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Midlife Crisis Forum

The Best Years Bed and Breakfast Inn

Hi. And welcome to the first bed and breakfast inn dedicated exclusively to midlifers and located completely in cyberspace. Whether you've come to have fun (most of us are here at least partly to play), to just get away, to discover and reaffirm your identity and passion in life, to recover from a loss, or to work through a midlife crisis; I'm glad you're here.

So put on some grubbies, take your shoes off, and stroll leisurely through the grounds. You'll meet some of my old friends here (people like Meg, Gordon, my sister D'Lynne and wife Charlotte) and my new ones (people like Susanne, Kathy, Truet, Dan and Alice). There's plenty of opportunity to visit with them and me, so come on in and look around. And be sure to sign the guest registry. We want to know who's walking these trails with us.

Other Guest Pages (April-July 1997) (August-October 1997) (November-December 1997) (January-March 1998)
(April-June 1998) (July-September 1998) (October-December 1998) (January-March 1999)

Guests of Midlife Moments by Date: November - December 1997
(dates posted may not be the same as dates received)

November 3, 1997

My name is Tracy, from Louisville, KY. Your web site has helped me so much lately as I am trying to cope with my husband's midlife crisis. I have a suggestion however: I sent a Question to you one week ago today. I can only assume you received it, but I don't know that for sure. I have been checking my email and your Q&A page practically hourly since I posted the question, hoping for a response. Maybe in the future when you receive a message you could reply just to let the person know it was rec'd and possibly offer an estimate on how long it will be before you reply to the question. Also, will my reply be to my email address or will the question automatically go to the Q&A page?

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Hello.

Came across your page completely by accident while looking for articles on Charles Dickens.Just like to say what fun it is, brilliant idea!

I am a freelance illustrator/designer and part time teacher from Devon, England. Married with several teenage children and other associated adolescents - plus a mid life crisis alert!

I would love to contribute, no idea what yet!

Regards, Mary

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Hello, I am a senior high school student in Northwestern Ontario, and I hope to do my Independent study (20% of final) on the midlife crisis. There is not much information, and I would like any suggestions for primary and secondary sources if you have the time to send them. The emotional and social significance of this affliction/phase has always intrigued me. Thank you for your help.

Anonymous

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I am a student at Franklin University in Columbus, Ohio. Currently, I am working on a research paper that specifically deals with the changing role of women in American families. I am interested in learning about those women who have had successful careers and have given them up to raise their children and the implications of that decision emotionally, socially and personally. Could you please recommend some good reading materials or web-sites that pertain to my topic?

I would also like to say that I enjoy your site very much. It seems to be a useful place for anyone interested in this topic. Thanks in advance for your help!!

Chris

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Mike -- after my own career switch last December, -- I lost interest in journalism and lost appreciation for the new management in my workplace -- I started a masters degree in counseling at the age of 49. I've stopped commuting and I'm home for my teen[aged sons. I love my studies and I'm doing some speaking. I'm training to be a midlife career counselor, and later, when I'm fully degreed, a general counselor specializing in midlife. Congratulations on your good work with these columns and this page. Too many people who have been downsized or simply become disillusioned or lost interest -- feel they have failed. In fact, this kind of introspection is a sign of growth. The entrepreneur/spritual person is the most improtant midlife role of the year 2000, all of us on the route to the role of sage. Let's keep in touch. P.S. I too, have a sibling who's my best friend. You can't beat it.

Louise

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I am 44 yr. old, going to visit with my girlfriends of many years. I am trying to buy a "cocktail" type dress. I haven't bought a cocktail dress in 20 years. I have a 20 month old son and a supportive husband. They want to help me find just the right dress. They are great help, boosting my confidence since my figure is not what it was 20 years ago. We find "the dress", and are off to the lingerie department to find "tummy control" so nothing will look as if it has slipped in the last 20 years. My son is fascinated with the many hanging bras and panties. He is happy and begins to sing out in his loudest voice , "moo-Moo's" . My husband is unable to contain his laughter, and the sales clerk is laughing, trying to complete the sale. They are more help than I ever imagined. My perspective is back!

