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What Are We Going To Do With Ourselves?
November 15, 2007
Midlife Wisdom For Men Issue #094, November 15, 2007
=========== TABLE OF CONTENTS ==========
· What Are We Going To Do With Ourselves?
· Preventing Macular Degeneration
Written by Noel McNaughton
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Midlife Wisdom for Men.
Welcome to this issue of Midlife Wisdom for Men.
We are living longer than any generation in history, and are faced with the so-called "thirty-year dividend". The question is, what are we going to do with the time?
Most of us don't want to keep doing what we have been doing most of our working lives, but there really are very few guidelines for what comes next. I believe the answer is inside us.
You probably know someone with age-related macular degeneration. It is a disease of the eye that prevents you from seeing things clearly. It turns out diet is important in preventing it.
There are about 1000 words in the articles in this newsletter, which should take you about three and a half minutes to read.
If you have ever tried network marketing, you know that most people have no success with it. Not that there is anything wrong with the idea of network marketing. In fact it is an excellent marketing model. The problem is, the network marketing industry has NO IDEA how to market. Most of what they tell their poor, hapless associates is simply wrong, and some of it is outright lies.
I recently found an ebook by a woman who actually understands marketing, and who has applied it to network marketing with impressive results. She decided to spill the beans on the industry, and wrote The Seven Great Lies of Network Marketing which she makes available as a gift to the world. I recommend it.
What Are We Going To Do With Ourselves?
You are getting this newsletter, so that means you can now see retirement looming in your future. When we are young, it is too far off to see.
I think retirement, as advertised in magazines and so forth, is a stupid idea. It seems to recommend a second childhood. One adult community promises: "Live here and you'll feel like you are on vacation 365 days a year!"
Hard to imagine an emptier life.
In Barbara Kingsolver's best-selling novel, Prodigal Summer, Nannie Rawley, a feisty woman in her seventies, shoots back when someone accuses her of not acting "normal" for her age:
"There isn't any normal way to act 75 years old… people are supposed to be dead and buried at our age. That's normal. Up till just lately, the Civil War or something, they didn't even know about germs. If you got sick, they slapped leeches on you and measured you for a coffin."
Medical advances are the culprit, according to Nannie: "...along comes somebody inventing six thousand ways to cure everything, and here we are, old, wondering what to do with ourselves".
And we aren't wondering what to do with ourselves for five or so years. We are talking about 30 to 40 years - virtually a "second life". (I guess that's why they call this stage the "Second Age", or, in France the "Third Age".)
So what are we going to do?
I think our new-found "30-year dividend", as it is sometimes called, has its own tasks, which begin with a kind of disengagement, to find out who we are now that the kids are gone (or close to it), and we are nearing the end of our first-half careers.
Many men I have talked to have longed for some kind of rest. A time to reflect. Among ranchers, I have heard it described as being 'cowed out', when they can barely stand to look after cows for one more day, and just want a break.
I have read that women get this same "urge for retreat" around menopause age.
I had it, and without realizing that was what was going on, was able to have a kind of retreat from the world when Elizabeth and I moved to Vancouver, BC for five years when we were in our early fifties. We went there so I could join the management team of a start-up company we had invested in. We couldn't get it off the ground, and I had difficulty making anything work financially, so we lived largely on our savings. But we had a lot of time to reflect on our lives. It felt as though I was being "deepened" in some way that is hard to describe, but that turned out to be a transition into the life I am living now.
I am, in some ways, busier than I have ever been, and am enjoying it.
I am in my sixties now, and am finding myself drawn to the concept of elderhood (as opposed to simply becoming elderly), which I understand as being a nurturer of community; a speaker of truth, even when it is unpopular; a spiritual guide; and mentor to younger people.
This is not a passive role, and it does include some money-making work as well as some rest periods - even like those described in the retirement ads!
I think maybe that is what we need to do with ourselves. We need a time of reflection, of looking within to find our truth, and to uncover the lies we have told ourselves over the years about who we are.
When we have done that, we can return to the world to offer our true gifts. We may volunteer our time, and/or still work for a living, but we will be doing what our souls call us to do.
A number of the men's stories on my website describe this very process.
A hopeful suitor dropped into a computer-dating centre and registered his qualifications.
He wanted someone who enjoyed water sports, liked company, favoured formal attire, and was small.
The computer operated faultlessly. It sent him a penguin.
Preventing Macular Degeneration
Apparently about 30% of the population will get age-related macular degeneration (AMD), a disease of the eye that makes it so you cannot read, or see close-up things clearly. My mother started getting it in her early eighties, and my 91-year-old mother-in-law just got her first symptoms a couple of months ago.
Smoking increases the risk of macular degeneration, but you can also decrease the risk.
A report published in the September, 2007 issue of the journal Archives of Ophthalmology added more evidence to support previous research showing that carotenoids zeaxanthin and lutein are protective against AMD. Dark green leafy vegetables are the main sources of lutein and zeaxanthin, but they are also found in some other colourful fruits and vegetables.
The problem is, most people don't eat enough to be helpful. Average dietary intake in the U.S. is only 2 mg/day, far below the 6 mg/day level most studies indicate as a minimum needed to reduce the risk of AMD.
If you want to keep your eyesight, either eat more fruits and dark leafy veggies, or start taking a good-quality multi-vitamin/mineral.
Wouldn't it be great to work less and play more golf? I do not know of a better way to earn a part-time income, than a simple information Web site. I encourage you to check out Live My Passion. You'll be amazed at how you can turn YOUR hobby into online income.
The Mankind Project The ManKind Project® offers trainings which support men in developing lives of integrity, accountability, and connection to feeling. Our trainings challenge men to develop their abilities as leaders, fathers, and elders as ways of offering their deepest gifts in service to the world.
The ManKind Project's New Warrior Training Adventure® is an intense, transformative men's initiation which invites men to forge a deep conscious connection between head and heart. The NWTA offers men a powerful, challenging opportunity to look at all aspects of their lives in a richly supportive environment.
Got your copy of Picking Up The Burning Feather yet? It will help you on your spiritual journey.
Just go to Picking Up The Burning Feather: A Spiritual Guide For Midlife Men , and follow the instructions.
I Need Your Questions and Feedback!
Got comments? Questions? I'd love to hear from you.
Just email your suggestions and/or questions to
. I look forward to hearing from you. And thanks.
Well friend, that's it for now. Again, if you enjoyed this and/or found it useful, and know of anyone else who might like it, please pass it forward. And if you have questions or recommendations, I would love to hear from you.
All the best, Noel
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