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The Best Years Bed and Breakfast Inn

Hi. And welcome to the first bed and breakfast inn dedicated exclusively to midlifers and located completely in cyberspace. Whether you've come to have fun (most of us are here at least partly to play), to just get away, to discover and reaffirm your identity and passion in life, to recover from a loss, or to work through a midlife crisis; I'm glad you're here.

So put on some grubbies, take your shoes off, and stroll leisurely through the grounds. You'll meet some of my old friends here (people like Meg, Gordon, my sister D'Lynne and wife Charlotte) and my new ones (people like Susanne, Kathy, Truet, Dan and Alice). There's plenty of opportunity to visit with them and me, so come on in and look around. And be sure to sign the guest registry. We want to know who's walking these trails with us.

Other Guest Pages (April-July 1997) (August-October 1997) (November-December 1997) (January-March 1998)
(April-June 1998) (July-September 1998) (October-December 1998) (January-March 1999)

Guests of Midlife Moments by Date: January- March 1998
(dates posted may not be the same as dates received)

January 3, 1998

Thanks for this article. I can see my teenage son wanting to rebel against much of the morality he has been taught in our home. It is an encouragement to know others have been through this...and survived. I am praying he, like the prodigal son, will come home. Thanks again.

Cindy in Ashland, KY

My response: January 3, '98

And thank you, Cindy, for writing. Yes, I along with many of my midlife friends, have experienced what you are facing. Good luck and hang in there.

Everyone--Sorry I'm late posting this week. You'll also find new conversation on the midlife crisis forum, and I'll post some new questions and responses just as soon as possible. Hope you have a good weekend and a great New Year.--Mike

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January 5, '98

Not much to report over the weekend. By the way, how does it feel to write 1998 on your checks? Does it seem not so long ago that you wrote 1968? Me too. Have a good week, and if you're visiting for the first time, drop me a an email.--Mike

January 12, '98

I'm interested in a free trial subscription. I'm a 50 yr old social worker embarking on my second career and working on certification in Gerontology. I can use some of this information in teaching my Intro to Gerontology class.


Jennie in Georgetown, Texas



An interesting web site. I will check in frequently.

I am 50 and just had my first child. I have already made one midlife career change, earning my BS degree in horticulture in 1980 at age 32. Now I'm seriously considering pursuing a DC (doctor of chiropractic) degree.

Four years ago I was completely computer illiterate. Last week we just bought a Pentium 200 and got online. Glad I made the effort to learn!

I think the major factors in making a midlife career change are, 1) commitment to the effort, and 2) a belief in your ability to obtain your goal. With these two criteria in place, you're ready to move forward. It's never easy, but if the goal is strong enough. . . .

The most intelligent book I've found on the subject is Career Change: Everything You Need to Know to Met New Career Challenges and Take Control of Your Career, by Dr. David P. Helfand (ISBN 0-8442-4274-8).

Another very helpful book is Getting Unstuck: Breaking Through your Barriers to Change, By Dr. Sidney B. Simon (ISBN 0-446-39024-0).

Best Luck,


My response: January 12, '98

Hi Jennie. There is no trial subscription just yet. The ad is for newspaper editors to carry my column. Right now all the options on the pages are free; so enjoy. I will begin a newsletter some time in February, which will offer a number of other resources. So keep checking back.

Joe, Thanks for the tips on midlife career changes, and the suggested reading. I will post these titles on the Midlife Moments' Booknook. Thanks for visiting Best Years.

Everyone--You'll also find new conversation this week on the Q & A page and on the Midlife Crisis Forum page.

January 19, '98

Hi. Just came home from work, sat down at the computer to see if possibly there was any information on midlife crisis-and wowla.....



