Saturday, September 8, 2012

Reading a book about middle-aged men

Last Sunday, my husband said, "You should read this book too."  That never happens.  I'm always the one pushing books in his direction.  So after I'd picked myself up off the ground, I set to reading straight away.

The book was Men: Firing through all of life by Al Stewart. Obviously, from the frequent chuckling while he was reading, my husband identified with quite a few of the stories Stewart tells.  He came into our bedroom laughing one evening and said, "I knew I liked this guy!  Listen to this!"  And then he read me the following:
The regular fun is that I exercise about six days a week. Sometimes it's running and sometimes it's weights at the gym. It all happens before 7:00am. I do this to keep physically well, but I also do it so that I don't go crazy. My wife would love it if I liked board games, but the sight of a jigsaw puzzle can make me start to lose the will to live.
That would be why I go to Poker Night.

I finished the book in about a day - it's not a hard read.  Stewart describes and ponders the feelings of many men as they start to approach middle age: wondering where those glory days went, why they no longer dream big, and the feeling of ground-hog day as they go to work and do the same stuff over and over and over again.

I actually felt quite unsettled by the first half of the book.  Many people joke about 'midlife crisis' but as I came to consider things from a male's point of view (if that's possible), I realized I'd failed to recognize the challenges that your average middle-aged guy goes through.  After all, I'm the one who's been birthing babies and staying at home with the preschoolers and doing the school run and worrying about my grey hair! But as Stewart points out, it's not necessarily a picnic for the guys either.  I don't think most husbands articulate all that stuff - maybe they don't want to, never get a chance to, or wouldn't know how to put it into words.  I was actually so rattled that my husband had to assure me that he doesn't personally feel all of the things Stewart writes about ... or at least not all at once.  Phew!

It's written for a male audience, but if you do leave it on your husband's night-stand, it's well worth a read yourself.

However, my husband did tell me, very seriously, that he wasn't actually a middle-aged man.

Ahem.  We'll just leave that one alone.

Available from  Book Depository


Deb said...

just checking I can still post comments

glorya said...

enjoying your blog Deb. my friend linked it on write very well!

Deb said...

Thanks so much! Just had a lovely snoop around your blog - really love the minimizing tips!

Ben McLaughlin said...

sounds like a good book Deb, I'll have to track it down

glorya said...

thanks!!! now I've just to apply it to myself and my house hahaha. I want to get back to blogging but I've just hit the 6 month mark with baby = really really tired!

Alistair Bain said...

Me too. I've been meaning to read it. And seeing as I'm turning 40 in less than 2 weeks, maybe now is the time.