Your Beliefs Create Your Reality. Part 5

Health Challenges:

My train of thought has been known to derail.

In the previous installment I touched on the subject of health as part of a general view of my personal reality. A few weeks after posting that one, I wrote an e-mail which expanded on the theme which I will share to complete the thought.

First, for those who have not yet read Ms. Creant, my book delves into LIFE–which of course include matters of health. There is more room in a book to go into detail but for the sake of brevity I will give you the key idea which I presented on this subject:

There are four integral parts of a human which need to be kept healthy or else we open the door to major health challenges.

We are bombarded by books and articles about the importance of exercise, eating right, and eliminating the intake of things that we know to be bad for us. These writers tell us that if we look after our bodies, we will be more energetic, happier and will live longer. IF THIS WERE TRUE:

  • None of them would ever have to face significant health challenges but many will.
  • None would ever become depressed but approximately 17% of this group will.
  • All of them would outlive the rest of us but many do not.

The reason is fairly simple to grasp. They focused on only 25% of their being’s needs to the exclusion of the other 75%.

Here is what they missed:

  • They placed little or no value on nourishing their INTELLECT. The more advanced the thought processes, the more power the mind has to moderate the intake of things that we know to be bad for us.
  • They placed little or no value on the exploration of their inner SELF–who they are—their identity.  They were not able to moderate the intake of things that we know to be bad for us on an emotional level.
  • They placed little or no value on nourishing their SPIRITUAL side–the part of all humans that needs to believe in something  greater than themselves so they can remain hopeful. They were not able to moderate the intake of things that we know to be bad for us to offset feelings of hopelessness or meaninglessness.

You cannot nourish that which you do not know or understand.

  • To nourish our INTELLECT, one must simply READ; READ; READ! I would love to tell you that you must read my genre (nonfiction) but it would be self-serving if I did so because there are thought provoking books in many other genres. The key to a good read is its ability to make you think–not merely escape. People who feed their intellect are less likely to succumb to Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia.
  • To nourish your SELF, you must explore the who, what, when, where and how of the significant events which affected you emotionally creating your behaviors. You can read a great deal on psychology but it is doubtful you will be able to accurately assess your own behaviors without a perspective from someone trained in the field. People who understand themselves have fewer emotional outbursts, are better at managing stress, anxiety, depression, and are less prone to psychological disorders in general.
  • To nourish your SPIRITUAL side you must first acknowledge that there is meaning–if not a plan–to your existence. Next you must find inner peace in some belief or (better still) beliefs you can call your own. Philosophy; even the philosophies of various religions, are particularly useful in giving life meaning by again adding an outside perspective to your life. Everyone knows of my disdain for religions who profit from fear mongering; who help only those of their own ilk; that endorse sexism and violence while perpetuating the division of humanity . . . but even their books contain worthwhile messages for a seeker of meaning.

Preface over; now on to the subject at hand.

Hope springs eternal. Hope is what keeps us going. Most people consider this a given until presented with challenges they were not PREPARED to face. The least AWARE among us will be quicker to lose hope, while thinkers will take their time to process this new information before ACCEPTING the opinions of the very fallible indoctrinated humans who dispense it.

If you believe a singular prognosis, it is YOU who will make it a reality.

This brings us to the point you were making. Reasonable or cautious optimism are a part of what thinking people wrestle with constantly. We must be cautious yet hopeful. Most importantly, we must be careful not to RATIONALIZE poor choices or behavior as a result of a new-found belief. At the same time, we must not DELUDE ourselves either or we could allow a decline in our condition which could have been prevented. This is a great deal of information which we must process. Fortunately the human brain is capable of this level of cognitive reasoning when the mind has been properly trained to think about the probable outcomes of numerous possibilities.

Thinking people ponder their options while other humans merely react.

A person who is considering several courses of action is undecided about the outcome so they have not yet chosen to BELIEVE anything. Conversely, the person who immediately chooses to believe, will also immediately begin to live a REALITY created for them by someone else.

We have a choice as to what we believe. This is certain and it also implies that we have a choice of realities.

