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Many of my peers are taking a pause in their 40s to consider their "part two"— after 20 years of working hard in a career, or having their career paths upended (see ya, print journalism), maybe it's time to launch a new life? "Gen X is still the most diverse generation, with people who are on both sides of a lot of different issues.
They can be a swing vote in the next [presidential] election," says Novak.
A 2014 Pew Research Center report calls Gen X "America's neglected middle child" or the "Sandwich Generation," the bologna between the hearty Boomer and Millennial bread. While the media focuses a lot of attention on the under-30s, I thought it was time to share the true stories of (somewhat) older women, who are living life to the hilt.
(Not for nothing, the bologna is the good part.) According to the Pew report, "This overlooked generation…is smack in the middle innings of life, which tend to be short on drama and scant of theme." The "short on drama" part may be due to the relaxed sensibility that comes with age and a desire to figure out what's next. Our power is underestimated and often ignored—but it's potent.
A mom who took a seven-year break to raise two kids, who is just re-entering the workforce.I hardly call that irrelevant or slacking.) Another comedian, Amy Schumer, has lampooned the ageism insanity in her short "Last F**kable Day," which enlisted Tina Fey, Patricia Arquette, and Julia Louis-Dreyfus as actresses celebrating their expiration date. We may sport an occasional streak of gray, a few wrinkles, a penchant for '80s New Wave (who doesn't) and complain about the occasional aching knee. In fact, we're running companies (Sheryl Sandberg), writing and directing our own TV shows (Tina Fey or Shonda Rhimes), and even First Ladies in the White House (Michelle Obama). A study by the Kauffman Foundation found that people over 55 are almost twice as likely to launch high-growth start-ups as those aged 20 to 34. My own 40- and 50-something friends are a dynamic and diverse group of women.For women, the sting of early-onset ageism hits hardest—men don't seem to have a shelf life on relevance. A financial reporter about to embark on her second marriage."As a result, Gen X tends to be outside the more vocal issues that show up during elections." Even though, for the first time, several members of Gen X are running for president. For me, that meant getting back to what I love the most: telling stories.We're in charge—we're just not terribly noisy about it. In 2013, after two decades in publishing, I decided to start my own website called Tue and share the stories of Gen-X women, those of us in the puberty of old age, every Tuesday Night.