The female midlife crisis – 35 is the new 40

Everything is the new 40. 40 is the new 30, 40 is the new black (what does that even MEAN!?) while 40 is the new chance to get naked and do a spread in a magazine, it would seem. If you happen to be Jennifer Aniston. I say 35 is the new 40, and the dawning of the age of the female midlife crisis.

I have a looming birthday, like I’m in a plane, and there are snakes on it, and I’m flying it, and straight ahead is Mt Birthday, with snow on the top. Yes, yes. That may sound like a dream (or a really bad movie with Samuel L Jackson), but it is, in fact, a birthday. But this one isn’t 40. Oh no, it’s pissy little 35. I’m bothered by the fact that I’m bothered by it.


Look out, or you’re going to fly RIGHT into that birthday!

It’s not the number that’s worrysome, but what it represents. It’s the middling-ness of it all. MID-30s. MID-life. SCHOOL mum. MARRIED with kids. WIFE. PART-time worker. It’s all so nameless, half-way something, and devoid of identity.

Am I having a midlife crisis? Can women have them? Am I really a man in women’s clothing? Does that mean I get to buy a porsche? Silver, please.

I read a fab article in the SMH the other day, suggesting it’s a REAL THING, cos, you know, what’s in the paper and in the opinion/lifestyle section is, like, FACT. Apparently, according to Melbourne psychologist Robyn Vickers-Willis it’s quite common for women between the ages of about 35 and their late 40s to feel somewhat lost and to look for a new sense of identity outside how we’re conditioned to see ourselves, based on expectations, to seek how we really truly are.

The rest of the article is here.

So, I’m still 34. I’ve always been quite advanced.

The question is, what to do about it?

1. I am sad about missing out on my Sports Illustrated spread. (I’ll mourn my ballet career and lead singer in a rock band losses when I turn 40). Come on, I’m realistic. It was never going to be the cover. However, I’ve discovered you need to invest sizeable sums in certain surgical enhancements to make the cut. My windsocks would never do.

2. Failing the Sports Illustrated grade, become a professional tennis player’s girlfriend. They sit down a lot, and smile, and get their hair made blonde regularly, and probably exercise a lot. The tennis players earn enough money to support the necessary enhancements and procedures. Champagne. Parties. A LOT of watching tennis training. Mmmm maybe no.

3. Get new teeth. I’d feel like Mitch in City Slickers after his wife tells him to ‘go and find your smile’ and he comes back all smiley with a baby cow called Norman if I could get me some shiny new white un-chipped specimens that glow in the dark. OK, maybe skip the last part. (The glowing – I’ll take the baby cow.) But, all in a white row without the chunks out of them would be nice. Do they make industrial-strength teeth? Cos I’d just grind down the newbies to a sandy dust in my sleep in no time too unless they’re made of cement. On the to-do list. Shall investigate further.

4. Do something really fun and loopy, like the Color Run. Sadly, I’m too late for Sydney, as it’s on this Sunday on my actual birthday. It looks like a huge, fun, awesome, smiley and warm way to spend a day with people soaking up some community love, but there’s only one half of those two words I’m into. Colour, YES. Run, NO. I tried yesterday. There were no wolves chasing me, so I stopped. It seemed pointless.

Check this out though – it’s just lovely and makes me smile. 

5. Take up a ridiculous hobby, like lounge singing, or extreme ironing, or convince the world I’m a chef by writing a cookbook of recipes containing only two ingredients in each.


I think I have another answer though. Write. I considered doing it on my body, but that’s also a little cliched. There are many pop culture references to the male mid-life crisis. That little ol’ movie from Judd Apatow ‘This is 40′ is the first to cover things from the female end too, but that’s all that’s out there. Maybe we need to get a collective script a-brewing about the blahs of the bloggy saggy-boobed woman. Just maybe that’s the answer I’ve been seeking…

Or is there something else??

Here’s a story… of a windsocked lady …


We made it! I am number 4.

Little A Princess Banana, future futurist, designer of grand designs, thinker of big thinks, has turned 4. I feel exhausted, and elated. She is a whirling dervish, quite literally.

Whirling dervish

Earlier last year Little A was annoyed by her fringe being in the way, and in the quintessential childhood rite of passage, she took the only sensible course of action, and chopped it off. There. Much better. She could see clearly now the hair had gone. All of the bad feelings had disappeared. Mummy’s? Well. I had a little cry on my own time.

It’s a pretty bad hair day, but she pulls it off amazingly well.

She loves fiercely and strongly, and is very protective of her sister, showing astounding levels of empathy for such a little being. When she’s not feeling all of the empathy, she takes her for a ride. Yes, like a horse.

Taking her sister for a ride. As you do.

I admit, I find her a challenge. As Katy Perry so eloquently sings, ‘Baby you’re a Firework’, and she’s intense. Her intelligence and non-stop chatter and questions and talking can get tiring, and her demands wearing. The tantrums? Well.. they are still those of a 3-year old. She wants what she wants. NOW. But she wants ME – because she loves me so, so, so, much. She’s beautiful, and creative, and she makes me melt. She’s been a little force ever since she was in the womb (now THERE’S a story for another day – stay tuned) and has been kick, kick, kicking while my womb kick kick kicked her back. They fought and she won. She loves to sunbake, she loves to dress like a Vogue fashion-designer, and she made an old man very happy before he passed away a few weeks ago.

Not yet embracing the ‘less is more’ approach to styling …

Little A and Pa









Even her quiet birthday at home on Wednesday was punctuated with Little A-shaped highlights. She committed her first shoplifting offence, which I have rectified, thankfully, so her record is still unbesmirched at her tender age. She loved a hat so much that she ripped the tags off and parked it firmly on her head, and was still wearing it, unnoticed by me, until she took it off and threw it down on the shopping centre floor 10 minutes later in a fit of rage (over an unrelated matter), at which point I noticed its continued presence. Oops. Back to the shop to pay.

Wearing the offending birthday hat

We experienced a hairy moment with the remote-control car (again, quite literally), and found that turning four can age you, very very, terrifyingly badly.


Car eats hair. On head. Tears.







It wouldn’t have been little A’s birthday without a few ‘events’. Happy birthday beautiful girl, with all of my love. xxx