The Hole in the Middle


I must admit that I did find this book rather slow right through the first half.  However, that may have had more to do with my own state of mind and busyness.  I persevered because what I was needing was a break from my demanding life — and that it provided.  Having said all of that, I did end up really enjoying the book and its message.  Are you married, approaching forty, have two small kids, and wonder how in the world you got there and how are you going to survive and keep all the balls in the air?  Then this book is definitely for you!

What I was reminded of was my own life at an earlier stage.  I was the working mom with two small kids, and I hated it; parts of it, of course.  Hated all of the demands and the constant “not good enough” feeling.  The working mom’s guilt at its finest.  The title of the book comes from a stage of life referred to as ‘the doughnut years’, defined as:

The first half of life is about getting as far away from your past as you can.  And then, just when you’ve established yourself as a full-fledged adult, a hole opens up in the middle of life and the past comes rushing back in.  By the time you’re my age [says an older woman in her 70s], if you’re not careful, the past is more real than the present.

I like the notion of the doughnut years, giving that midlife transition some perspective.  At that point, it can be all too easy to sink into a depression or trade in your spouse for something you think you missed.  I hope that if you are in this boat, you will read this book and have a good think about your past, how far you have come, and want you really want.