All posts filed under: Next For X

Next For X, sponsored by #disruptaging

Perimenopause Is Really Hot Right Now! We Have 5 Questions

Women may know menopause is coming — but two out of five women still don’t know what changes, exactly, we should be expecting, according to a recent AARP survey of women over 50. Or when. Or what to do about them. That’s a lot of uncertainty about something that will happen to every single person who has a uterus. So yeah, we have questions. And Denise Pines has answers. Pines is in deep on the whole women-as-we-age thing: she’s the founder of WisePause, the world’s first virtual conference on menopause, which brings together experts from across the spectrum (scheduled for March 21 this year!); the most recent former head of the Medical Board of California; a co-founder of Tea Botanics, a lifestage-specific tea company; and co-author of the FemAging report, which looks at the field of tech advances being created to make women’s lives better as they age. Sounds like just the woman we need to hear from. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the …

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 …

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 …

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 …