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A Word From Elizabeth
December 15, 2008

Midlife Wisdom For Men Issue #118, December 15, 2008

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A Word From Elizabeth
A couple of months ago, I got this letter from a female reader:

"Your wife must be a wonderful lady, and I can imagine she went through some daunting times. I am glad that both of you are still together. I may be too forward here. If there are any observations of how she supported you, would that be something that you might want to include in a future news letter? I hope this was not an inappropriate request, and I respect your wife's privacy"

There are about 975 words in the articles in this issue, which should take you about three and a half minutes to read.

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Written by Noel McNaughton
Midlife-Men.com
(c) copyright 2008 midlife-men.com

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If you like this e-zine, please do a friend and me a big favour and forward it to him. If a friend DID forward this to you and if you like what you read, please subscribe by visiting Midlife Wisdom for Men.

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Letter from an alert reader

Noel: I was watching "Kitchen Nightmares" on TV last night and realized that most, if not all, of the clients that consultant chef Ramsey deals with are middle aged men. Have you seen this show? Chef Ramsey, himself a chef in NY city, consults with restaurant owners in trouble and turns their failing restaurants around.

His messages are what you would expect from a good consultant - holding up the mirror so they can see themselves in a new light.

Anyway my point is not about how Chef Ramsey does his consulting work, but how most of his clients are midlife men who have lost passion for their work.

You have been telling us about this "condition" in your ezines for several years now. In most cases their kitchens are filthy, the food is crappy,and the customer flow is dismal. Most of these restaurants are on life support by the time Chef Ramsey arrives to turn the business around.

In every case he gets the owners to make the needed changes in short order and the results are amazing. It is sometimes painful to watch these men struggle with their egos and arrogance then come out of it in the end with new insight. Preston Sullivan Meadville, MS

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What do you get if you cross Santa Claus with a duck? A Christmas Quacker

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A Word From Elizabeth

As the letter mentioned above says, Elizabeth is a wonderful woman, and I asked her about the woman's request. She said she is willing to share some information with my readers.

Some Background

Around the time I was turning fifty, I lost energy, focus, interest in things I had been passionate about, confidence, and libido. This was a bad situation for Elizabeth and me, as we had just moved to Vancouver, BC, for me to join the management team of a startup company we had invested in.

For various reasons, our team was unable to get the financing needed to get the company off the ground, and when that failed, I had a very difficult time making money no matter what I tried.

The upshot was that we ended up, over a period of five years, spending all of our retirement savings, and going into considerable debt, before this period ended.

When we finally did get through it, and move back to Alberta, we were able to get things rolling financially again, and are now 'fully recovered'.

Elizabeth, who is a couple of years older than me, had already come through the most difficult part of her menopause, but was still somewhat in 'recovery'.

Here is what Elizabeth has to say about that time:

There were times where I wanted to blame Noel for the financial struggles we were having, but I could see he was doing the best he could. It really helped me take responsibility for my own ability in earning and managing money. Rather than seeing Noel as having all the responsibility, thinking he was best at it, I realized I was good with money too, having managed my own affairs for many years before we got married.

At some point, I thought 'What is the worst that can happen?', and obviously we weren't going to starve, or be homeless, and if anything, only our pride was going to take a hit.

When I needed to talk about my fear and anger with the situation, Noel listened, and took me seriously. That made a big difference to me.

When people are unhappy, I think there is a tendency, more for men than women, to blame the people around them, rather than see their own part in it. Usually, it is an inside job that needs to be done.

When I was in menopause, I read everything I could find on the subject. Noel did the same thing when he realized he was in some kind of transition, and he learned through his research, he was in 'andropause'. I think getting all the information you can about your situation is a good first step toward getting through it successfully.

We both already had an attitude of 'there is something I am supposed to learn here'. At some point, it started to become clear it was also a spiritual process for us. When we began to consciously trust this spiritual process, it was easier to have a bigger picture of it as something we would learn and grow from.

Things began to show up in our lives that helped us through as well. For example, we discovered there is a labyrinth on the gymnasium floor of a church in Vancouver, and we began to walk this labyrinth every Sunday morning. It was soothing, and at times presented us with insights.

I also started saying the Serenity Prayer as many times a day as I needed to in order to remain as calm as possible.

It took a lot to accept that this was happening and I wasn't in control.

I appreciated when Noel pointed out, on a number of occasions, that 'this too shall pass'. It helped me remember that life goes through cycles, and we were in one, and it would end, and the next thing would come.

The only other thing I would add, is that Elizabeth and I always treat each other respectfully, even when we are angry with each other. We don't use sarcastic or cutting language, and that makes it much easier to get through difficult situations together.

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"Get Up In The Morning And Look In The Mirror. You're Your Own Job Security."
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I Need Your Questions and Feedback!

Got comments? Questions? I'd love to hear from you.

Just email your suggestions and/or questions to noel@midlife-men.com . I look forward to hearing from you. And thanks.

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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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