Matt Wingett describes a metaphor he used to help a friend see his middle-aged crisis in a new light.
A friend of mine recently has had a very middle-aged obsession. One of the things that has really got to him has been the whole subject of ageing.
“I don't feel that I've go the drive that I used to have. I don't feel I've got the edge I had when I was younger. I'm slower... and I don't attract the women like I used to.”
Well, that is very, very likely true! After all, it doesn't really matter what anyone tells him, the reality of the situation is that getting a little older changes the way we operate in the world, and the way others see us. The skill, is in changing, too.
So, rather than tell my friend a lie - that he didn't look at day over 25 - I told him a story instead, or an observation that fitted neatly into his view of the world. I told him what I had noticed when I went to Salsa clases.
At the Salsa class, there were lots of young men who were highly energised and extremely fast moving. Their dancing was full of quick moves, and spins and stamps, and it's true that the girls they were dancing with came away breathless and excited, with their heartbeats raised, flushed and exhausted.
But watching them closely with these younger men I noticed something else: often the girls looked confused by the flourishes and extreme moves of the younger men, and occasionally there was a wince as these women got their arms pulled by a younger man who was more enthusiastic than skillful.
Then I noticed something else happening. Later in the evening, an older man danced with these same women. He was a little round in the belly, balding on top - and a very smooth dancer.
When he danced, the women relaxed in his arms. He turned them gently and there was an efficiency in his movement that meant that not a raise of an eyebrow was wasted. He may not have had the speed and strength of youth, but he had the cunning and guile of experience, and the women loved him. You could see a real chemistry between him and women half his age.
My friend, who was bemoaning the passing of his youth thought about this. He began to consider where his skills lie, where his experience counts, and what makes him a more effective mover in the dance of life.
Whether you're a man or a woman, if you've been sharing my friend's obsession, ask yourself the same questions. They might help you see things in a whole new light, too!
Matt Wingett is a freelance writer and editor of NLP. His free eBook, The Tube Healer, can be download here: http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/128159