Hi, I'm not sure if there was a more formal way to sample your column or not. I'm 40, single mom of 3, and ready to switch careers. I thought your column might have a few valuable tips for someone in my position. I'd like to try your free sample offer. Thanks much, Unsigned

My response: January 19, '98

Wowla yourself and thanks for visiting. And welcome "Unsigned." The free sample for new things on this web site will come next month. Right now, everything is free, so enjoy.--Mike

Hey everyone--You'll find new conversation on the Q & A page, the Midlife Crisis Forum, the Talkback page (I need some more answers here for MW in Amarillo), and the Letting Go discussion page. Have a good week, and keep in touch.--Mike

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January 24, 1998

i would like to sign up for your offer of a free month of your newsletter. i am 41 and my husband is 43..and he is presently going through a mid-life crisis, and we are thankful for any help we can find on this subject...

thank you for your offer.


I found your home page interesting and refreshing, not to mention timely as I turn 40 in 3/98. Please send me a trial issue of Midlife Moments--Jan and Steve

My response: January 24, '98

Denise, Jan, and Steve,

Actually, beginning in February, I will offer a Midlife Moments Extra on these pages, and there will be a free trial of the e-zing. This online publication will offer many helpful (and fun) articles dealing with midlife issues. At the same time, I plan to keep all the present offerings (including the weekly articles) on this site free of charge. So enjoy them, and check back next month for the rest.

Thanks for visiting Best Years.

Everyone--You'll find new conversation this week on the Midlife Crisis Forum, the Midlife Career Change Forum, and the Q & A page. See ya later, Mike

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January 26, 1998


I just wanted to say thanks for your column today welcoming Oprah Winfrey to the Panhandle and explaining how we Texans feel about our great state. I think you've hit the nail on the head for most of us.

I enjoy your column every week. Keep up the good work!


My response: January 26, 1998

Thanks to you too, Carolyn. I just wanted to remind everyone that we can support beef and Oprah (and I do love my hamburgers).

For those of you (which is most of you) who read Midlife Moments outside of the Texas Panhandle, you may see my words to Oprah at: "Welcome to the Panhandle, Oprah." Also you'll find new conversation this week on the letting go discussion, the Midlife Crisis Forum, and the Q & A page. I'll post again on Friday. Have a great week!--Mike

January 30, 1998

I can't remember who but someone at the university here (where I've kicked off the third phase of my working life) told me about your column -- and your website. I regrettably am past my bedtime right now (sure sign of aging), so I've only scratched the surface of investigating it. Looks great. I love your motivation for doing it. Is it the midlife passion you describe? I, too, write a weekly newspaper column. Mine (only three published so far after more than 18 years at the local daily newspaper as sports editor and city editor) deal with baby boomers. I call it My Generation with all due respect to Pete Townshend. I'll come back and check out your page again. It looks like you've gone to a lot of work. Thanks for the effort.




I've been a stunt man for over 30 years. I've made a great liiving at it and at 50 I'm not ready to retire. But it's getting harder and harder to do my job, and I'm not trained for anything else. This is getting depressing. Any suggestions?

Robert in Woodland Hills, Ca.


I found your sight today under a search for "career change". This was the 95th listed match (64%). I think you should be in the top 10! I am a 48 year old male in the throws of this mid-life mess. I certainly identify with many of the folks writing to you. Yours is the first intelligent and insightful discussion I have encountered anywhere. I clearly have not identified or developed the "PASSION" that you describe in your article, but plan to work on it right now. I have also copied the names of some of your recommended reading.Thanks for a great site. I will follow-up soon. . .

Bob in Transition

My response: January 30, 1998

Yep Mark; it's the passion. And I would like to see your column. Send me a sample.

Hi Robert and Bob. Actually, I think there are many options for midlife career changes. We just have to discover them. In March I am going to be adding a section to this web site for members only that will offer more info and entertainment, and midlife career suggestions will receive some attention. So keep tuned. Of course, I will keep my weekly column, questions and answers and everything else now on the site free of charge (and the extra stuff won't cost much-- but I do need to eat). So enjoy. And thanks for visiting Best Years.

Everyone--You'll find new conversation this week on the Midlife Crisis Forum and the Q & A page.

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February 2, 1998

Typed "midlife crisis" into search engine and found your site. It gives me hope to know that what I'm going through is not unique. I'm still into heavy duty feeling sorry for myself mode, but have bookmarked your site to look at tomorrow. Neat tie-in with Amazon, will be sure to check you first before I order from them again.


