Saturday is the day I meet up with my personal trainer at the gym. Sadly Saturday at the gym is full of sweaty 'old' men with baggy shorts, white hair, and paunches, not exactly what I expected at the gym! It makes me believe that it is true, for women 60 is the new 40 'cause my gorgeous women friends in their 60s would look like they were dating their Dad with one of these not-so-buff guys.
When I get to the gym I say a silent, divine 'thank you' that I am not on the dating market! I'm also grateful that I am vain enough to still want to look good! ( Now I'm supposedly at the gym for rehab, but at this age it's secretly all about the arms! )
So what's this got to do with burnout you ask? Pressure! It never goes away. Each decade brings pressures for women!
From our arms to our bankbooks it just never lets up!
When in your 30s you tell yourself that you will make that change! You believe you still have plenty of time to do it all: find your life partner, have kids and establish the career you dream of.
Then suddenly you are in your 40s and wondering what happened to all that time. This decade seems to be the tipping point for burnout. You had planned to get out, change jobs, go back to school, start your own business, be settled with the perfect partner, and have had 2.5 children (ideally a boy and a girl, but we're not too sure what the .5 is). You had planned to, but suddenly it feels too late.
In your 40s it all just takes on a desperate and serious tone. It is no longer 'out there in the future', you are living it. Career, marriage, fertility, the issues are huge. If it hasn't happened for you by now the panic can start setting in. Life becomes coloured by disappointment and fear. You know what we often hear? "I failed. I didn't get any of it right!"
40 and failing;
now this IS a slippery slope aimed right toward burnout
So you survived your 40s and are in your Nifty Fifties. OMG how did this happen? We think of it as '50 and freaking'. Time's running out! It's almost too late!
Burnout in your 50s? Oh it's very real. Life can have you feeling both fearful and disappointed. It was supposed to be different by now, I was supposed to be different. You can almost hear Peggy Lee singing "Is that all there is?"
It is a decade of feeling squeezed. The changes you so desperately want had better happen fast but...
• your parents are aging and need more attention from you
• your children are having children and need your help
• you want to change jobs but who would hire you in your 50s?
• your marriage feels over but it's too scary to think of being on your own
• You want to buy a van and drive across Europe but your family tells you you are too old for an 'identity crisis'!
The dangerous part of being 50 is believing it's 'too late'.
Burnout in your 60s? Sure, we call it Boomer Burnout!
(Just in case you aren't familiar with the term, those of us born roughly between the years of 1946 and 1964 are known as the Baby Boomers. For Generation Xers, this is Boomer not Beamer! )
Burnout in your 60s is definitely fueled by some rather new pressures these days. The first one I've already mentioned, we are supposed to look and act 40! ( Personally I can do without the pressure of low-rise jeans or four-inch heels as that would most certainly mean more viagra days at the gym, shoot me!)
It doesn't matter which way we come at it the goal post has been moved. We were supposed to be playing golf or bingo, wearing t-shirts with rhinestone kitty-cats and taking bus-tours. It's simply not happening.
For most of our 60+ clients retirement has become a distant concept due to financial reasons or wanting to keep on working or for some even changing careers. Predictable retirement is a thing of the past.
Right up there with the ongoing responsibility of work you can add looking after aging or sick parents, adult children returning home due to economic difficulties, and many Boomer grandparents actively participating in the raising of grandchildren.
Many have been through relationships that ended for one reason or another. Being single in your 60s brings lots of fear and pressure; financial, being alone, and don't forget dating again (now that's a whole new adventure if you are starting these days!)
Boomer burnout is about disillusionment and confusion. We were looking forward to more freedom, more flexibility and sure less responsibility and pressure.
Simply put...it wasn't supposed to be like this
So there you have it, the three decades of burnout. Sure the focus of our worries and pressures change with age, but really when you look at it, women are always challenged with pretty well the same things, trying to be all and do all for everybody else, and, as the saying goes...doing it all in four-inch heels while going backwards!
Here's One Great Tip!
Each decade brings its own changes and challenges, so what's a Burnout Queen to do? We know you'll always shine, so...
• In your 40s...Embrace it!
• In your 50s...Embrace it!
• In your 60s...Embrace it!
What's your alternative?