All posts filed under: Featured

Joe Rogan, Tony Stark and the Gen X Male’s Science-Mad Plan to Beat Aging

YouTube is trying to tell me something.  They’ve sent a shirtless, bearded man to warn me about my gut. “You know why running on a treadmill seven days a week doesn’t work for losing weight? Because it never has.” In another ad, the Jawrzsize adult pacifier promises to burn face fat and reshape my jaw into a snow shovel–shaped wedge mightier than Elon Musk’s. Is YouTube’s algorithm reminding every Gen-X man that he’s falling apart? We Gen Xers may mock baby boomers and millennials for their self-absorption and superficiality, yet coping with the human body’s natural wear isn’t easily laughed off. I recently read that the Gen-X lifespan will be notably longer than other generations, thanks to recent research on cancer and other life-threatening diseases. But those extra Gen-X years will likely mean more unhealthy decades. Clearly I need to figure out how to live an extended life that isn’t spent sleeping in a wheelchair in my old age home’s arcade room. If you asked me 15 years ago what a Gen-X man’s middle age …

Why Healing Touch is Better Than a Grilled Cheese Sandwich

When I tell someone I have a healing touch practitioner, I still have the impulse to apologize — to feel some misplaced, new age shame for saying my magnetic energy fields need realignment, or even to speak of having them at all. It’s silly. You’d think that after 30-odd years at the spiritual salad bar — self-help books, yoga, rosaries, meditation and finally the path of sobriety — that I’d just come out with whatever I’m doing now to keep myself in check with no concern about the possible woo-woo factor. I send my dog to day care, for God’s sake. What kind of shame about my life choices can I possibly have left? A little, it’s true. Deep inside of this post-millennial searcher is the voice of the Greatest Generation that helped to raise me, that says — with love — that a grilled cheese sandwich, a beer and maybe a movie will fix what ails me, so stop my bitching. But that’s been proven disastrously wrong. So I’ve learned that when the magnetic …

I Kept My Mother’s Secrets for Decades — Then Told Them All

Excerpted from Bridgett M. Davis’s memoir, The World According to Fannie Davis On a morning like most, I sit beside Mama at the dining room table, eating my bowl of Sugar Frosted Flakes and watching her work. She’s on the telephone, its receiver in the crook of her neck as she records her customer’s three-digit bets in a spiral notebook, repeating each one. The crystal chandelier blazes above. “Five-four-two for a quarter. Six-nine-three straight for fifty cents. Is this both races, Miss Queenie? Detroit and Pontiac? Okay. Three-eight-eight straight for a quarter. Uh-huh. Four-seven-five straight for fifty cents. One-ten boxed for a dollar.” Mama writes the numbers 110, draws a box around them, hesitates. “You know, I got customers been playing one-ten all week. Yeah, it’s a fancy number. Oh did you? What’d you dream? He was a hunchback? Is that what The Red Devil dream book say it play for? Now that I didn’t know. I know theater plays for one ten. Well, I can take it for a dollar, but since it’s a …

Suddenly Jobless at 50? You Are Not Alone.

Four years ago, Elizabeth White, then 62, faced one of the hardest moments of her life. What should have been a fabulous highlight — striding on to the TED Talk stage, dressed in a sunshine-yellow dress — was actually a moment she’d avoided for years. White was there to step out from behind the shame she had been carrying and share her story of “faking normal” – acting as if everything was just fine when in fact, she was dealing with the seeming end of her six-figure-salaried career. She began: “You know me. I am in your friendship circle, hidden in plain sight… To look at me, you would not know that my electricity was cut off last week for nonpayment or that I meet the eligibility requirements for food stamps. But if you paid attention, you would see that sadness in my eyes, hear that hint of fear in my otherwise self-assured voice.”  White’s revelatory tale of losing her financial footing at midlife struck a chord; her talk has since racked up over two …

8 LinkedIn Social Pros Who May Inspire Your Next Gig

Navigating career changes, ageism in the office and maybe even under- or unemployment  in midlife can be draining, to say the least, but don’t just exhaust yourself looking for a better gig on LinkedIn: find and follow some great minds who make and share articles, podcasts, motivation, tips and some much-needed humor, all sure to inspire you. Dig in: 1. Dan Smolen Topics: #meaningfulwork #gigeconomy #futureofwork #remotework A former corporate recruiter, Smolen ditched his career to explore the changing nature of work. Think: gig economy, remote work (especially now!), side hustles, career reinvention, and, above all, finding meaningful work. He hosts a weekly podcast and interviews experts, entrepreneurs, CEOs and HR folk on all of the above topics, hoping to urge people to leave soul-killing jobs behind, and also posts a ton of relevant and related content created by others in his feed.  2. Tejal Wagadia Topics: #recruitment #jobsearchtips #hiring #leadership Wagadia bills herself as “your friendly neighborhood recruiter” and her frequent posts filled with tips back up her claim. Some of her material is common sense (like, don’t namecheck someone …