A health challenge is a test of WHO we are: our intellect, our spirit, our emotional stability and our will to continue. No school program ever PREPARES us for these life challenges, even though they should. I wrote my book, in part, as an attempt to create change in what we teach–to encourage life preparedness. In order to achieve this we must place emphasis on creating young people with fully formed and understood identities rather than letting them flail about in the world, HOPING they will find their way.

A prepared mind is less likely to believe in a reality created by someone else, and more likely to see their HOPES come to fruition.

I wish I had thought of the line above sooner . . . it would have saved a great deal of time.

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The Official Ms. Creant Website Is Up

There is something for everyone!

  • Readers

  • Librarians

  • Educators

  • Parents

  • Booksellers

  • Book Clubs

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Welcome!

The Journey Begins Here.

MsCreant.EABarker.com

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Ms. Creant: The Wrong Doers!

Life With Women: The Long-Awaited Instruction Manual

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A reader need only have an open mind to enjoy Ms. Creant.

Readers also possessing a sense of humor, will love it.

Blurb:

This book was created for everyone from young adults to seniors. It was written from a male’s point of view, speaking to men who are endlessly struggling to understand the opposite sex. For women, this is a fascinating journey inside the male psyche. The book gives a young reader a glimpse of the future, with a recommended timeline for key life events. Mature readers, who have already experienced much of what is discussed in the book, should come away with a new found understanding, and perhaps even closure. Ms. Creant is a controversial, entertaining, yet informative look at everything which influences human behaviour including: relationships, life, health, biology, philosophy, sociology, theology, politics, genetics—even physics. E. A. Barker shares twenty-four “inappropriate” stories of life with women. The author based these stories of women behaving badly on his real life experiences, spanning four decades of his search for an ideal partner. The lessons taken away from the book will serve to help readers make better choices, become more aware, grow and change—at any stage of life.

About the intended reader and a caution:

Ms. Creant was written by a man, from a man’s perspective, for men, and those soon to become men. Yes, many women have embraced the book as well, but it is doubtful any young female teenagers are likely to be handed a copy. It is difficult to state the exact age a young man should begin to explore the realities which lay ahead for him, so my first thought was to say age thirteen—the sooner the better. HOWEVER, I recommend we err on the side of caution. The book contains adult situations and sarcasm that the youngest readers may not comprehend without adult guidance to give them some clarification. This could cause an important message to be lost on them, or worse, they may embrace the poor behaviors illustrated. There are both young men and boys in the age range between thirteen and fifteen with significant variations in maturity levels found throughout the group. We can safely state that a young man is ready for Ms. Creant when he has experienced any of the following life events:

  • He has a poor attitude towards school.
  • He has been rejected by a girl.
  • He has a girlfriend.
  • He has had his first sexual encounter.
  • He has had his first heartbreak.
  • He has been caught with alcohol or drugs.

The important messages contained in Ms. Creant:

  • WHO you become is more important than WHAT you become.
  • Make smart choices.
  • Be aware of yourself and your possible futures.
  • You must always have a plan.
  • Stay in school.
  • Say no to drugs.
  • Practice safe sex.
  • How to recognize and keep you and your friends away from a date rape scenario.
  • Never stop working on self-improvement.
  • Completing a post-secondary education is a must.
  • There will be time for serious relationships once you have completed your education.
  • Chase your dream.
  • Choose to be happy.
  • See things as they are—not as you would like them to be.
  • Learn to recognize your own behavioral patterns.
  • We must rethink how we are raising our daughters.
  • The difference between sex and love.
  • Equality is achievable when we stop trying to manipulate each other.
  • Settle wisely.
  • Balance and communication are the key elements of a successful relationship.
  • Behaviors to avoid if you want to remain faithful.
  • How to survive the end of a serious relationship.
  • Understand menopause—it happens to all humans.
  • You can change anything and at any age.
  • To be completely healthy is to supply nutrition to all four parts of your being.
  • If you are pragmatic and grateful, death need not be scary.
  • Unbiased moral teachings might save humanity.
  • Parents must teach what the schools are not.
  • All sociological problems are directly linked to literacy.
  • Fear spreads quickly when rational thought is not present.
  • Political correctness is undermining freedom of speech—the communication of ideas—retarding humanity’s growth.
  • Working to become the best person you can be will make you a role model—an influencer—for others yet to come.

