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Midlife Wisdom for Men Newsletter Issue #013, June 30, 2004
June 30, 2004
Midlife Wisdom for Men - Helping Men Navigate Midlife Transitions.


Written by Noel McNaughton
(c) copyright 2004


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

June 30, 2004 Issue #013

=========== TABLE OF CONTENTS ==========

Readers Respond

Beware of Driver's-side Sunburn

A Bit of Levity

Some Questions If You Are Considering Retiring

Avoiding Overcooked Meat May Eliminate Rectal Cancer Risk



Welcome to this issue of Midlife Wisdom for Men.

Here in Canada we have a new government.

Well - not new really. But a new mandate for the Liberal party, which has been in power for the last ten years. This time it is a minority government, which I think is just fine. It makes the politicians a bit more accountable.

Ok, here we go...

Readers Respond

Here are some letters I received after the last issue...

Noel ol' boy - I think you are just a tad too damn serious. How about a bit of humour to leaven this loaf of yours.

Let me give an example. I have been describing my "senior years" experience to my younger buds thus: "What I have learned in life is that if you live long enough, you see a lot of weird shit!!!.

For example, a couple of days ago I had the misfortune of driving the old number one highway through the Fraser Canyon in British Columbia - 127 km of narrow winding road - fine unless you are trying to catch a ferry on the coast as I was.

Anyhow, about 10 km past Lytton, in the midst of nowhere, I spied up ahead on the side of the road what appeared to be a dancing cowboy! As we got closer I could see he was no youngster - long grey hair hanging out of his cowboy hat, fancy cowboy boots and the rest of the cowboy apparel. And 'twas a strange dance indeed he was performing - he was stomping the bejeezus out of a bicycle laying on the ground. Really stomping it. First with one foot, then with both at once. He never looked up as I blew past, and no way was I stopping. I don't know what the bike had done to offend this chap, but it was being permanently retired.

Live long enough - weird shit !!

Thanks for all,

Gary Anweiler, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada



Re: Sacred Bullets

So if we get hit with enough "Sacred Bullets" we eventually are 'shot full of holes' and then there is nothing left of our illusions (which are unreal anyway) and only our 'true selves' remain?

I have often pondered why my mid-life 'crisis' feels like a mid-life 'chronic'.

When my wife delivered our second son her obstetrician said the pain of childbirth is like a bucket of liquid. There is a bucket full of pain. Some women dribble it out and others dump it out fast.

Therefore - mid-life: is there a bucket of mid-life stuff? Some have a crisis and it all comes pouring out, while others like me who thought there was never a need for a mid-life crisis and have lived our lives accordingly end up in this low grade mid-life chronic?

My greatest challenge has not been around sorrow-remorse, etc. for not having time for the kids and family while they were growing up, or working for years at a lousy job because family was always a priority. I have always ensured I worked at something that I enjoyed. But my 'sadness?' (not sure I have properly identified the feeling) is related to forgetting what life is like when we are not on earth. That is the nature of my mid-life chronic.

Enjoyed this issue and your 'Sacred Bullets'.




Hi Noel,

I just wanted to mention the delightful synchronicities that keep popping up with you. Thanks to you, I am reading "Balancing Heaven and Earth" (ed. note: I recommend this book on my website: and very much enjoying Robert's wisdom: watching for the slender threads; listening to the small still voice before making decisions. I had no idea he was a Jungian analyst before I got the book, so I was delighted as I have personally read much of Carl Jung's work.

Also, my husband said, "You have to read Noel's newsletter- are you ever on the same page." Last Sunday I had just initiated a realignment of the "Sabbath" in our home, as it had somehow become compromised with a home based business and my husband's shift work.

Often I speak of the unseen Divine Hand I can feel at work behind unsettling life events - the Sacred Bullet. To top that, I have been faithfully doing my morning pages and the Artist's Way for about two months now and have many deep insights within those pages - as you mentioned you had! (Before, I had always journaled at night.)

Just wanted to send this little confirmation of the slender threads at work.

Warm regards,


Ed. note: Teresa and I have exchanged links, and I recommend a visit to her site at:


Hi Noel,

I love the compilations you pull together for the I have sent it along to men that I know will benefit from this resource. I do transition work with all ages of men and women so I appreciate your information very much!