-- MZ`

My Response: November 3, 1997

Tracy, I'm sorry that you've been kept in suspense over an answer to your letter. Actually, the reason I haven't sent confirmations when I've received letters is that I'm not sure the sender is the only one who reads the e-mail. If a child or a spouse does, it could be awkward.

So maybe you can help me with some advice of your own. Can you think of a way to confirm but not get someone in trouble? Also, I have quite a backlog of questions, and, even with the help of some guest responders, I can't answer all the requests. Do you think people like you would still want your question posted and opportunity given for other readers to offer advice? I've done this in the past, but only one or two guests responded and I don't think people found this useful. What do you think?

Again, I'm sorry for the delay, and will try to get someone to answer you online. Let me know if you have any ideas on this.

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Hi Mary. Would love to have you contribute too. Thanks for stopping by.

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Hey Anonymous. Check out the books listed in our Booknook as a starting point for your project (you can get them at your library for free).

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Chris--A worthy project--I know some of these women. Actually, can't think of pertinent books at the moment, but maybe others who read your words can, and will respond. Thanks for visiting Best Years.

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Hi Louise. What an important new career you've chosen! yes, let's do keep in touch.

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MZ--What a funny story, and, yes, it does give some important perspective. Thanks for sharing.

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Everyone--I've rewritten my responding policies. You might want to take a look. Also, you'll find new conversation on the When Teens Rebel Discussion Page and the Midlife Crisis Forum. Have a good week.

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November 7, 1997

Hi Mike I've been reading your page for a couple of hours now. It has been giving me some much needed encouragement to keep going and not give up on having a good life. I'm 47 and I was an abused child. As a result I have been afraid to let people into my life. I had a mediocre 8 year relationship that ended 10 years ago. I gave up after that. Now I'm seeing a good therapist and I'm starting to believe (most of the time) that I'm not a failure. One of the big empty places in my life is relationships - friendships. I've only just realized in the past year how terribly lonely I have been. I pretended that life alone was OK because it was my fate. I am now starting to reach out and meet people; I'm not even thinking about dating at this point, just good, warm friendships. I know it doesn't happen overnight and I try to be patient. But this weekend was a tough one; I had no plans and by Sunday afternoon I felt so lonely. I am working at accepting myself as I am today. So I guess I'm just asking for some encouragement and hope to keep going, keep working. That I can get there. Thanks for listening.

Katharine

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My name is elba and just found your page. I am new to the internet but I like it just fine. I,m also very new to computers, a housewife and grandmother.I have a new packard bell and am very proud of it. I learn something new every time I loggin.I,m 60 and married 46 years and still work (at home).

My response: November 7, 1997

Hi Katharine. Thanks for writing, and you do have my encouragement. I'm sure there are people in your locale feeling the same thoughts and eager to meet someone like you. Hang in there.

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Greetings Elba--46 years; I'm impressed. You're obviously doing something right. Also I'm impressed by your ability to keep learning new things. I'm convinced it's a major key to staying young in spirit, which you obviously are. I hope you'll vist us often here.

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Hey everyone. You'll find new conversation this weekend on the Peter Pan Discussion Page, and I hope to post some new answers on the Q & A page. Have a refreshing weekend--Mike

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November 10, 1997

Hi everyone. No entries to the guest page this weekend, just lots of questions. You'll find new answers today on the Q & A page. Have a good week, and, especially if you're visiting for the first time, let me hear from you--Mike

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November 14, 1997

I happened upon your page while searching for information on the Rosenthal effect. I am studying this in a graduated education course. Your page seems very interesting and I enjoyed the articles that I read. I will return to read more when I finish my research.