My response: February 2, '98

Hi Jamie. Glad you visited and that the site is helpful to you--We all draw strength from others going through the same struggles. Hope you'll come back often.

Everyone--Not many messages over the weekend, but lots of visitors. I plan to post again on Friday. Thanks for dropping by.--Mike

February 6, 1998

I would like a free one month trial of your paper. thank you. I am taking a graduate course at the University called Life Span of Human Development and we are studind Mid Life Crisis. Any great info!

Pam, Springdale, AR


Finding this yesterday was better than winning lotto!I would love to get email from someone to talk one on one. cjs-kim@northnet.org


Mike, I have thoroughly enjoyed a few of the articles on this WEB Site. Tell me more about the subscription offer. -



Do you send the magazine via email or surface? How much does it cost? Thank you,


My response: February 6, '98

Pam, Christina & Jerry--Thanks for visiting. The newsletter is going to be called Midlife Moments Extra, and will be more than just a newsletter--It will be offered online as an addendum to this site (everything else will stay the same and remain free of charge). I hope to offer a number of new entertaining and helpful articles; also, I'll have some new interactive options. So keep visiting the site, and you'll have an opportunity to sign on for a month at no charge (and then if--when--you decide you like it, the yearly fee will be very affordable).

Kim--I'm glad you like it, but I think I'd take the lottery ;-) so maybe you'll get some e-mail.

Everyone--You'll find more conversation this week on the Midlife Crisis Forum, the Q & A page, and the Letting Go discussion page.

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February 9, 1998

Mike: Sent two questions already....and so sorry...I guess I didn't read the response policy very well as I did not type "question" in the subject box. I have since printed it out and will visit this site very often. Hope you don't get sick of me....but I already feel so much better than I did before I found you.

My sincere thanks to you and everybody else for caring enough to give me a place to vent and visit. It's good not to feel alone.

Rena Niagara Falls, NY


My response: February 9, '98

Good to hear from you Rena. I'm glad you're finding help on these pages.

Everyone--You'll find new stuff this week on the Midlife Crisis Forum and the Q & A pages. I'm just getting over the flu.--Yuk! No fun. But it is nice to be able to talk with people and not have to leave the house. Thanks for visiting and have a good week.--Mike

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February 13, '98

Hi Mike,

I'm so glad I discovered your web site today! You see, for against my will, I'll be turning 35 next month, and I'm having a real problem with dealing with it. All kidding aside, I am experiencing big-time anxiety about this milestone. The insight you provide in your web pages helped me today, if not accept, at least understand a little better the questions, concerns and fears that I have. But to be honest, I'm still very scared about growing older and what the future holds for me. Thanks again for providing what I consider to be a wonderful service to the "midlifers," - me.

Don in New Jersey

My Response: Februray 13, '98

Hi Don. Glad you visited. Some of us approaching 50 might chuckle that a 35-year-old would be anxious about growing "older," but the truth is that no matter what age we are, we all struggle with those change points in life that signal a new (and unknown) experience ahead. All I can say is, from the vantage point of about 15 years ahead, you are entering what can be the most productive and enjoyable years yet.

Everyone--There is new conversation this week on the Midlife Crisis Forum, the Everything I Ever Needed to Know in Life I Learned in Boy Scouts Discussion, the Talk Back Forum, the Perfectionism Discussion Page, and the Q & A page. I'm off to Austin to watch my 23-year-old run a marathon (See Joni). Have a good weekend. I'll post again on Monday.

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February 16, '98

Hi Mike! I became 43 years old yesterday (13-FEB) and could not help getting this feeling of "midlife depression", which I been fighting against for some years now. I've been working in Software Industries, first as a programmer and now as a function tester, in 17 years. Most of my fellow workers are much younger than me and have been that for several years. My husband and most of my friends are younger than me, so in most situations I am always the oldest one. It is not always that fun! I also have this feeling that it is worse beeing the oldest one in a mixed company if you are a woman. I guess it is easier if you are a man. But when I tonight was surfing around feeling a little depressed I found this web site and suddenly I don't feel that old and depressed any longer! I will of course return to this site and read everything you have to offer. So thank you very much, Mike. You have made my day!