My only concern with the reading of the things to thank your father for are the many, many men (and likely women too - but I mention men because of your primary audience) who have struggled with their fathers and the kind of father that you describe is NOT a father that they can relate to AT ALL.

Fathers that NEVER attended a baseball game or school event, spent quality time of any sort with their sons; never teaching or guiding them in a healthy positive way with finances or stability of any kind. There are many men that have had this fathering experience and at the same time are trying to navigate mid-life issues and difficulties. Very trying.

I am not saying that the description that you did offer is not valid but rather a more inclusive description of even an absent father might embrace more men which I believe is your intention with this newsletter.

Even an absent father, although an extremely painful experience, can be as you mention, a Sacred Bullet that one (if willing) can learn to be thankful for over time.

I know it can be a dicey topic and I wanted to express my thoughts so I do appreciate that opportunity. Keep up the good work!


Christine Brennan


Beware of Driver's-side Sunburn

Dermatologists are reporting an increase in precancerous skin spots and skin damage on the left side of drivers' faces and arms. The reason: the sun's damaging ultra-violet A (UVA) rays pass right through a car window - even if it's tinted. (UVB rays are blocked by window glass.) A drive as short as 15 minutes can be damaging.

Self-defense: Before driving, apply sunscreen that's labeled 'broad spectrum' and/or 'UVA/UVB block' with a sun-protection factor (SPF) of at least 15.

(Thanks to Bottom Line Health newsletter.)


A Bit of Levity

"Life is like photography - we use the negatives to develop." - Swami Beyondananda

"He was a great patriot, a humanitarian, a loyal friend; provided, of course, he really is dead." Voltaire

"Clothes make the man. Naked people have little or no influence on society." Mark Twain.

"The statistics on sanity are that one out of every four Americans are suffering from some form of mental illness. Think of your three best friends. If they're okay, then it's you." Rita Mae Brown


Some Questions If You Are Considering Retiring

Retirement is either coming up, or here, for most readers of this newsletter. I got thinking about questions I need to ask myself for my own retirement. Here is what I came up with. I thought you might find them useful...

  • - What do I do with my life? How do I find meaning?
  • - How much money do I need and where will it come from?
  • - How long will I live? (i.e. how much longer do I have? You can get a pretty good idea by using the calculator at )
  • - How long till I retire? (how many more pay cheques? )
  • - What changes do I have to/want to make in my lifestyle?
  • - Where will I live? How will I figure that out?
  • - If my wife is working, when will she retire? What will I do while she is still working? Who does the cooking and housework if I am retired and she is working?
  • - How do we talk to each other about this stuff?


Avoiding Over-cooked Meat May Eliminate Rectal Cancer Risk

WASHINGTON: A recent USDA study published in the April 2004 issue of the Journal of Nutrition found no link between eating red or white meat and rectal cancer.

However, it did find a link when males ate red or white meat that was cooked well done.

The scientists concluded that the cancer risk comes from substances formed when meat is cooked at higher temperatures.

Two heat-related compounds, HCAs (carcinogenic heterocyclic amines) and PAHs (polycylic aromatic hydrocarbons) are the main culprits.

Interestingly, no such link was found in females when well done meat was eaten. And women who consumed juice drippings from red meat actually had a lower risk of rectal cancer.

The Journal concluded that eating whole muscle meats medium rare may allow you to avoid the health risk altogether.

From The Stockman GrassFarmer June, 2004.


Just For You: A Free Do-It-Yourself Retirement Planning Report

If you are a new subscriber to this newsletter, you will recall I promised you a link to a secret page on the Midlife Men's site where you can download a free 27-page report on 'DIY Retirement planning' by George Slater.

Welcome to the newsletter, and for your free report, go to: DIY Retirement E-Report , click on the link, and follow the instructions.



Learn to be a Teleclass Facilitator

If you are a facilitator/speaker/professional who gives lectures or workshops, you can do it from home and make money. Teleclasses (also known as teleseminars) using telephone bridge lines, are becoming increasingly popular, and very inexpensive way to deliver high-quality training. I took training in teleclass leadership from Teleclass International which I highly recommend.



If you have something you want to advertise, just send me a note at



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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 . 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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