Ms. Creant is a relatively light look at the human condition.

Why was Ms. Creant written?

This was my attempt to change a world which becomes more distressing with each passing day.

By writing about many of the most difficult issues facing mankind with a pinch of humor, it was my hope that a conversation would be started which could spread awareness.

  • Men need a better understanding of both themselves and women.
  • Women need a better understanding of both themselves and men.
  • Both sexes need to see the world for what it is if we are to create change.
  • Continuing to live obliviously in a dream or a bubble made tolerable by escapism will not adequately prepare your children and grandchildren for the challenges they will face as these last two generations attempt to save humanity.
  • We cannot allow the goal of true equality to be corrupted by political correctness or reverse discrimination.
  • The patriarchy that has been with us for the past 5,000 years must be left behind.

Our present educational systems encourage ACCEPTANCE of what is thought to be known rather than the exploration of the subject matter which could bring about a paradigm shift.

The most fundamental teachings of philosophy—learning WHO we should strive to become—is no longer valued. Morality, ethics, and scruples are now increasingly rare traits found in the people we meet.

Most societies in the West have CONFORMED to the destructive and soon to be fatal ideology of economics based thinking. By placing a higher value on the words uttered by celebrities, the wealthy, religious zealots, and sports heroes than we do the words of the most brilliant minds, we are accelerating the fall of Western civilization.

We are teaching a watered down version of history, INFLUENCED by political and religious agendas, which focuses our attention on names, dates and places, instead of the more important causes and effects which led to wars and the fall of various civilizations throughout recorded time.

There are four interconnected elements which can adversely affect the health of a human being, but most people are not AWARE of them, nor do they know how to take care of each one.

Our educational systems pump out DAMAGED kids. In North America at least, human behavioral studies could help students to begin to understand themselves and others while simultaneously introducing them to a number of the sciences. An introduction to psychology, biology, genetics, anthropology and sociology could give children some PERSPECTIVE to assist them in surviving their K-12 education. Except in the most progressive schools, these studies are all but ignored until it is too late. Most of the emotional damage is done years before they reach college. Teaching young adults about human behavior when the student already has a fully developed identity is like closing the barn doors after the horses ran away.

Higher education has its problems too. The lesson most learned in universities is that degrees can be bought by those whose influential families are alumni or financial contributers. Money and power should not be held up as something for young people to strive for or envy. Corruption within the most important institutions in the world must end.

The grant system INFLUENCES academia. The saddest proof of this is in the statement: ‘ We are paid to search for answers—NOT TO FIND THEM.‘  Specialization within a general field of study has created division amongst scholars and furthered compartmentalization or outright suppression of findings. Until researchers stop being held back by doctrine within the peer review system, hard scientific evidence will continue to appear to the public as being subject to interpretation.

Serious subject matter handled in a not too serious way.

MsCreant.EABarker.com

THE REAL DEAL COVER REVEAL!

The book is scheduled for release later this month. . . fingers crossed.

I still remember the immense feeling of accomplishment I had the first time I wrote The End almost two years ago. Since then, I have written those same words on two other occasions; both times in the same work. I added Chapter 9, wrote The End and sent my manuscript off to an editor. Her recommendations led to the creation of Chapters 10 & 11 and once again, I wrote The End.

Writing a book is like having a pet or a child–just because you have one does not mean you job is over. In fact it is just the beginning. The journey will test you, possibly break you and will definitely change you. I was as naive as they come as I began to learn the ropes of the publishing game.

I actually thought it was about the work.

A veteran of the publishing game told me, “If War and Peace was written today, Leo Tolstoy would not get a publishing deal.” I rejected this advice only to spend the next year proving his opinion to be correct.

I found out the following:

  • Publishers do not want to read query letters– especially from new previously unpublished authors–so the largest of them sloughed the task of reading off on the Agents.
  • Only authors represented by an Agent can pitch the few remaining large publishing houses.
  •  Agents do not want to read query letters– especially from new previously unpublished authors–because they know it is a tough sell and they like an easy lay.