11 Women Who Started Brand New Careers in Midlife— and Never Looked Back

Big changes in career, vocation and lifestyle in midlife or the years leading up to it are more often an evolution than a radical change. I went back to journalism school at 35 because the writing degree I’d started at 18 — and never finished —nagged at me for years. Going from full-time college counselor and teacher to graduate student was intimidating — financially, intellectually and emotionally. It was also one of the best, richest experiences of my life, and, no matter how many zeroes got added to my student loan balance, I have never regretted it. I traveled to Vietnam to cover business growth there. I was a reporter in the arena on the night Barack Obama accepted the nomination for President of the United States. I helped to run a student digital newsroom and emerged as the de facto den mother of several classmates a decade or more my junior. I now have a degree that means I can teach writing if I want to (because I loved teaching too much to leave …

6 Gen X Femtech Pioneers Who Have Revolutionized Women’s Health

Remember back in the 1990s, when the medical establishment realized — whoopsie! — that a woman’s heart attack looks very different from a man’s? Researchers didn’t know this, because it hadn’t occurred to them to research… women. Seemed crazy then; still crazy now. But the fact is, the fight for parity still goes on. As medical technology has exploded in the last decade, investors and innovators still sidelined women’s health as a “niche market” — despite the fact that women are half the population, are 75 percent more likely to use technology as a healthcare solution, and working-age women spend 29 percent more on healthcare than men. (Source: Frost & Sullivan.) Fortunately, an army of Gen X women warriors stepped in, dreaming up necessary and vital tech solutions that are specifically for women’s health concerns — and then went out and got them funded (no small feat in a skeptical VC environment). Collectively, they developed a whole new sector in the marketplace while they were at it, called FemTech, which is slated to be a …

Butler Robots, Dr. Toilets and Other Sci-Fi Health Solutions We’ll All Be Using

Our future’s so bright, we gotta wear shades. Like maybe tunable shades, sunglasses that let you adjust their magnification as you wear them, a triumph for squinting midlife menu-readers everywhere!  This is just one example of the kinds of super-cool innovations that are emerging to solve the pesky problems that come along with getting a little older. Next for X has been digging deep to discover what great devices, ideas, and solutions will be waiting for us. Here are five cool advances happening right here, right now.  Give Aging Cells The Boot Wouldn’t it be nice if the old, exhausted cells in your body could retire and let the kids do the heavy lifting? That’s one path to a longer, better life, and it may soon be possible thanks to senolytics, i.e. using pharmaceuticals to clear out antiquated cells that aren’t pulling their weight anymore. Scientists believe that by getting rid of these laggards, the aging process can be delayed — possibly even avoided. A recent drug trial had successful results: two meds (the leukemia-fighter dasatinib …

The Young & The Cordless: The Story of Our Robot Maid

(Graphic: Helen Jane Hearn/TueNight.com) The dawn of the internet, the mobile phone, the widescreen TV, and the Apple watch are just a few of the technological advances I’ve seen in my lifetime, but nothing has stirred my futuristic soul quite as much as the release of the iRobot Roomba in 2002. As a child, my favorite cartoon was “The Jetsons,” and for decades I dreamed of owning my own domestic droid like Rosie, the family’s Jane-of-all-trades metallic maid. The real-life Roomba was simplistic compared to Rosie, resembling a large Frisbee on wheels, but despite its humble appearance, the Roomba’s introduction sparked the world’s love affair with autonomous robotic vacuum cleaners. My wife, Sophia, and I were two of the inaugural owners of a Roomba due to a chance encounter with an iRobot salesman at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas in 2001. It took just one look at this new wheeled wonder-product, and we were hooked. Cleaning the house had been causing tension in our marriage, and one of our least favorite tasks was …

Words of Wisdom from 8 Game-Changing Black Women Over 40

We’re continuing to celebrate Black history month by focusing on the present: We’re highlighting a few of the TueNighters doing interesting and even revolutionary things. Help us keep the spotlight bright and add women that you want everyone to know about in the comments. LaFrae Sci LaFrae Sci knows that Black girls rock! She’s the Co-Executive Director of Willie Mae Rock Camp for Girls — a music and mentoring program for girls, women, trans and gender-nonconforming kids and adults. She also created Willie Mae Future Sounds, online and in-person programming that blends Afrofuturism, STEAM, music technology, and social justice. She’s also a composer and electronic musician who performs under the moniker, Frae-Frae: Daughter of Drexciya.  “What I have learned being over 50 is how to make courage and gratitude my default settings instead of fear.” — LaFrae Sci Joanna Briley A 20-year comedy veteran, Joanna Briley founded the Black Women in Comedy Festival in 2018 to feature comedians who are very talented but constantly overlooked in the business. And it’s been a success — shows …

