Why We Can't Sleep

Why We Can't Sleep: Women's New Midlife Crisis  - Ada Calhoun

[I received a copy through NetGalley, in exchange for an honest review.]

A hit in some ways, a miss in others for me.

I am technically a Gen-Xer, after all, and have been curious about what it’s like for other people—what it’s like, hitting your forties? Are their experiences the same as mine? Am I even experiencing the frightful middle-life crisis, or not yet, and how can I tell? The author worked with her own experiences, as well as those of friends, and from research, too, so the result was a good mix, I think, of personal plus scientific/psychological. And it is definitely interesting to see all these experiences, some very close to each other, others pretty varied, all the more since a lot of women I know then to bag it all and have less visibility when it comes to reaching middle-age.

That said, it was also a miss, because a lot of the aforementioned also didn’t resonate with me. (Mostly it’s about cisgender, middle/upper class women.) I identify as agender and aro-ace; I’m not nor do I want to be in a romantic relationship; I don’t have nor do I want children; my background and career path place me much more among millennials than xennials; I never felt the pressure of “having it all” (no family to take care of), I don’t particularly feel “invisible” (I probably am, but I don’t feel it since I’m not interested in romantic love, and I’m enough of a nerd, in a branch where this is desirable, for people to notice me regardless). So, this was all interesting, but in a distanced way. I didn’t relate that much. Is it because I haven’t reached that point yet? Or because my path is different enough that my experience will never be so close to what’s most often depicted here?

I guess I did enjoy this book, although it didn’t particularly “speak” to me. I’d recommend it only to someone who matches that demographic and is interested in a mirror—“I’m not alone and this comforts me”.

P.S. It's not about how to cure insomnia.