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Conway, Jim. "Helping A Burned-Out Man At Midlife" (2000).

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Introduction

Mr. Johnson was the sort of man who seemed to have it all. A senior position at his firm, a matured family and all the time in the world to do what he wants. Yet, each time he steps into his house, he is greeted with emptiness, and the old sense of loneliness is not new. His children were far away, studying and they mostly ignored him, his marriage was breaking apart, and at times, he just doesn't see any purpose in living. In a man's life, there are many stages, and the most interesting would be the Middle Age. It is the transition between adulthood and old age, yet is often stereotyped or misapprehended as being a tedious, stultifying routine. (Barrow 54) Quite the reverse, as it is actually a time of change, where the corollary and adaptation to the difference will surely affect the adjustment to old age. "It is a stage in which men begin to reevaluate and question their priorities, and deal with their dreams and expectations." (Anderson n.p.) There are also "feelings of confusions about self-identity, and where life is leading." (Briggs n.p.) A midlife transition exists for male individuals, and is a normative development marked by feelings of uncertainty or restlessness and often results in a fundamental reorientation in views of oneself. During midlife, males have to adapt to new roles, a different set of responsibilities and meet up to pristine expectations, all more often than not, particularly demanding. ...read more.

Middle

(Briggs n.p.) A man's attitudes and perspectives are changed, and the result of this can come about naturally, or from some significant loss or alteration in his life. True preferences are innate from birth, but the environment influences a man's behavior and discernment. (Briggs n.p.) It is during midlife that a man can sincerely question himself, to determine who he is presenting himself to others, and who he essentially wants to be. While evaluating himself, a man may also come across age norms, which acts a barrier, thus not letting him fulfill his own goals, but instead forces him to satisfy social norms. (Barrow 56) This would lead to much confusion about personal aspirations and the customaries of society. During this time, when one is perplexed about identification concerns, self-esteem may plummet, and thus, self-questioning is an inevitably irrevocable elucidation. Questions like, "What can I do to feel better about myself?", "What can I learn from this mistake?" or "What am I most happy about?" are entirely beneficial to boosting one's self-esteem. (Nathanson n.p.) Inquisition into the lifestyle one has been leading will help to accomplish individuation, when a man reverts to his true personality and realizes his initial goals and ambitions, by recognizing and integrating internal conflicts. Individuation is necessary for a man to lead a matured, balanced lifestyle. (Briggs n.p.) Individuation can also be acquired through developing the aspects of a personality that are opposite to one's preferences. ...read more.

Conclusion

(Nathanson n.p.) It is a time when social pressures are at its climax, and a reorientation in the views of oneself is inevitable. The midlife period has been categorized as a crisis. The loss of youth, the faltering of physical powers we have always taken for granted, the fading purpose of stereotyped roles in which we have thus far identified ourselves, the spiritual dilemma of having no answers - any or all of these shocks can give this passage the character of crisis. (Sheehy n.p.) Like Mr. Johnson, many men would be suffering from work stress, loneliness from the empty nest and discontentment from the marriage. What they don't know, or if they knew, is that they are experiencing a midlife transition, when it is time to embrace the new feelings and encourage growth of seeing life with greater variety and complexity. (Anderson n.p.) Being thrust into a care-giving role suddenly, is not easy, nor coping with an internal psychological struggle. (Lerner n.p.) Refocusing, rethinking and refunctioning on self-chosen moral principles can overcome these tribulations. (Conway n.p.) Thus, a midlife transition is not a crisis, but a personal experience for males, and is a significant phase of each man's maturing development from adulthood to old age. Aging is: Sometimes a slide, sometimes a climb, Coming to the last lines of the melody of life, A pain in every joint, Another blessed open door, The small mysteries, Enjoying a wonderful life, What happens to the body, while the inner child stays young and beautiful. ...read more.

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