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How Old Do You Think You Are?
September 30, 2006

Midlife Wisdom For Men Issue #067, September 30, 2006

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

· How Old Do You Think You Are?

· Snoring


Written by Noel McNaughton (c) copyright 2006


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Welcome to this issue of Midlife Wisdom for Men.

The great baseball player Sachel Paige said 'how old would you be, if you didn't know how old you are?'. It's a good question, and a surprising, to me, number of people would say they are pretty old, or 'over the hill'. How old are you?

Many men, me included, start to snore more when they get older. I have done a little research on it, and bought a product that is helping me get better sleep.

There are about 1400 words in the articles in this newsletter, which should take you about four minutes to read.

All the best,



To The Editor Hello Noel, A great book to read to help married couples understand and adjust to life changes is called Understanding Men's Passages: Discovering the New Map of Men's Lives by Gail Sheehy. It is great for men and women to read, as it helps both men and women understand mens passages and adjust to them and live better lives. A great book. Cheers. Harvey Forester


How Old Do You Think You Are?

There are two aspects of aging:

  • - chronological aging
  • - psychological aging

This first is inevitable, but the symptoms of chronological aging (think physical decline) can be mitigated to a great degree by diet and exercise. We all know men in their 40s who are in worse condition/health than other men in their 60s.

It takes discipline, plus the desire to maintain good physical health, in order to have the motivation to do regular exercise, and eat a healthier diet. I go to an exercise class three times a week for an hour of combined cardio and and weight training, and the benefits are many, including feeling sharper and more alert mentally, plus having more energy in general. My metabolism is also higher than when I go for extended periods without exercise, which means I can eat a bit more without putting on weight.

The psychological aspects of aging are another matter.

A number of years ago, when I was a TV reporter with the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, I did a series of news stories on geriatric medicine. One thing I discovered, and that surprised me, was that older people often believe old age necessarily means one will be sick!

This belief is due to a general societal expectation that we will be sick as we get older, and is abetted by the many doctors who hold the same belief, and pass it on to their patients.

The fact is, there is no natural reason for us to be sick as we get older.

The most surprising thing, to me though, is that so many middle-aged men think and act as though their life is all but over. They turn forty or fifty, and as far as they are concerned, it's all downhill from there.

The men I know who feel this way are mostly bemoaning the fact that they don't have the strength and stamina they used to have, and that younger men are starting to see them as 'over the hill'.

I remember when I was about forty, suddenly realizing that no matter how hard I trained, I could never regain the physical resilience and stamina I had in my twenties and thirties. It was a bit of an awakening! But I also realized there was nothing I could do about it. It was time to move on to the advantages I had over my younger years.

The Inner Journey

Perhaps you have noticed that as you have moved into the middle years, things that seemed oh so important when you were younger (maybe trendy clothes, a snazzy car, the latest tech or sports equipment) no longer matter all that much. You used to believe those things made you 'important' or 'successful', or made you 'count'.

Now you realize they don't have much to do with success. You see that success is more a reflection of who you are, rather than what you own. Now that you are past the youthful stage of your life, it is time to make the inner journey: what values and principles do you choose to live by? Who do you admire, and what is it about them that you look up to? (Whatever you admire in another, you will discover those attributes in yourself if you look inward.)

What is your understanding of your connection with a Higher Power (God, The Great Spirit, The Creator, Allah, whatever you call it)? What are the spiritual disciplines you use, or could start using, to connect to a power/energy greater than yourself? (If you are not sure about how to approach this whole subject, my ebook Picking Up The Burning Feather might be helpful.)

If we pay attention to our inner psychological/emotional/spiritual lives as we age, we keep discovering new things about ourselves, and about Life. It becomes an exciting adventure, rather than an inevitable decline. And the inner adventure is ongoing, and gets more interesting over time, which means we have to get older in order to enjoy all the benefits!

If you have been feeling irritable/depressed about losing your youthful vigor, take heart. Your chronological age is measured in years. Your 'psychological age' is up to you. How old do you think you are?


Doctor: "I can't find the cause of your illness,but I think it may be due to drinking," "In that case doctor, I shall come back when you are sober."



Several months ago, I started snoring more, and louder. During most of my life, I have snored when I have been over-tired, or back in my drinking days, when I had had 'a bit too much'.

My snoring is a problem in a number of ways: - it makes it difficult for my wife to sleep - it wakes me up at times, and I often have a dry throat, from open-mouthed snoring - my research tells me it can be hard on my health

I missed a whole month of exercise class last December while the gym was undergoing annual maintenance, which coincided with the Christmas holidays, also known as 'eating season'. The result was I put on about nine extra pounds. I still haven't lost it all!

I started snoring more at about that time.

This little excerpt from the National Sleep Foundation website might explain why:

Snoring is the primary cause of sleep disruption for approximately 90 million American adults; 37 million on a regular basis. Snoring is most commonly associated with persons who are overweight and the condition often becomes worse with age. Loud snoring is particularly serious as it can be a symptom of sleep apnea and associated with high blood pressure and other health problems. In sleep apnea, breathing stops – sometimes for as long as 10-60 seconds – and the amount of oxygen in the blood drops, often to very low. This alerts the brain, causing a brief arousal (awakening) and breathing resumes. These stoppages of breathing can occur repeatedly, causing multiple sleep disruptions throughout the night and result in excessive daytime sleepiness and impaired daytime function.

I was getting to the point where my sleep was significantly interrupted with my snoring, and I even developed some apnea. I was started to feel tired all the time.

I bought a little 'nose insert' at a local drug store - a U-shaped piece of plastic I put in my nose at bedtime, that holds my nostrils open, so I don't breathe through my mouth so much. It helped some, but not enough.

During my research I discovered, and bought the 'sleep wizard'. It is made from soft nylon lycra, and fits under my jaw and over the back of my head, and keeps my mouth from falling open when I am sleeping, which has stopped the loud snoring and apnea. I am getting longer, more sound sleeps now, even though Elizabeth reports that I still snore enough (with my mouth closed) to disturb her sleep. I am committed to losing about ten pounds during the next month or so, which I assume will solve that problem.


What's the best way to describe a bachelor? A man who never Mrs. a woman.


I do this newsletter and host the website as a service to other men, and am happy to do so. Just the same, it costs some money, and if you would like to make a small contribution to help with those costs, I would really appreciate it. If you would like, you can make a donation at:


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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.


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 , and follow the instructions.




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

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Available from Amazon, E-Bay and local bookstores.

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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