Top positive review
necessary reading for those born between 1965-1980
October 1, 2019
I picked up this book thinking it would just be some sort of self-helpy thing, but I was absolutely wrong. It's a book of solid statistics and "stories from the field" about the women of Generation X (those born between 1965 and 1980) and why some of us feel burned out, fatigued, and restless. "Why We Can't Sleep" is about this sense of malaise so many of us are feeling- what caused it, why we experience it, and how women are dealing with it.
The book covers everything from psychology to neuroscience, health care to parenting, the economy to marriage. Not just in our current moment, but in the span of years that Generation X have been alive and the impact that growing up in unstable socio-economic times can have on an entire generation of women, even if we believe we weren't individually impacted by many of the events that happened in our lifetimes.
The reason why this book hit so close to home is because around six years ago, I started feeling a deep unease that I couldn't put my finger on. There are definitely factors within my immediate circumstances that I could see had an impact on me, but it felt like something much deeper was going on way outside my control and maybe even my comprehension, and to be honest, it's really spooked the heck out of me.
What I got from reading this book is that this "unease" is a universal feeling for many of us in this age bracket and it's the culmination of many of the circumstances of which we grew up and navigated as children and adults. These "circumstances" were sort pf put into motion by the Baby Boomers (the generation ahead of us) and are now being sort of dismantled by the Millennials (the generation after us) but the Xers were the ones to actually experience everything first hand and try to make some tricky choices on which way to navigate some of these unusual circumstances that didn't have any precedent in history.
The author doesn't shy away from saying, outright, that these circumstances and choices can definitely be what many consider "first world problems" but in reality, if you crunch the data- all the economic and political instability of both our youth and recent times, the rise and explosion of the internet in our lifetime (we went from having 12 channel TVs with antenna and tube screens to internet being beamed into handheld flat screens we CARRY with us without wires!) and the changes in society that have been influenced by that- it's actually a really tricky thing to wrap your brain around.
This book was exactly what I needed. It explained to me, in details and statistics, and through the stories of many other women from all walks of life and all sorts of situations, why I feel the way I do. And why I should have some hope for the future because I'm not alone.