Amy L. Eros, Louisiana

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Mike,

Found your site and immediately new I had hit the mid-life crisis lottery. Although I had not given my state of mind an identity yet, I was suspect to what was happening. For the past five years, I have felt the need to run and have ran, still running too! At least you have helped me slow the pace and focus on my route. Man, what a jackpot. Now, and only now I will relax, get away,reflect and remember. Have done the reevaluation. Even though everything still tends to go south, my chin is high and I'm ready for round two!

Thanks, Mid-life Knock Out in Va.

My response: November 14, '97

Hi Amy. I'm also using the Rosenthal study in my own dissertation, an interesting theory (see the Expectation Effect). And "Me too" Knock Out. I'm ready for round two. Thanks both of you for stopping by and for taking the time to leave a note. Hope you'll come back often.--Mike

Everyone: You'll find new conversation this weekend on the New Materialism Discussion Page. Also Suzanne has answered some more questions, which I will post on the Q & A page later this weekend.

Have a good one--Mike

November 17, 1997

please send me your free offer magazine(?) I've just been reading alot of your web page and it is great. Esp. what YOU wrote about feeling trapped in a career.

Jeannie

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I found your name on the internet, and I was hoping that maybe you could help me out...I'm doing a research paper on the average age when the stated "midlife crisis" occurs...any information you could give me on the subject would be greatly appreciated...Thank you much,

Kara

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I've lost (turned loose of 3 sons), and two days ago I put a beloved pet to sleep, I loved her so much I stayed an hour after her final breath. I guess it is most difficult becauise I made the choice. As in human to human how do you cope with "did I do the right thing"?

SEA-YOU SOON

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Just a quick note to let you know your EVERYBODY ELSE and Midlife Affairs sites have been linked to by Prodigy's Divorce+ Community Interest Group page, SINGLE PARENTING Section.... our intro text describes this resource best: "Deepest sympathies... heartiest congratulations? Either way or some of each, Divorce doesn't HAVE to be the end-of-the-world. It is a BEGINNING, albeit a tough one. Divorce is like a root canal... no one wants to be in the middle of one, but the pain won't stop and the healing can't start without doing it. Here are resources to help you gather your thoughts, form an effective plan of action and complete the journey with your heart, soul and dignity intact."

If you'd like to view our Divorce+ page, a sampler is available at http://pages.prodigy.com/divorce/div00.htm (that's zero-zero, not oh-oh).

Shell

My response: November 17, '97

Jeannie, Glad you dropped by and I'm glad you enjoy the page. Right now there is no newsletter; everything here is online and free.

Kara, Some of the books I list in the Booknook (you can get them free at your library) will give average ages for a midlife crisis. If you want a lighter side of the answer, you might look at "You Know You're Midlife When."

SYS, Loss is loss whether it's a spouse, a job, or a favorite pet. Your guilt is normal but unjustified. You did nothing wrong, but it still hurts. Did you read my "Letting Go" article? Perhaps it will help some, but grief is never easy and will take time to work through.

Shell, Thanks for linking. I'm putting your note up in our guest registry, and maybe some of my readers will want to drop by your site.

Everyone--There's new conversation on the Midlife Crisis Forum, the There's Life After Failure Discussion Page, and the Question and Answer Page. Have a good week. I'll post again on Friday--Mike

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November 21, 1997

Hi Mike, Do you believe in synchronicity? I am a counselor and an adjunct professor at the University of Alaska Anchorage. This semester I have been teaching Paraprofessional Counseling and part of the program is working with midlife issues. One of my students used your " Midlife Crisis" as a reference in a required paper, so I thought I would see what she was reading, so I could respond to her comments. I appreciated your thoughts on "The Road Not Taken." I believe that the reason many individuals give the common intrepretation of the road less travelled is because many times in an effort to get on with our lives, we frequently do not slow down enough to see what is before us. As youth we move so rapidly wanting to be all and do all that many opportunities for development are missed. It takes us until we reach midlife to realize that there is more than one speed to life and many options to be considered, and for some choices have been made that leave them with that tinge of regret. We skip over the title to get on with the poem, as goes our lives.