It is here where you must decide the future of your work that you invested three years of your life into. Shelve it and get on with your life or take the road full of potholes into the world of self-publishing. I did the latter.

I found out the following:

  • FAR TOO MANY alleged “Author Services” companies are owned by or related to the big publishers that would not even give your book a chance.
  • The ones that are not related to the big publishing houses are arguably scammers, there to exploit every naive indie-author who comes along with a dream.
  • They try to charge at least three times the going rates for their services which NEVER GUARANTY ANY SALES or even placement of your book where readers can see them.

It is here where you must decide on the product(s) you wish to produce professionally vs. taking a DIY approach to publishing your work. It is also here where you must decide how you will reach the book buyers of the world.

There is a giant corporate umbrella over the entire book publishing industry. Indie-authors, like raindrops, just bounce right off.

I found out the following:

  • Amazon owns CreateSpace, Kindle Direct Publishing and BookSurge so they CONTROL your work from the time you upload your manuscript to the time they produce your print-on-demand first edition. You will be FORCED to comply with their rules for playing their game in their backyard. This is a corporate monopoly. These rules are not in your best interests but their’s. Amazon invented an ingenious system featuring a ridiculous RETURN POLICY where they produce and ship books only to have them returned and destroyed. They proceed as though Amazon is the only place you need to be, when in reality being an Amazon Indie-Author is the equivalent to being a fart in a hurricane–someone might notice you briefly.
  • Most of the world’s largest chains of brick and mortar book stores learned from Amazon’s success. They have now created their own return policies and DISCOUNT POLICIES, allowing them to have inventory–essentially on consignment–that they can price so low some unwary authors have actually LOST MONEY on each book sold. They make the poor indie-author SOLELY responsible for paying for producing books to sit on their shelves. The unsold inventory at the end of the term of the agreement is returned IN ANY CONDITION to the author so long as the author PAYS THE SHIPPING COSTS.
  • OF COURSE THERE WILL BE UNSOLD BOOKS because you will never make it to the front window or the front table, nor will your cover ever be facing out so customers can see it. This treatment is reserved for best-selling books from the big publishers who practically run these chains because they have been in bed with each other for decades.
  • It is a volume based business. Ingram produces and distributes books for many large publishing houses. Their Lightning division services the small publishers of the world at a higher cost per book, while their Spark division charges still more to indie-authors. This results in lower royalties for the indie-author if they want to keep their retail prices comparable to offerings from the major publishers.

You are required to BUY your way into a carefully guarded marketplace.

The message is clear. The largest companies in the publishing business do not share well with others. They both own and simultaneously dislike the indie-publishing trade. J. K. Rowling taught them a badly needed lesson. You cannot keep a good writer down.

I found out the following:

  • Social media is a quagmire which does not sell many books relative to the TIME INVESTMENT.
  • There are a great many independently operated book stores that will support an indie-release.
  • There are a great many book expos which are not too expensive to have your book showcased in.
  • There are still a great many libraries on the planet.
  • Reviews sell books.

Long ago in one of my earliest blog posts I stated, “I do not wish to be selling books out of the trunk of my car.” I now understand the indie-authors who do.

Much love.

E. A.

Question: Why do books need to be returnable?

Answer: To protect the few remaining major traditional publishers.

ATTENTION INDIE AUTHORS! This one is for you.

 

I am actually entertaining not being listed on Amazon because of their return policy.

I will not support their READ AND RETURN policy.

I will not support their PIRATE AND RETURN policy.

By rebelling against “the man”, it will hurt my sales by REDUCING EXPOSURE to my book in the world’s largest online book retailer.

AM I NUTS?

The jury is still out.

IS IT CAREER SUICIDE?

My career as an author never had much of a chance. I just did not know this when I began the journey. I thought I was getting into the business of writing.

