Back to Back Issues Page
Be Careful With The Words You Use
August 31, 2007
Midlife Wisdom For Men Issue #089, August 31, 2007

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

· Be Careful With The Words You Use

· Book Review: Full Catastrophe Living

· Do You Want To Travel Retail, or Wholesale?


Written by Noel McNaughton
(c) copyright 2007


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.


Welcome to this issue of Midlife Wisdom for Men.

A common symptom of a midlife transition is irritability. If we are not careful, we can take it out on our partners. Long term pain can come from a thoughtless comment.

I don't know whether you saw the great film Zorba The Greek. I think it was the best role Anthony Quinn ever played. In the movie, Zorba refers to the ups and downs of family life as "the full catastrophe." This is where Jon Kabat-Zin got the title for his book, which I have reviewed below.

Travel is picking up dramatically, as baby boomers take more and more trips. In fact one business think-tank I know of says two of the best investments today are anything to do with travel, and recreation property. If you want to save some money on your own travel, and/or make some money on other peoples' travel, read on.

There are about 1030 words in the articles in this newsletter, which should take you about three minutes to read.




Be Careful With The Words You Use

I was talking on the phone to a friend who farms in eastern Alberta a while back, and while we were talking, his wife, not knowing he was on the phone, called him from another room. He shouted, "I'm on the phone!" in an angry and dismissive tone, as though she were a fool for not knowing that. I can't help but think their relationship would be a lot better if he had simply told her the same thing in an informative but not judgemental way.

I am shocked and dismayed at how many people who are feeling depressed and irritable (common symptoms of midlife transitions for both men and women) seem to be mean to their spouses/partners. This 'mean talk' can take several forms:

  • Sarcasm, and cutting or dismissive remarks
  • Belittling the other person
  • Being hyper-critical of the other person
  • Talking down to the other person (as though they were a child)
  • Calling the other person names (stupid, boneheaded, etc.)

When we are feeling irritable it is easy to lose patience with almost anyone. A woman in menopause and a man in andropause can be a tough combination. Both may be prone to wild mood swings, depression, confusion about the future, re-evaluation of life choices, and changes in values, which they hadn't anticipated.

Maybe we start to feel overwhelmed, and want a break from all the responsibilities and demands on our time. Maybe we wonder where our life is headed. The feeling of "when will there be time for me?" is common in middle-aged men and women. We begin the process of adjusting, when we sort out the confusion around these unavoidable issues.

What is avoidable is letting these symptoms cause us to become mean and nasty. There is no excuse for that. We are adults, not children.

We may be lost in introspection, and need to let people know we just can't talk right now, but to use cruel words is not acceptable. A Cree Elder I have known for many years teaches the four principles of a balanced life:

  • Love (expressed as kindness)
  • Sharing (your time, talents, possessions, etc.)
  • Truth (as in speaking and living your truth)
  • Strength (perseverance, or determination)

Of these four, treating others with kindness and respect will go the furthest toward harmonious relationships, and will help you make it through your midlife transition with dignity.

Relationships are often damaged for years because of careless and unkind words. Yes, midlife transitions are hard, disorienting, frightening, and confusing, but there is no excuse for verbally abusing those who love us.


Be careful about reading health books. You may die of a misprint. -- Mark Twain


Book Review: Full Catastrophe Living

by Jon Kabat-Zin

Kabat-Zin is founder and director of the stress reduction program at the University of Massachusetts Medical Center. He set up the program to deal with people experiencing chronic pain, whom doctors couldn't seem to help.

The book was published in 1990, but it is current today.

Kabat-Zin's approach to managing chronic pain is mindfulness meditation. I thought it would be a good book to mention to you, because chances are by midlife you are experiencing some aches and pains that don't seem to be going away. I know I do.

He says that most people with chronic pain end up focusing on it, and forgetting that 95% of their body is just fine. I would add that most of us focus on anything going wrong in our lives, to the exclusion of what is still going right.

One of the things I liked is that there is an ad in the book for a tape that guides you through a 45-minute mindfulness exercise. Rather than the usual exorbitant price most authors charge for 'special tapes', this one was less than ten dollars, plus shipping.

I bought the tape, and did the mindfulness exercise every morning for about three months, and found I was more mindful about my life in general. In fact people began to comment that I seemed "more relaxed" and "more laid-back". I felt that way too.

If you have some chronic pain, for example an old sports injuring coming back to haunt you, or you are feeling stressed, I recommend Full Catastrophe Living.


By all means, marry. If you get a good wife, you'll become happy; if you get a bad one, you'll become a philosopher. -- Socrates =========================================

Do You Want To Travel Retail, or Wholesale?

I mentioned in the last newsletter that I had joined a travel company. It offers some wonderful deals on trips all over the world.

Here is an example: Manzanillo Mexico - Oct 17th - 21st - five-star Grand Bay Resort - five days, four nights - $179.99 per person.

You can get details at Just click on the "Dream Trip" link at the top right. I am now a travel agent. You can be too, and save a lot of money. Since the last newsletter, I got 50% off a business suite in the Regina Inn, in Regina, Saskatchewan (I saved $105 per night for three nights), and I saved $120 per ticket when Elizabeth and I went to Phoenix, Arizona for a workshop last week.

If you want details on how you can do that too, email me, and/or visit

If you don't want to be a travel agent, but do want to save on travel, you will get the best prices if you use the ground-breaking travel meta-search engine here:

In the past, I have used sites such as Travelocity and to find the best prices when booking air fares, rooms and so forth, but the search engine at is better than any other I've seen.


You know I think building a theme-based website is ideal for people at midlife and beyond. You can have fun, and make some pretty serious money: How to build a successful site


Identity Theft is a growing problem, which is why I buy Identity Theft Insurance through Pre-Paid Legal Services. As an associate, I also sell it. Statistics say one if five North Americans is likely to be a victim of one of the several forms of identity theft. If you would like to protect yourself, you can find more information here: Identity Theft Insurance *************************************************

Wouldn't it be great to work less and play more golf? I do not 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

Back to Back Issues Page