Astrid in Sweden


anyone with anyone any info for a 16 year old australian, on religious and society's views on materialism and how it is affecting our society, could they please be of help and send it to mattbarnes81@hotmail.com your help would be greatly appreciated as I need it for class work. Thanks


My response: February 16, 98

And you, Astrid, have made my day. Thanks for writing.

Matt, I'm putting this on the guest page to see if anyone else has suggestions. Good luck.

Everyone--You'll find new stuff this week on the Midlife Crisis Forum. See ya later--Mike

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February 20, '98

Hi. You'll find new conversation this week on the Midlife Crisis Forum, the Q & A Page, and the New Materialism Discussion page. Thanks for visiting Best Years.--Mike

February 23, '98

Hi... I found your column on the Andy Griffith Show... I'm one of the original folks who founded the online chapter of TAGS Rerun Watchers Club on Prodigy years ago. Anyway... I came back to your site to look around, and thought I'd let you know that this seems like a great place to visit once in a while...

I'm going through my own mid-life changes...turned 48 in January, resigned from my job on February 2, and everyone can't believe that I have NO plans for a while. I'm going to get organized, have a huge garage sale, and then figure out what I want to do with the rest of my life, and where I want to do it.

I'll be stopping by from time to time... hope to get to know you and everyone here better..

Thanks for putting some of my thoughts into words...



Mike, I have thoroughly enjoyed a few of the articles on this WEB Site. Tell me more about the subscription offer.



I FOUND YOUR WEB SITE WHILE LOOKING FOR INFO ON THE WHOLE MIDLIFE EXPERIENCE online interview 5 years ago we had some trouble with our son which landed us in a psychologist's office. I was told that I needed to "get a life" so I went back to school to get a degree. That was fun. So, now at 41 I have my children grown, youngest is 18 and in her first year of college, and the son(21) comes and goes from the basement ,slowly getting his act together. All would be lovely if I hadn't had a major motorcycle accident before I could get a job using my new education. So now I have the chance to totally reassess my life and decide what I really want out of life (to be able to climb stairs?) and have learned to appreciate the love and companionship of that great man I married way back in the dark ages. I hear about so many women grieving over the last child leaving home. I don't understand why? the should be celebrating a job well done---- it's party time now . I will be back to investigate more of what is at your site



I am very curious....do you get paid for maintaining this web site? And, if not....how on Earth do you find the time to be so attentive to all our letters? Now that I think about it.....how do you find the time even if you do get paid? You do an excellent job of keeping up, show genuine compassion for everyone's problems, and I know that there is a reserved place for you in heaven.


My response: February 23, '98

Hi Rena--actually, I help others because others have helped me, including those of you who comment on these pages. But thanks for the encouragement. To answer both you and Jerry (Hi Jerry), I do not get paid for this, but am not financially independent either. So beginning in March, I will offer a members-only section of my site for a small yearly fee, which I hope will allow me to keep offering everything I do now for free. The new section will have more opportunity for everyone to converse with each other (without having to go through me to post), as well as a number of informative and entertaining articles from other writers. So stay tuned for more info.

Hi Kathleen and Colleen--I like your attitudes: Good luck and go for it. And thanks for visiting Best Years.

Everyone--You will find new conversation this week on the Midlife Crisis Forum, the lotto discussion page, the affairs discussion page, and the perfectionism discussion. Have a good week.--Mike

February 27, '98

Hello, Mike, I'm a 52-year-old veteran of 20 years with a mid-size law firm that just put me out to pasture after a couple of lean years in which I struggled with questions about whether I wanted to continue practicing law at all. Now I'm practicing on my own and am more certain than ever that I want to move on to something else. It's a difficult time for me, and I look forward to finding a bit of sustenance here at the Inn.

Clem in Reading, PA

My response: Feb. 27, '98

Welcome Clem. I, too, know what it is like to be "put out to pasture" at midlife. Sometimes it ends up the best thing that has ever happened to us--opens the door to possibilities we never would have noticed, much less pursued. Keep in touch.

