Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Man-o-Pause Anti-Ode


Male Menopause? Not!

It's hard to adjust to a world seemingly spinning out of control. Getting ahead in the "old" economy is getting harder and harder. There are limited resources for men who want to challenge the status quo, who want to break out from the "shoulds" that rule them, who are confused any more about what it means to "be a man."

While the physiology of male menopause is a measurable fact, I think something else is going on here. After the initial years struggling to achieve their career aspirations and role as provider, men would do well in recognizing this shift as a desire for greater fulfillment beyond work. Women have fulfilled their role as child bearer and mother. We have no qualms in stating our needs once the kids are off pursuing independent lives.

Rat Race Running You Ragged?

Most men are probably wondering, "Where the hell do I fit in anymore?" Some men confuse wanting off the rat race roller coaster as the start of a mid-life crisis. But a crisis, when confronted, is an opportunity. Someone once wrote, "confusion is the threshold of a greater awareness." Most intelligent men understand this concept but tend to judge it. I'm here to tell you that confusion is a good thing!

Think for a moment about Chinese handcuffs; the harder you pull, the stronger they bind you. The same is true with confusion; if you fight the fact that you cannot control your confused state, you will continue to muddle along. Instead, consider the possibility that by adapting to a new and changing reality, clarity and direction are yours for the asking.

When we resist change, there is no space to move, to explore, to expand. Just because the competitive landscape has changed and relationships are often fraught with frustration does not diminish your role or importance. You have the potential to be at cause in your life.

Maybe it's your turn to create, not compete. Give yourself permission to breathe.

Author, Nicolette Beard, is a former editor, publisher and advertising executive. Currently, she provides insightful commentary on issues men face at mid-life through her blog, http://www.Man-o-pause.com. Hers is the only blog for men written from a woman's perspective.

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