When I finally gave up on finding an agent or publisher for my book, I began my journey into self-publishing which is a misnomer. You cannot successfully self-publish if you wish to be taken seriously. I wrote a serious book which delves into serious subjects—albeit in a non-serious way—that I wanted to be taken seriously. Ms. Creant had to come out in e-book, large print paperback and large print hardcover in order to have any chance of SUCCESS.

I re-labelled myself as an indie-author.

I was “thinking green”, and as such, I have a huge issue with the WASTE of returned books. I chose Print On Demand for environmental reasons, but I now see it for what it is–a way for the publishing industry to print a huge number of books without taking any responsibility for returns. They put this squarely on the poor indie-author.

THE SELF-PUBLISHING & INDIE PUBLISHING GAMES ARE RIGGED!

IT IS DESIGNED TO KEEP YOU FROM COMPETING WITH MAJOR PUBLISHERS IN THE STORES THEY CONTROL.

THE COST OF YOUR POD BOOK IS MORE THAN TWICE THE COST OF THE SAME BOOK TO A HIGH VOLUME MAJOR PUBLISHER.

The low initial pricing of my POD books to my readers has already eliminated any chance of my books being picked up by any mass merchants–GREATLY REDUCING MY CHANCE OF SUCCEEDING. The discount I offer to bookstores is deemed too low. If, on the other hand, I were to raise my retail price to accommodate their huge discount, it would price my books out of the rational book buyer’s price range and into the stratosphere–ENSURING TINY SALES NUMBERS.

Additionally, I would have to accept the retailer’s RETURN POLICY on unsold books; many of which would be dusty and damaged. I WOULD HAVE TO PAY THE SHIPPING COSTS to have the books returned to me, rather than trusting that those books would be “recycled”, which is the word they throw around, but unsold books from large retailers regularly end up in landfills. THEY REFUSE TO DONATE THEM TO SCHOOLS, LIBRARIES OR THE UNDER-PRIVILEGED because it would hurt the sales of the big publishers they are in bed with. Instead, they again put this on the poor indie-author. It is the same reason why food stores do not donate to food-banks. They want YOU to buy the food donations which the food store profits from. They further encourage you to buy and donate food by having a food-bank donation bin in their stores, but I digress. . .

Are e-books the answer?

NO!

  • As an e-book only author, you reduce your number of potential readers by 70%.
  • Your book will not qualify for prestigious literary competitions and awards.
  • Your book will not be reviewed by the most trusted literary critics.

So what is the answer to SUCCESS as an indie-author?

1) GIVE UP THE DREAM OF BEING A WRITER.

2) Set up a business to SELL your books.

3) Be conscious of your time and/or money invested vs. the REVENUES generated from the activity. Social media is the equivalent of a printed flyer delivered in your mail. You can expect only 3% of those followers you reach to buy your book.

4) You must TARGET book sellers, book buyers; reviewers etc. and REACH OUT to them.

5) You must INVEST in putting out a quality product. This requires: Editors, cover designers, interior layout specialists, ISBN management, Copyright management, royalty management, e-book formatting, Point Of Sale site management, social media site management, e-mail services, marketing strategies, merchandising specialists, publicity specialists and perhaps a mailing company. THIS IS WHAT GOES ON INSIDE A LEGITIMATE PUBLISHER.

6) IT WILL BE A FULL-TIME JOB!

I will pay for nine of the thirteen listed which leaves me to wear four hats without even considering the administrative side of any business. I am considering an online store of my own on ebay or Shopify at a minimum cost of $10.00 / month.

My twenty plus years as a business person tells me I have only a 50/50 shot at SUCCESS, and it will have little to do with my capabilities as a writer. My experience also tells me that it will be a long slow climb to a respectable sales level without those major retailers.

It worked for J. K. Rowling. It might happen for me.

Lightning might strike twice.

E. A.

P.S. Hello to my feeling forgotten friends on WordPress.

The book is about 30 days away from its release date so I have been swamped.

Look on the upside, if my book tanks, you will be the first to know as I will post my farewell here.

😀

 

I have not forgotten you!

