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 …


23 thoughts on “The female midlife crisis – 35 is the new 40

  1. Pingback: Polka dot, polka dot, Kimbo circus. | Falling Face First

  2. Firstly, Color Run is on in Newcastle 5th of May – do a road trip – so much fun. Will tweet you the link.
    Secondly, it’s most definitely a thing. I woke up one morning, 2 kids already in my world and sunk into the biggest depression because I had the realisation that I would never get to see the heads on Easter Island. Ever, in my life. With 2 kids both the cost and time would be prohibitive. It took me quite a while to shake that.
    I still have moments of panic – often creeping up unexpectedly. I’ll be at the footy and suddenly think how I don’t want to die because I’ll never want to watch my last footy game, or in the sunshine in the park and panic that it will all soon be over and I’ve wasted it. FOMO is a big thing for me.
    But it’s not all bad – use it to make the most of your time. As I am often quoting, from the Genius Norton Juster of the Phantom Tollbooth “Time is a gift, given to you, given to give you the time you need, the time you need to have the time of your life.

    • Just googled the Phantom Tollbooth – HOW have I lived my whole life without reading this? Clearly Jasper Fforde is a huge fan. Another thing to be depressed about – I can’t run. I tried, and my bung ankles have taken two weeks to recover. Maybe I’ll do the color WALK in Newcastle.. I’m pretty old now, after all. :) I think I’m over the thing, for this round. I was busting to drive up the freeway the other day – just cos I couldn’t… but it’s passed again for now. Can feel a huge night out coming on though – carpe diem and all. Today though? I’m off to the library :) Thanks Lydia.

  3. I think I’ll be having a mid-life crisis for the entire age range you mention, how about you? Shall we see how long we can do this for, like endurance mid-life crisis? We can throw colour on ourselves too if you insist, ok? That looks fun. #teamIBOT

    • Remember, if you get knocked up with that fourth bub, your boobs are there for a good time, not a long time. The boobal deflation is truly one of the saddest post-natal events of all. Four years later, I still mourn.

  4. Speaking as a woman who is all those halfway things you describe except the age – I am about to turn 42 – I can share that once I got 40 out of the way, I’ve not cared much about the age thing. It’s like I’ve come to terms with it. In fact, I like my 40s. If I go through angst again at 45, I’ll be most annoyed. Happy birthday for next week. x
    Rachel @ The Kids Are All Right recently posted…Breaking up is hard to do – especially for teenagersMy Profile

  5. Worry not my young Padwan. If Bec Hewitt can become a tennis player’s wife, so can you. Anyways a little mid life crisis is nothing that a high end gift and a swanky night out a three hat restaurant with that man can’t fix.
    Meanwhile at age 35 I was just relieved to have finally hooked a boyfriend who was neither a loser nor a player.
    mumabulous recently posted…CertaintyMy Profile

    • This is true, Mumobi-wan. Being in a middling kinda place at 35 is no bad place to be. And I have a nice surprise in store on Friday night, says That Man. Glass half full of champagne indeed.

  6. I always find the 5 birthdays much worse than the 0 ones… I think because when you’re 30 you’re still closer to 25 than 40 but when you’re 35 you’re closer to 40 than 30.

    I love the idea of the colour run but, like you, I see no point in all that huffing and puffing if you’re not actually being chased and all that mess just breaks my brain a little with the need for someone to clean it up. I think I’d just end up in a cafe somewhere, drinking a latte and wondering why I was wearing white when it makes me look so fat.
    Kyla @ Three Quarters Full recently posted…We Are A FamilyMy Profile

    • Haha you know what has me most upset of all? It being called the ‘Color Run’ in Australia when it should be COLOUR. It hurts my eyes. Even if it is a TM. So maybe I should skip it and jump right in to 36…..

  7. I’m actually too busy crying into my cornflakes about turning 40 to care about you and your crisis ;-) But I do like the 2 ingredient recipe idea. As long as those two were ‘deconstructed’ and one was a foam I reckon the cookbook would be in the bag! I think you’ve nailed the reason for the crisis though – all that halfway between stuff. It’s that – not the number – that creates the malaise. I’m really hearing you on that one!
    Lara @ This Charming Mum recently posted…Review: The Curious Explorer’s Illustrated Guide… by Marc MartinMy Profile

  8. I read your intro thinking “I have GOT to point Kim towards that Age article about female mid-life crises”. Beat me to it!

    Loved the article, and love this post. Extreme ironing? Teehee!

    Write. I’ve decided to create NaFebWriMo because I want the 50,000 words done and dusted before bub arrives. (Then I’ll have plenty of time while he sleeps and is well-behaved to edit. Right?!)
    Emily recently posted…Six-year-olds laugh an average of 300 times a dayMy Profile

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