Midlife Crisis and Working Women


Women are still visiting this blog for midlife crisis help. Some are trying to find out how to lead their women's church group through this topic, while others are looking for help for themselves.

I want to add a couple of points to this topic of midlife crisis in women today:

WORKING WOMEN AND MIDLIFE CRISIS

I read an article today on working women facing midlife crisis. (I will intermingle what I learned with my opinion.)

It seems our fore-sisters may not have helped us out in this area of midlife crisis, because they may have "set us up" for disappointment.

The women's liberation movement and other less questionable yet positive steps opened doors for women to think differently and to be seen differently. A wave washed over the world where women were encouraged to pursue any avenue of work they set their minds to. They were told to smash the glass ceiling because they could do anything men could. Girls were led to believe that there were great things ahead of them if they just toughened up.

School programs began to cater to girls in new ways and girls rose to the challenge. By age 25, though, some of these girls that had reached the top of their classes with high marks. discovered that in the working world, they had to spend time in the trenches of junior positions with mediocre pay (just as many young men do). In their early years they had to prove themselves.

By their 30s they had to take more powerful steps to smash glass ceilings or never get there. They had to do this quickly too before their biological clocks struck midnight.

Between mid-20's and mid-30's life for many became complicated as they became mothers. Though many woman want careers, most also want a family too. They are told they can do both. A portion of the women try to do both, another few decide it's too hard to do both and step away from work for a time, only to find it is very difficult to rebuild a career after taking time off.

Those who stayed working may or may not have reached a new level of greatness. By 40 they may realize there is always a new definition of greatness or something new to be achieved and they grow weary of it.

THE WORLD CHANGES:  PERIOD!

The world changes, and what were once key strategies for rising to the top are no longer the top priorities. The carrot is always dangling beyond grasp. (For instance, just when a woman thinks she's computer savvy, she finds she's behind if she's not up on the latest app, plugged into all the social media platforms the right way, is connected, knows how to brand herself, and so on). In the Who's Who, a person can be at the top one year and not even on the list the next.

By 50 a woman may be successful and happy, or frustrated. She may decide to go it on her own as an entrepreneur, retire from paid work, or she may stay in the game as she still has that restless craving for more even though she doesn't necessarily know what the more is.

By 50 a woman may start to feel that others see her as old and outdated--even if she doesn't feel that way herself. The younger generation (who need jobs too) begin to push these women out.

(Let me put in this disclaimer--no this doesn't necessarily apply to every woman.)

WHAT IS GREATNESS?

It might help women if they could know exactly what that ellusive greatness is. If they don't know what defines greatness, how do they know how to reach it?  How will they realize when they have reached it? Thus begins the midlife crisis or confusion.

A midlife crisis isn't as easy to explain as all of this above. The causes and symptoms are many and varied. 

CHRISTIAN WOMEN

As Christian women, it will help us to help others if we can lead them on a path of defining what greatness is in the eyes of God. Is it beauty?  Is it career?  Is it relationships?

We need to outline Kingdom principles. Kingdom principles contradict worldly ones, but because we live in the world we need to grasp both.

Let me make this perfectly clear. This is far more than teaching women the cliché phrase "find your identity in Christ". I'm sure many Christian women have their identity in Christ straightened out. That doesn't take away the urge to do and be more with that identity.

CURE FOR THE MIDLIFE CRISIS

The cure for the midlife crisis is multi-faceted. One thing that will help a woman is to see that God, who works in the spiritual, has assignments for her that are spiritual. I'd have to write a complete book on what I mean, so instead will leave you on this quest:
  1. Search for a solid understanding of God and his characteristics.  You will trust him more if you know him more.
  2. Search for answers as to what God's idea of greatness is.
  3. Search out and define what Kingdom principles are.
  4. Search out how a woman can operate in the spiritual in order to break through her personal midlife crisis.
You might be saying, "Wow, that doesn't help!"  This is a start

Yes, you can make other investigations and take steps forward.  Unless you are walking with God and are convinced of that, though, you will not have the peace you need.  When you walk with God he'll point you to where you should go next.

As always I'd love to hear your thoughts. Interaction is vital to better understanding and growth. Feel free to leave a comment or email me.


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