I have been so busy trying to get the book ready for my publisher, I have been forced to temporarily suspend all my social media activities. I thought it would be a week. It has been eight weeks to reach this point. While I am pleased with the results, I cannot wait for the book to be done. Currently, I am editing the final chapter, and plan to comb through the book one last time before sending the manuscript off. I will have to re-index it at some point — more fun! I will post the cover soon after the final changes have been made.

Hope things are better for you!

E. A.

Blog 25: Why do we hurt people that care about us?

This may be yet another middle-aged guy thing.

Recent events have me questioning myself and a new person in my life.

I have too much on my plate, so I deemed it necessary to take a break from social media in order to FOCUS on turning my new place into a home. During this period, I will also be finishing the last round of edits on my manuscript, which I also believe to be a reasonable step. Additionally, it is possible that I have reached the point of exhaustion, as I cannot remember the last time I took even an entire day off or got away from things for a while. In my estimation, taking a break from everyone who can INTERFERE with those goals may not be healthy, yet it seems as though that is what I wish to do.

Attempting to understand what is driving you is never easy.

In my case, I am stressing over MONEY and TIME; but most people have those worries. When I was younger, those things cropped up from time to time but now it seems more frequent. I have had minor health problems and minor injuries that have negatively affected my projected timeline for the COMPLETION of my goals. This is an ongoing nagging FRUSTRATION that has been plaguing me for the last six months. EXPECTATIONS are my problem right now. If you do not have expectations, then you cannot be let down. Life rarely goes as expected, but knowing these words often is not enough to stave off stress.

My VISION of the life that I have been working toward, did not include the possibility of a significant other for reasons that are graphically detailed in my book. Instead, I imagined a life where I would write, travel, lead a healthier lifestyle, and only engage in casual sexual encounters. That is my idea of a SIMPLE PEACEFUL life that would ultimately make me HAPPY. This latest sexy cutie threatens my PLAN, and I have DOUBTS about my ability to meet her long-term needs.

If you allow yourself to stray off course into a relationship, you must have PATIENCE; and patience is something that is in very short supply with me these days.

We all love the feeling of being loved, and we can cling to the new exciting adventure just to keep that feeling. Lately however, I have found myself taking a PASSIVE-AGGRESSIVE approach to this wonderful person, as my heart and head wrestle for supremacy. When I am pragmatic, my comments often tear at her fantasy of our future, causing her to be unhappy. I do not like myself when this happens; but it does happen, and quite regularly. There are a great many obstacles in our way, if we were to attempt a serious committed relationship, and I question whether I have the ENERGY or DESIRE to try it one more time. Sometimes, I actually RESENT the intrusion in my life by this beautiful young soul, and we have talked at length about my mixed feelings towards a long-term relationship; yet she PERSISTS, believing that we were brought together for a reason by a divine influence. Her beliefs allow for her to construct a happily ever after story that she is pursuing RELENTLESSLY. Anyone that reads my stuff knows that I do not believe in such things, so her ideology bothers me as well. I all too often view her caring interest as a DISRUPTION due to her INCESSANT need for communication that I view as unnecessary blathering via telephone or text.

I know that I am someone whose singular FOCUS allows me to COMPLETE things.

I know that I may have unrealistic EXPECTATIONS, and I am trying to make a conscious effort to swim with the current more often.

I know that my PLAN for a SIMPLE PEACEFUL life may get lonely or tiresome but should I not at least try it?

I know I am not PERFECTLY happy, but can a perfectionist ever truly be? I would like to find out though.

I know that my PATIENCE is directly tied to my stress level and I must get better at managing stress.

I know that my planned lifestyle changes will improve my ENERGY level.

I know that my internal CONFLICT will persist until I either commit or withdraw from this relationship.

I am very conscious of the fact that I am not being FAIR in this relationship.

I would MISS her if she was no longer in my life.

There is a fine line between doing what you know is best for yourself, and being selfish or narcissistic.

My book:

Ms. Creant: The Wrong Doers!

Life with Women: the long awaited instruction manual.

Talks of relationships, health, life, biology, philosophy, sociology, theology, genetics- even physics as well as how HOW SEVERELY DAMAGED THE AUTHOR IS.

I hope your biggest problem is that someone cares about you.