I was born and lived my teenage years in Texas, but Alaska has its moments. While it may be far, it's truly worth the time to come for a visit. Could I have permission to copy your article to use in my class? I would like my students to have a little insight into other's perspectives.

Thanks..Flo

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Hi, Mike:

I suggest you add PrimeLife Guide to Personal Success to your list of offerings. It's a life planning guide covering finances, career, health, relationships, education, recreation, and spirituality for the 40plus generation. Check it out at the following url: http://members.aol.com/ElvinHayns/primelif.htm.

Thanks,

Marion E. Haynes

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Dear Mike...your column was just what I was looking for today...thanks...

Anonymous

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Hi: My 50th birthday and . . .

Ambiviolence, confusion, depression, with just a touch of joy.

It's really tough, counting my blessings, when I continue to punish myself for my failures, and short comings.

I've finally excepted the fact, that I am to blame, I've even managed (most of the time to stop being so hard on myself, and acknowledge my genuinely good points, ....

HOW COME I CAN"T FORGIVE MYSELF???

LARS

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Response: November 21, '97

Flo--I like that--"skipping over the title to get on with the poem. Insightful and well put. Sure you can use the article you requested; I'm flattered. And Alaska is definitely on my list of places to visit.

Marion, I will look at the book and have included the URL here in case others want to check it out. Thanks for stopping by.

Anonymous--Glad it was helpful and how nice of you to say so.

LARS--forgiving oneself is maybe the hardest kind of forgiveness. You might look at Overcoming Shame, A Broken Window, and There's Life After Failure. I am well acquainted with your struggle.

Everyone--You'll find new conversation this weekend on the Lottery Discussion Page, the When Teens Rebel Discussion, and the Midlife Crisis Forum. Thanks for visiting.--Mike

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November 24, 1997

Hi Everyone. No comments to this page over the weekend, just lots of questions to answer. If you're still waiting on one, be patient; we're running several weeks behind. Also you'll find another answer on the Q & A page this week. Have a great Thanksgiving--Mike

November 28, 1997

I would like to try your one month free trial. My email address is . . .

Greg

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I just found this web site; it has certainly encouraged me. My world if mostly filled with various ages and occupations. I have had this quest for "aliveness". I had not understood it; I work with kids and teenagers a lot. I have often said "They may not be right but at least they are not dead!" Thanks for the article; you helped congeal some thoughts for me. "I'm really not nuts---I'm not ready to lose passion for life yet....I want to take my last breath with passion" CR . . . . Well, 3 hours later and I now feel so much better. Thanks for this site. Really. I will share more later. I do indeed believe life can begin in the middle; the world is telling us not so. Thanks for the articles; it's hard to share some parts of life. I've often said "I wish someone would have told me....maybe that can change now for our kids and their kids.....maybe they won't be as surprised about things; maybe they will accept some things as natural and as being okay. Maybe they will be able to know they aren't the only ones." Thanks for this site. This is really a life changing experience. Hallelujah! God really doesn't make junk---at any age!!! Cheryl

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Mike,

Happy Thanksgiving and thank you for sharing your experiences of 'letting go'.. and also for your web page. There have been numerous times in my life I have had to deal with grief and letting go.. most recently, it is an exercise I need to do with a relationship that means a lot to me.. in order for us both to emerge stronger and able to love each other in a healthier way in the long run.. we both live by.. 'If you love something.. let it go.. if it comes back to you.. its your.. if it doesn't.. it never really was..' and we are at a point, I think before we move forward.. we are exercising this.. and although it is easy in theory.. its difficult in reality.. and although I have grieved for my mom when she passed over, and for an unsuccessful marriage years ago.. this one is surely making its dent.. and I just wanted to thank you for being on-line to share you experience.. so others can feel a little less alone and afraid.

