In this issue

Jonathan Tobin: Defending the Right to a Jewish State

Heather Hale: Compliment your kids without giving them big heads

Megan Shauri: 10 ways you are ruining your own happiness

Carolyn Bigda: 8 Best Dividend Stocks for 2015

Kiplinger's Personal Finance editors: 7 Things You Didn't Know About Paying Off Student Loans

Samantha Olson: The Crucial Mistake 55% Of Parents Are Making At Their Baby's Bedtime

Densie Well, Ph.D., R.D. Open your eyes to yellow vegetables

The Kosher Gourmet by Megan Gordon With its colorful cache of purples and oranges and reds, COLLARD GREEN SLAW is a marvelous mood booster --- not to mention just downright delish
April 18, 2014

Rabbi Yonason Goldson: Clarifying one of the greatest philosophical conundrums in theology

Caroline B. Glick: The disappearance of US will

Megan Wallgren: 10 things I've learned from my teenagers

Lizette Borreli: Green Tea Boosts Brain Power, May Help Treat Dementia

John Ericson: Trying hard to be 'positive' but never succeeding? Blame Your Brain

The Kosher Gourmet by Julie Rothman Almondy, flourless torta del re (Italian king's cake), has royal roots, is simple to make, . . . but devour it because it's simply delicious

April 14, 2014

Rabbi Dr Naftali Brawer: Passover frees us from the tyranny of time

Greg Crosby: Passing Over Religion

Eric Schulzke: First degree: How America really recovered from a murder epidemic

Georgia Lee: When love is not enough: Teaching your kids about the realities of adult relationships

Cameron Huddleston: Freebies for Your Lawn and Garden

Gordon Pape: How you can tell if your financial adviser is setting you up for potential ruin

Dana Dovey: Up to 500,000 people die each year from hepatitis C-related liver disease. New Treatment Has Over 90% Success Rate

Justin Caba: Eating Watermelon Can Help Control High Blood Pressure

The Kosher Gourmet by Joshua E. London and Lou Marmon Don't dare pass over these Pesach picks for Manischewitz!

April 11, 2014

Rabbi Hillel Goldberg: Silence is much more than golden

Caroline B. Glick: Forgetting freedom at Passover

Susan Swann: How to value a child for who he is, not just what he does

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Financial Tasks You Should Tackle Right Now

Sandra Block and Lisa Gerstner: How to Profit From Your Passion

Susan Scutti: A Simple Blood Test Might Soon Diagnose Cancer

Chris Weller: Have A Slow Metabolism? Let Science Speed It Up For You

The Kosher Gourmet by Diane Rossen Worthington Whitefish Terrine: A French take on gefilte fish

April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review April 24, 2006 / 26 Nissan, 5766

Onward! Through middle age and beyond

By Tom Purcell

Printer Friendly Version
Email this article

http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | I'll turn 44 on Wednesday and I've finally accepted my fate: I'm middle-aged.

My hair, which used to reside exclusively on the top of my noggin, is moving south. My hairdresser, after clipping what's left of the hair on my head, clips the hair that now grows proudly in my lobes.

Some of my friends have been married for 20 years. They have children in college. Others are just getting started. They're starting their families in middle age, which I still hope to do, when they have the means and ability to ruin their children for the rest of their lives.

I can date an attractive 53-year-old divorcee on Friday, her equally attractive 28-year-old daughter on Saturday. Or, to be more precise, I can be shunned by the mother for being too young and shunned by her daughter for being too old.

There are many benefits of aging, though. A man my age cares more about important things, such as trying to comprehend the meaning of it all, and less about unimportant things, such as whether or not everybody likes me.

I'm not so picky as I used to be. Neither is my father. My father used to be particular about the girls I dated: "Is she Catholic? Will she be a good mother?" Now he asks things like, "But can we teach her to speak English?"

I understand and respect the speed with which time is passing. I remember the day I got out of college, already 22 years ago. Boy, that went fast. I'm beginning to say things such as, "A couple of decades ago, I ..."

The next 22 years, I know, will pass much more quickly. That troubles me. My father and mother, 72 and 69 respectively, may not be here then. A lot of people I love may not. Heck, I may not, if I don't stop carrying on like a 28-year-old.

At 44, I am at once still a fool, though blessed with a touch of wisdom, most of which I've gotten from other people, such as Great-Uncle John on my mother's side. He lived a rich life to 100. He had a simple philosophy on living well:

"Always look forward, never back."

He was right about that. As we middle-aged folks face our mortality, we quickly look backward. We focus on our failures, on all the things we did not accomplish. A midlife crisis ensues — one, with any luck, that will involve a lovely cocktail waitress.

Looking forward, not backward, is not so easy to do. Being positive, not negative, is also not so easy, but these are the keys to living well, no matter what stage of life you find yourself in.

At this point, it appears to me, most of living is drudgery. It involves parking tickets and colds and spending lots of time doing unfulfilling work because it pays well. This drudgery is sometimes interrupted by moments of unbearable pain, such as the unexpected death of your 57-year-old uncle, and other moments of unbelievable happiness (see "cocktail waitress" above).

My mother told me the story of an old fellow who lay dying in a hospital bed. He is enjoying his last cigarette. He talks of how he worked and sacrificed everything to attain riches and popularity and power. Now in his deathbed, he realizes all he ever wanted was a cigarette.

As I get older, I enjoy spring days more and the first cup of coffee in the morning and the company of interesting, soulful people who are clearly connected to something profound.

I know that tomorrow might bring something that causes me to laugh deeply and thoroughly into the night, or I might be strapping on a suit and tie to head to the funeral home.

I know this because I'm turning 44 on Wednesday, a day when, I hope, I begin looking forward, never back.

Every weekday JewishWorldReview.com publishes what many in in the media and Washington consider "must-reading". Sign up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.

Comment on JWR Contributor Tom Purcell's column, by clicking here. To visit his web site, click here.


© 2006, Tom Purcell