E. A.

Blog 24: (My Birthday Post) So what is mid-life?

Another birthday has arrived.

They are coming faster it seems.

A writer in his late forties shares a little too much.

At this point, I am well into mid-life and spend a great deal of time dealing with issues that ONLY people of my age can relate to. Younger people should read this however, as ALL this stuff is just around the corner for you, and it will be here faster than you can imagine.

My book explores the subject of MANOPAUSE nicely, so I will refrain from being repetitive. Instead, in this post, I will explore the tragic comedy of my personal situation.

Your birthday should be a time to be a little introspective but do not obsess or be unhappy about your circumstances just because another year has passed.

Just like having an old house, MAINTENANCE seems to consume more of your time these days if you want to remain attractive to the opposite sex. However, you do realize that you will eventually reach a point where the ones you are attracted to will view you as TOO OLD. That scares me. The upside of that day arriving, is that you will be able to let much of the maintenance slide.

Mirrors are your enemy!

My advice is to reduce the size of them or remove them from your place altogether.

If you are not ready to make that move, then you will have to face what appears there on a daily basis and do what you can about it.

The pessimist within, looks at my body in the mirror after getting out of the shower and notices that my mid-section has a layer of fat that was not present in my thirties. My pectorals need work but that is do-able. A little more walking or sex and I can shed some lbs. and tone my midriff up… some. The optimist within, realizes that I still have a better body than half of the guys out there that are still in their thirties, so I have that going for me. Most of those guys are chasing women in their twenties anyway, which leaves women in their thirties and early forties more readily available and vulnerable to my intellectual stimulation tactics.

Rogue hairs are showing up everywhere.

F. S. H. or follicle stimulating hormones are present in guys too.

The pessimist within says this is a real sign of old age being just around the corner. The optimist within realizes that a razor and tweezers are all that are required to make the problem go away so you can continue to live in denial for another week or so.

Grey hair has been an issue for me since I was in my thirties. My Nazi dominatrix hair-dresser insisted on eliminating them back then and has been doing so ever since. I don’t dare disappoint the mistress. The pessimist within, notices that my beard is about 50/50- salt vs. pepper now, but it can be colored as well. The optimist within reminds me that there are plenty of guys in their thirties that are losing their hair while I maintain a healthy full head of hair. Additionally, my grey is confined to only those two places… so far.

Your libido is not what it once was.

THANK GOD!

I remember getting hard with every slight breeze, sexy picture or beautiful woman that I came across. It was a very unproductive time in my life. The pessimist within notices, that I can sometimes go a couple of days without wanting sex. The optimist within me sees this as an opportunity to get stuff done.

Middle-age forces you to consider your mortality.

Your health will be noticed more often now.

The pessimist within looks back over this past year and remembers back issues, joint pain, a few colds or flu’s that seemed to linger, too much coughing and head congestion due to anything but my nicotine addiction (Denial, denial, denial.) and a fortunately short- relatively minor bout with the shingles virus. The optimist within realizes that it could have been much worse. My cardiovascular system is still quite good despite the abuse and I see many younger people in far worse shape than myself.

My Dentist and I will develop a new friendship due to my paying him far more regularly now. Smoking, sugar, wine among other things have wreaked havoc with my once white smile, but as my grandmother often said: “At least I still have all my teeth.” I did loosen one recently and that has me a little worried.

My energy level is at an all time low but I have discovered napping and really enjoy it.

You must fight off the urge to be critical.

You were incredibly “young and dumb” too.

It does not help that your patience is at an all time low, but if you are conscious of yourself, you can pretend that you still have the thick skin you once had. Every time I want to take a strip off someone younger than myself, I flash back to what I was doing at their age and it helps me to keep my mouth shut… most of the time.

My book:

Ms. Creant: The Wrong Doers!

Life with Women: the long awaited instruction manual.

Talks of relationships, health, life, biology, philosophy, sociology, theology, genetics- even physics as well as how YOUR ATTITUDE AND GRATITUDE WILL KEEP YOU YOUNGER LONGER.

Enjoy your birthdays… there may not be that many left.

Be as young as you can, for as long as you can.

E. A.