I received an email yesterday, promoting a particular book (Kasey Edward’s Thirty Something and Over It, if you’re interested), which contained the following happy statistics:
– 98 per cent of people are unhappy in their jobs
– 26 per cent of women at the cusp of the most senior levels of management don’t want the promotion.
– One in 15 under-35s have already dropped out of paid work to pursue ‘self-improvement’, and half plan to do so in the near future
– Dr. Carson-Webb, who specializes in life-cycle dilemmas, said nearly 20 percent of her clients are facing a thirtysomething crisis, or thrisis, suffering from anxiety, depression and burnout.
– Larry Wentworth, a licensed clinical social worker who has his own psychotherapy practice in Chattanooga, said a thrisis is very different than a mid-life crisis. Rather than looking back on their lives and acting out with affairs, new sports cars and toupees, disenchanted thirty-somethings are looking ahead and worried about what will happen with the rest of their life.
– Gladeana McMahon, co-director of the Centre for Stress Management, knows the phenomenon only too well. “I work with a lot of highly successful, driven people,” she says. “By their mid-thirties, a lot of them are tired. They’re sick of life and they wonder what it’s all about. They start questioning their values and what they’re doing.”
I guess the statistics didn’t surprise me too much, at heart. But it did make me wonder: how do people keep going? Are the temporary fix’s, the quick magic pills, of cheap television, two cars in the driveway and cartons of beer enough to keep people steady? Why is there not more expression of this disenchantment?