111: How to handle a midlife crisis (through a pandemic) – with Ada Calhoun

By March 31, 2020The Simplifiers Podcast

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Gen X ladies, listen up —> Why does it seem like we’re getting the short end of the stick in life?? I mean, c’mon… hello! We’re taking care of young children, aging parents, and now, HELLO! – doing it all during a global pandemic!!?! 

My special guest today is author Ada Calhoun and she’s simplifying how to handle a midlife crisis – through a pandemic, no less! She wrote this book called “Why We Can’t Sleep: Women’s New Midlife Crisis” where she interviewed hundreds of women in the US (who consider themselves part of Generation X) to see what’s behind all of this. What socio-economic factors and cultural barriers are causing many of us to feel downright exhausted and weary through this season of our lives right now?

So, if you’re between the ages of 41-55 right now and feeling like your existential ISH is hitting the fan, this one is for you.

I hope today’s conversation brings you peace, insight, and a few new ideas to make it better. In a Katniss, three-fingered sign of solidarity… Ada and I are right there with you in this. You are not alone.




My special guest today is Ada Calhoun and she’s simplifying how to handle a midlife crisis (through a pandemic, no less.) 

We tackle all aspects of it, including:

  • Gen X women are hitting our forties and many of us have achieved great things personally and professionally so far… but why do we feel so lousy?? 
  • How to emerge from the abyss and help the next generation of women (and our daughters) from falling into it, as well
  • In this day in age of social media and digital “connectedness” – why do we feel so (darn) alone?? How to combat this feeling and form IRL (in real life) friendships and relationships with other women
  • Now we are caring for our aging Boomer parents and also our young children… how to ensure we are taking good care of ourselves through this
  • Let’s talk perimenopause – What is it? What can we expect? How do we create a support system for us through this season of our bodies changing?

Q: Do you feel like you’re going through a midlife crisis right now and this (darn) pandemic is just ‘par for the course??’

It’s time to #DoTheThing!

<What’s helping today with COVID-19>

My challenge for you this week:

How are you going to take what you’ve learned in today’s episode and give yourself a little bit of grace this week? What’s one thing you could do differently to see if it helps make it a little better? Share it with me, privately or publicly. Snap a photo of you doing the thing, and tag @thesimplifiers on Instagram for added accountability and support!

Links, books and apps mentioned:

Book: Why We Can’t Sleep: Women’s New Midlife Crisis – Ada Calhoun

Book: Gravity and Grace – Simone Weil

Book: The Great Pretender: The Undercover Mission That Changed Our Understanding of Madness – Susannah Cahalan

Podcast: How to heal from anxiety, featuring Uma Sanghvi  – The Simplifiers Podcast

Podcast: How to not lose your ISH when you lose your ISH – The Simplifiers Podcast

Create your (revised) strategic plan for the year ahead! 

Aligned with my conversation with Ada today, we’ve got a free template to help you map out your (NEWLY pivoted) strategic plan for the year ahead. 

No need to start from scratch, this simple download will help you map out the next 12 months ahead, getting you one step closer to achieving your business goals for the year. 

It’s time to #dothething – this resource will help you SIMPLIFY!

Download this free resource to help you clarify your monthly goals and #DoTheThing!

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About Ada Calhoun

Ada Calhoun – She is the author of the New York Times bestseller Why We Can’t Sleep: Women’s New Midlife Crisis.

Her former books are Wedding Toasts I’ll Never Give, named one of the top ten memoirs of 2017 by W magazine; and the history book, St. Marks Is Dead: The Many Lives of America’s Hippest Street, called one of the best books of 2015 by the Boston Globe. She lives and works in New York City.

Where Ada hangs out online:

Website: adacalhoun.com

Facebook: @adacalhounauthor

Ada’s vote for the perfect guest on The Simplifiers Podcast:

Alicia Haywood – She is an educator, inspirational speaker and a producer of films, TV, radio, print, podcasts, and digital media content, working in the professional media industry for over 25 years to help others seeking a spotlight. She is also the founder of iSpeakMedia helping adolescents – and the people who care for them – better understand their relationship with the media.

Ada Calhoun

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Episode sponsored by…

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Lucy with a Why is a personal brand provocateur who helps small businesses (like yours!) serve mischievously, cheeky marketing and compelling copy to seriously stand out amongst the competition. Hire Lucy to help you become the queen or king of your niche and sky-rocket your confidence in how you show up in the world!


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