂 We’re also coming up against new aches and pains and we may be facing issues like cancer, diabetes or other chronic issues. Losing weight may not be quite as easy as it once was as we face perimenopause issues and hormonal “fun.”
Cooking can either be stressful or bring new exploration and fun–and for many of us, our skills are a bit stronger and we’re ready to take some risks with cooking, or may be focused on cooking to meat new lifestyle goals — keto, clean eating, low carb and Mediterranean lifestyles are among top dietary plans.
Travel takes on new meaning as we may for the first time in years be able to travel alone again with our spouses and plan new adventures (COVID-19 restrictions not withstanding). We may have done many of the typical travel choices and are seeking unique destinations and activities.
The beauty products, makeup and fashion that were our go-to’s in our 20’s and 30’s probably aren’t doing the trick anymore, and we’re on the hunt for new “holy grail” products that help us deal with the issues a few more years are bringing – wrinkles, dark spots and hormonal acne (still)! We are seeking serums, moisturizers and treatments as well as makeup that helps accentuate our best features in simple and natural ways. We want fashion that flatters and fits.
The way we are looking at money is changing too. If you were an early planner and are sitting happily on a nest egg for retirement, that is awesome! If, on the other hand, you’re among the 50% of Americans who don’t feel ready for retirement, you may be seeking new solutions–and fast. You may be financing education for your children, considering vacation homes or on the other hand, downsizing.