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Happy Midlife Man - A Hermit?
June 15, 2005

Midlife Wisdom For Men Issue #036, June 15, 2005

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

Letter From A Reader... The Hermit?

Book Review: The Secret Of The Shadow: The Power Of Owning Your Whole Story

Shine A Little Sun On Your Prostate (Well... Not Directly On It!)


Written by Noel McNaughton (c) copyright 2005


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Welcome to this issue of Midlife Wisdom for Men. And a special welcome to the new subscribers this week.

Hope you find this newsletter interesting and useful. Maybe you can get a healthier prostate out of it :)

There are 1060 words in the articles in this newsletter, which may take about four minutes to read.



Letter From A Reader... The Hermit?

Hi Noel: At 64, I live alone after two marriages and one long relationship (she and I still see each other from time to time), and I've never been happier. Could you talk a little about the "hermit?" (I don't think that term, at least in its popular sense, is quite right.) Best, Wade Bell

Hi Wade: A hermit, by definition, is a person who separates himself from the world, going to some secluded place such as a cave or a hovel in the woods.

I don't know what the definition is for a person such as yourself, except maybe 'contented single'.

There has been some research done about differences in 'subjective well-being' (how we feel about our lives), and one such survey can be found at

Among other things, the study found that:

"Educational attainment and Socio-Economic Status accounted for about 3% of the variance in Subjective Well-Being (SWB) between the different people surveyed, and income for about 2%, but marital status still accounted for less than 1% of the variance. (emphasis mine) Thus it appears that positive mood states are not much more frequent or intense for those with high social status or wealth, and that those at the lower end of the social ladder are only slightly more vulnerable to negative mood states."

Note that there was basically a negligible difference (1%) in the feeling of well-being between married and single folk.

At I found this:

The question as to whether there are differences in health or well-being across civil statuses has generated a number of answers, and most are still contested. The proposed answers include:

(1) Marriage seems to benefit men but may not benefit women.

(2) It is not marriage that matters but consistency; people who have always been single fare just as well as people who have always been married, and both do better than those who have been divorced or widowed.

(3) Differences between married and single people are decreasing over time.

(4) The degree to which marriage matters differs across cultures.

(5) People have their own characteristic levels of happiness; marriage may be associated with a brief blip in happiness but happiness will then return to its characteristic level.
(6) Just as it can be misleading to lump together all single people, so too can it be misleading to do the same with married people; women in particular may be especially responsive to the quality of the marriage.

So... all told, it seems happiness doesn't have much to do with marriage, unless maybe you are single and wish you had a partner, or have a partner and wish you were single!



ON TESCO'S TIRAMISU DESERT (Printed on the bottom of the box): Do not turn upside down.


Book review: The Secret of the Shadow: The Power of Owning Your Whole Story by Debbie Ford

One of the things we need to do during our lives, and particularly, I believe, at midlife, is recognize what Carl Jung called our 'Shadow'. It is the part of ourselves we are not too proud of, so we try to keep it out of sight and out of mind. Nevertheless, our shadow, when we don't recognize it, and/or we try to deny it, often helps us perpetuate a 'story' about ourselves that holds us back from our true calling.

The Secret of the Shadow: The Power of Owning Your Whole Story is practical and has guts. Debbie Ford has lived what she talks about, and the exercises are effective in helping you find the 'story' that not only holds you back, but, once you discover it, holds the secret of your gift to the world.


Colour commentator at the rowing medal ceremony: "Ah, isn't that nice, the wife of the IOC president is hugging the cox of the British crew."


Shine A Little Sun On Your Prostate (Well... Not Directly On It!)

I have been reading in health newsletters recently about how our expert-induced fear of sunshine these days might be a little over the top. In fact some say the vitamin D we get from having sunshine on our skin (not blocked by sunscreen) actually helps fight cancer!

These folks quickly caution that we shouldn't immediately go out and sunbathe for hours on end, but rather it is good to get, say, 15 minutes a day of direct sun exposure on our bare skin.

Now some California researchers have found that the more sun a man is exposed to, the lower his risk of advanced prostate cancer.

The researchers surveyed 450 white men between the ages of 40 and 79, who had been diagnosed with advanced prostate cancer between July 1997, and February 2000. These men were compared to 455 men the same age without prostate cancer.

They all filled out lengthy questionnaires which included a history of exposure to the sun. Along with the questionnaires, researchers measured the mens' exposure to UV rays by comparing skin pigmentation under the upper arm (where the sun don't shine), and the middle of the forehead. The difference between the two was used in determining net lifetime exposure to the sun.

The study found that men without prostate cancer had significantly more exposure to the sun. In fact men who worked outside for 15 hours or more per day (what kind of job sees you doing that?) had the lowest risk of prostate cancer.

For desk-riders the news isn't so good. The amount of time the average man reported biking, walking or doing chores outside didn't appear to help. Seems as though you have to get more sun than that.

Just the same... if you have been worried about going out in the sun for even a few minutes, relax, it will probably do you more good than harm.


REGINALD HARLING, age 96: "Why have I lived so long? Keeping out of bed as much as possible. Bed is a very DANGEROUS place; more people die in bed than anywhere else."


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 and a very inexpensive way to deliver high-quality training. I took training in teleclass leadership from Teleclass International which I highly recommend.



A Destroyer of Compasses by Wade Bell, published by Guernica Editions, (Toronto, Buffalo and Lancaster UK) $15.00 Cdn

One Man's Mid-Life Crisis Led to Spain. Planning to spend six weeks, he stayed five years.

A book of stories the Toronto Globe & Mail called "an assured and sensual portrait of a culture" with "precise and ironic examples of human idiosyncracy." The review went on to call stories "gems."

Available from Amazon, E-Bay and local bookstores.



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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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