Thx.

Jill

My response: November 28, 1997

Hi Greg. The free month's trial is for newspaper editors. Right now everything on this site is free. So enjoy, and thanks for stopping by.

Cheryl. Thanks for the kind words. Your words encourage me too. Keep in touch.

Hi Jill. Glad you like "Letting Go." It is also one of my favorite columns, and the experience that prompted it was not easy. Thanks for sharing. I also "feel a little less alone and afraid" when reading your words.

Everyone--You'll find new conversation on the Midlife Crisis Forum and new responses to questions on the Q & A page.

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December 1, 1997

I read your web page for the first time today, December 1, and scanned the contents. I was impressed and am interested in seeing your publication. I am 39 years old and am starting to go through some significant changes in my life (e.g., emotional, professional and uncertainty about my career). I am very well educated and have been very fortunate in my life professional. However, I feel that I am still searching for something else that's more of who I am personally. Perhaps you can recommend some reading material to get me on the right track. Thank you for your time.

Joseph

My response: December 1, '97

Thanks for writing Joseph. You might look through the Best Years Booknook for some helpful titles. Also, have you read "Reinventing Yourself" or "Identifying Your Midlife Passion?"

Everyone--Hope you had a good Thanksgiving and didn't eat too much turkey and dressing like I did. You'll find new conversation this week on the Perfectionism Discussion Page. Thanks for visiting.--Mike

December 5, '97

Dear Mike,

As one who reads your column each week on the net, I have to congratulate you. This week's (Our Desires Are Too Weak) was the best!

Regards,
Easan London

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If I am torn between 20years of singing practice and my brokerage career and now I see how working a job I don't like wears harder as I am older. Is this a midlife crisis for a single man wanting to get started on his singing career and just be a consultant for pay from home? Does this sound more like a mid life failure?

Joe

My Response: December 5, '97

Hi Easan. Glad to see that you're still dropping in. How is the job search going? Any other activities or projects to report? Keep in touch.

Joe, All of us fail; it's part of the price we pay for success. But your delimma doesn't sound like failure, only indecision. Perhaps it is time to give your singing more of a front stage. You might check out my friend Valerie Young's web site about starting over in a new career (www.making-waves.com). Good luck.

Hey everyone. There's new conversation on the Midlife Crisis Forum and there are new questions and answers on the Q & A page. Have a good weekend.--Mike

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December 8, 1997

Nothing to post from this weekend, but more questions for the Q & A page. If yours still hasn't been answered, I'm sorry. I'm trying to do two per week now, but even that won't get everything answered. I have a couple of suggestions if you're still waiting: one you might read all the other Q & As from past months. Your situation might be similar to another, and, two, you might consider resubmitting your question, especially if the first version was long.

Hope everyone has a good week. I'm finishing up my classes at Texas Tech and will post again on Friday.--Mike

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December 13, '97

Just to let you know that we look forward to your "Midlife Moments" column in the Amarillo paper. Today's was especially noteworthy. Actually made my wife cry! Thanks for the memories.

Jim

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Hello, I'm James and I'm checking in from Kansas. Was just surfing around and saw your invitation. My first impression is - Good People, common sense, down to earth, opened mindedness and helpful. In other words, I like what I see here. I've belonged to underground musical and theatrical groups such as the "Foolkiller" which booked underground talants from both coast here in the midwest. Everything from Jean Richie to Chicago and missisippi blues players to stars on the "Gong Show". I guess I qualify as a "Boomer", 1944, just an ol hippie. I'm a conductor/switchman for the Santa Fe railroad and have done many things and traveled a lot in our country. If you don't mind, I'll check in once in a while and see what's happening. Keep up the good work and vives and God bless the good people.