Welcome to Next for X

Welcome to Next for X, a place for Gen Xers (and Gen X-proximate) to ask, marvel at, wonder about, or shake our fists at, well… what the hell is next? I mean, we’re not always ones to talk about the future — because, ahem, we’re the ones building it. *wink*  BUT, we do know that one day we woke up and the world looked pretty different, with all those kids in line behind us.  So this brand-new section, sponsored by our friends at #disruptaging, will be a place to talk about the eternal strangeness and wonder of growing older, how the concept of aging is shifting, and answer some truly important burning questions.  Like:  How does life change as we get older?  Are we ever going to retire or just keep finding new dreams to chase? How are we caregiving, saving, spending, pivoting, reinventing and planning (or not planning) our lives? And what are the inimitable marks Gen X will leave behind on how to make midlife and beyond cool AF?  Inquiring minds want to …

How COVID Made Embracing Age No Big Thing

A few weeks into quarantine, Claire Bruining picked up a box of hair dye sitting on her bathroom sink when she had a sudden thought: Wait. Why do I care if my hair is gray? Who is going to care?  The 43-year-old event planner mentally ticked off a list of celebrities, strong, beautiful women who rocked their whites and grays, and her mind flashed to Whoopi Goldberg’s striking white locs. Then she put the box back on the sink (where it’s been ever since). She also stopped wearing makeup during Zoom calls, stopped shaving her legs, and embraced the “come as you are” aesthetic. One coworker wrote to ask her what she’d been doing differently, and said that she looked “stunning.” She laughed, “I spent all this time worrying about my appearance, and then I do nothing, and everybody thinks I look great. I thought, ‘Okay, we’re going to go with this.’” Bruining says she also felt a new sense of empowerment and self-trust; she felt more at ease calling the shots. After a few …

TikTok Talent Jack Black, Corrbette, The Go-Go's, Wayne Brady, Marie Moring,

6 Awesome Gen X Creators to Follow on TikTok

By Margit Detweiler It started out as a way for me to keep tabs on what my nieces and nephew were up to. But then, a few line-dancing ER doctors and @tikatheiggys later I was hooked into the scrolling good time. As someone said somewhere, in the endless effort to explain What TikTok Means, ‘While a lot of social media ends up making you annoyed with your friends, TikTok is a place to find joy with strangers.’ Although I follow TikTokers of all stripes and ages, there are many MANY Gen Xers on the app dancing, dueting, and bringing the love. So to mark the kickoff of Next for X, here are a few of my Gen X favorites: Wayne Brady @WayneBrady The multi-talented Brady started TikToking during the pandemic, and what makes his channel cool is he’s usually dance-challenging with his blended family, which includes his daughter, ex-wife and her current partner. Just a pleasing make-the-best-of-a-pandemic situation with sick moves. Corbette Pasko @Corrbette Comedian Pasko takes Gen X head-on in her hilarious commentary about …

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How Do I Feel About A Midlife Crisis? Whatever.

Last spring, I celebrated my 50th birthday. Some might say I’ve finally reached capital-M Midlife, but I’ve always contended that Midlife started back when I turned 39. I mean, I harbor no unrealistic dreams of longevity, based solely on the amount of chemicals I put away in the ‘70s in the form of Tab, Bubble Yum and Pop Rocks. Then again, I’m a Gen-Xer, for whom dry-eyed pragmatism is a generational calling card. And it’s exactly that deeply ingrained bias against bullshit that I think means my cohort and I are going to totally rock middle age. Let me explain. At 46 million members, Gen X is small, wedged between some 80 million Baby Boomers and 78 million Millennials. We have classic middle child syndrome — ignored and overlooked and stuck between two hulking siblings who’ve taken up all the legroom and media attention on our 78-year road trip around the sun. Demographic shorthand for Americans born 1964-ish to 1980-ish says that most of our parents were divorced and distracted, leaving their latchkey offspring to …

To Dye or Not to Dye?