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hi mike!

my name is jocelyn and i'm 16 years old. I came across your article about materialism. I was hoping you could help me. I have to give a speech in one of my high school clases about " Resisting Materialism". I am going to use the information I got off of your column and use that in my speech but i do need some more information of other way to resist. I was hoping you could help me with this. I would be forever grateful! Thank you for you time!

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I never really gave any thought to what my life is at this time until I came across your site. I feel that my life is and has always been great. I think it is because I take charge of it. I am 66 years old, feel like I am in my forties, Take vitamins, work out, and I am retired from the US Army after thirty years. I have been a Nudist for many years and I am presently a Figure Model (Nude) at many colleges and drawing studios. What really makes my life worthwhile, is my religion. With God in my life, I would have no direction., It would be like trying to drive a car without a steering wheel. Know what I mean ?.I enjoyed reading what you have to say . People don't give themselves enough credit for who they are. In God's eyes we are all SPECIAL. GOD DOES NOT MAKE JUNK. WELL thanks for letting me share all this with you.

Sincerely Frank (Be all you can be)

My Response: December 13, '97

Jim--Thanks for the encouragement. I get teary also when I remember my kids' growing-up years.

Hey James--Nice to have an "ol hippie" on the site. I can use the perspective.

Hi Jocelyn--I assume that you've looked at The New Materialism. You might also read The Myth of Making It, When Less Is More, and Bellah's Three Laws of the Lotto. Hope this helps. Good luck on the report.

Frank--I admire anyone who can take their clothes off at 66 and have people actually want to sketch them :>

Everyone--You'll find more new conversation this week on the Q & A page. Hope all is well with you and you're not as behind on Christmas shopping as I am. Later--Mike

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December 15, '97

No entries for the guest registry over the weekend, just more questions, which I'll get to as soon as I can. Enjoy the holidays--Mike

December 20, '97

Hi Mike,

I'm sending this email to wish you and your family, your readers and their family a beautiful holiday season and a happy new year.

Let the New Year bring you,your readers and your family all things beautiful and may it be happy.

May God Fill this Christmas season
With many joys for you,
And give you special blessings
In everything you do
May god bless you in the New Year
In a very special way,
And in his love watch over you
Through each and every day!

A Joyous Christmas A Happy New Year

Lakshmi

My response: December 20, '97

Hi Lakshmi; thanks for the well wishes, and the same back to you.

Everyone--Not any entries to the guest registry. I guess we're all doing last minute shopping. There are new responses on the Q & A page. I'm working hard during the holidays on my dissertation, and some changes to the web site. Hopefully, by February we will have a newsletter on these pages, along with some other features for members only (there will be a small yearly fee for the extra stuff). Have a good weekend.--Mike

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December 26, '97

For the last two years, my children have surprised me more than I have them on Christmas morning. This year, they gave Charlotte and me a weekend ski vacation. Wow! But it's weird to be on the receiving end of "Santa" again. Hope your holidays are going well, and you are able to spend time with those you love. Not much conversation on the web this week. However, you will find new stuff on the midlife crisis forum and the Q & A page. I will post again next week. Enjoy the weekend.--Mike

December 29, '97

I stumbled across your site by chance. I have had a great time looking around. I am going back to school on Jan, it's been a very long time since I set foot on a campus. I have lost too good careers due to a blood disorder caused by a chemical warfare agent and I need to get a job behind a desk, so off to school I go. Your site has made me more sure of myself and ready to go. Thanks very much

Korey-- West Jordan, Utah

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Hi Mike, Please send me your free trial offer, this sounds soooo interesting.

Tina

My response: December 29, '97

Korey, Good for you. If your experience is like mine, school will do more than get you a job, maybe a renewed outlook on life as well. I'm proud of you. Keep us up on your progress.

Hi Tina. Right now everything on this site is free. We will be starting a newletter in Feb. or March, which will cost a little extra, but my plan is to keep most everything free. Enjoy. And thanks for visiting.--Mike

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