Dear TueNight, I was having a conversation with my friend that turned to the topic of hair dye. I’m thinking of covering my grays with something a little less boring. She told me not to bow to the societal pressures for women to look young no matter how old we are. But when I look in the mirror, I feel like I’m living in some old lady’s body who I don’t even know. Is she right? Should I embrace my gray?  — More salt than pepper Dear Salty, I started dying my hair a plethora of colors when I was 15. When I walked down the stairs after my first (unsanctioned) dye job, my mother was talking on the phone and watching Dallas. She watched me descend about half the staircase. “I’ve gotta go. My daughter just dyed her hair purple.” Whew, she was mad!  It’s been 30 years since I started changing my hair color every which way but green. I’ve gone through long stretches of leaving my dark brown hair as is, mainly …

Black woman in a barren darkened room, looking out of a window

A Freedom Song for Black Women

Black women are like flowers in a field of kudzu. Beautiful, bright and colorful, we fight our way to the light so we are not overcome by society’s demands that climb and shade, smother and constrict our true selves. There are so many ways to be Black and so many ways to be a woman.  Oh, to throw our arms wide and embrace the expansiveness of Black womanhood!  Hundreds of years of misogynoir* — misogyny directed at Black women — have made that harder than it should be, though. Slavers insisted our foremothers were bestial, fractious and over-sexed natural-born servants. They said so in order to commodify our gifts and shame the ones who loved us.  Good White America told Black women we are emancipated, yet still believes what the men and women, who once held our chains, said about us: Too hard. Too mad. Too untameable. Too loose. Too ugly. Too far from fine womanhood. Too contrary to whiteness. After years of terror and trauma and brainwashing, Good Black America believes some of these …

Violet Sky

Meet Violet Sky, the 19-Year-Old Living Like It Is 1985

For those of us around in the mid-80s, we may have a fondness or nostalgia (or deep cringe) for teased perms, forearms of black rubber bangles, fluorescent-colored tops and off-the-shoulder ripped sweatshirts. Such stuff as MTV dreams were made of — and probably not a look we wore every day.  Enter Violet Sky, or GlitterWave80s as she’s better known to her 90K followers on TikTok. The 19-year-old New Yorker has dedicated most of her life to living as if it were still the 80s. As seen in her Day-Glo videos, using a static-filled “VCR-style” filter, Violet sports enormous permed hair, shellac-ed bangs, light blue eyeshadow and REALLY high-waisted acid wash jeans. Glimpsing behind her, you’ll see a room plastered with posters of Duran Duran, Rick Springfield (my actual first concert), VHS tapes, a cassette-tape boombox, a record player, Keith Haring socks and white Reebok sneakers in the corner. Girl has done her research. This is no Halloween gag; this is something she’s been doing for four years. I had many, many questions. Mainly, I wanted …

My Husband’s Manic Break Left Me Running for My Life

Nine years ago a battalion of police cars and a whole lot of crazy portended the end of my 16-year marriage, and I — someone who’d gone from living in my mother’s house to living with my husband at just 19 years old — was now completely on my own with two young children in Westchester in a crumbling house I couldn’t afford. To say that I was scared would be like saying this first year with Trump was just a little bit rocky. I was panicked. Low-key panicked in that way that vibrates off of you, no matter how cool you’re trying to play it. And I was trying to play it cool, at least for my kids. At 8 and 11, their whole world had been upended and they were struggling to comprehend why and come to terms with it all. They needed me to act like it was all going to be okay, and while I faked the funk for them every day, I needed everyone else in my life to tell …

When You Lose Your Mother

I can’t tell you exactly why I photographed each of my parents dead in their beds. It seemed important not to let such a moment go undocumented. What if you wanted it back. What if you wanted to see your mother slurp soup one last time, like she did that last day, when she was barely alive? As soon as I saw her, I knew she was dying. Her hands were swollen to twice their usual size — their long elegance replaced by swollen fruits. Her mouth was open, her eyes closed, and she made a sort of low moaning sound that reminded me of a sound I’d make if I were trying to manage great pain, or a great process, like labor. A doctor came and took her pulse. It was so low that protocol required that she be transported from the nursing home to the hospital. I begged mercy. My mother needed to be done. Done with hospitals, with nursing homes, done with the long process of dying. It had already been years. …

9 Lessons I Learned from My 9 Favorite 90s Shows

(Photo courtesy of: imago images/United Archives; imdb.com; doug.wikia.com) Oh, 1996: The time in which my eighth year of life on this Earth came to an end and my ninth began. I had begun to take school seriously (#honorrollgoals), spent most of my time in dance class and didn’t care about too much more than my coke bottle glasses and whatever new sneakers were coming out for the week that I could sport on casual Fridays (the perks of being a private school girl.) The year was also a pretty fantastic time for television. I still frequently hear that television kills brain cells and that it’s an idiot box, but I have always begged to differ. Like any kind of media you consume, it can be either imbecilic or informative and, though a balance is best, there’s absolutely no reason why you cannot take any major keys from the telly. I’m still gleaning some epic lessons from television and fondly remember the messages I received from the good old year of 1996. Here are a few …