Hey everyone--You'll find new stuff this weekend on the Midlife Crisis Forum, the perfectionism discussion page, and the Q & A page. See ya later--Mike

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March 2, 1998

Hello! First of all thanks for addressing such a significantly important issue. I have found the material on your web pages very helpful.

I am doing some personal research on midlife for two reasons. First, I am in midlife and it is a crisis. Second, I am a graduate student and am searching for helpful and insightful resources. So, the reason for this message is inquisitive and twofold. Have you considered providing place on your web site for helpful resources? Can you direct me to additional readings. I notice you have referenced Jim Conway's Midlife Dimensions web site...are you familiar with others? I have found it very difficult to uncover material on the subject.

Thank you for your assistance.

Have a great day! :O) TK

My response: March 2, '98

Hi TK. Did you see my links page? It is not as exhaustive as I would like, but I've not had time to work on it much. So if you find other sites, I'd appreciate it if you let me know.

Hey everyone. You'll find new conversation this week on the Midlife Crisis Forum, the Junior Boys' Slalom Champion discussion page, the When Teens Rebel discussion, and the Murphy Was a Midlifer discussion.

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March 6, 1998

Hi Mike, I have been reading your column for about a month now and have really enjoyed it. I have even gone back a pulled up some of the older ones and read those and shared with others. I am 38 years old and a graduate student at the University of Arkansas. (I am married with 2 teens) I am taking a course now called Life Span of Human Development and a group of us have been assigned a project to do a skit (talk show form) on midlife crisis. Do you have any helpful suggestions, scripts, outlines, etc? I pulled up the top 10 ways.... for kinda like a david letterman thing. (maybe) I look forward to hearing from you, thanks, pam

My Response: March 6, '98

Pam--You can look at my humor portion of the Index page, and maybe there will be some ideas there. I'm sure if you just get a bunch of midlifers together, they'll think of things. Good luck and let me know what happens.--Mike

Everyone--You'll find new stuff this week on the Midlife Crisis Forum, the Talkback page, and the Father of the Groom discussion. I'll try to get some new questions and answers up on Saturday. Have a good one--Mike

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March 9, 1998

Mike, Please send me your one-month trial offer of Midlife Moments.

David, The Netherlands

My response: March 9, '98

Hi David. Actually, the offer will be made available online, maybe later this month. It will be a members-only addition to my web site that will have a number of helpful articles (informative, inspirational, humorous, and entertaining) by other authors, plus more interactive options. It will be free for the first month and you won't be hassled if you don't renew. So keep checking back, and thanks for visiting Best Years.

Everyone--You'll find new conversation this week on the Midlife Crisis Forum and the Q & A page. See ya later--Mike

March 13, '98

I suspected that what I was feeling inside myself were the symptoms of mid-life changes, and my web browsing brought me to your site. It was calming and helpful to realize my self diagnosis was correct, and less lonely feeling.

I realize that there are many different 'degrees' of the experience, and thankfully I have a mild case. My small complaint, or dissatisfaction, is that I couldn't find, right out front and top and center a definition or attempt in clear English to define or explain what Mid-life crisis is, or its most obvious symptoms. Reading through the Q&A and the various articles I realize you would have to be brain-dead not to figure it out, but still...if...maybe

Anyhow kudos and thanks.

Peter in Mycenae, NY

My Response: March 13, '98

Peter--Good idea. I'll work on a page giving various definitions of and/or symptoms of midlife. Anyway, glad you visited Best Years.

Everyone--You'll find new stuff this weekend on the Midlife Crisis Forum. Also I hope to get some new questions posted soon on the Q & A page.--Mike

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March 16, '98


My name is Denise D Witmer and I am the Guide for the Parenting of Adolescents Site at the Mining Co. I have recently added a page of Net Links for the topic of Mid Life. I have to say that your site is the Best of the Net in this area, GREAT JOB! I loved your articles, your style of writing, and the ease of use at your site. So I am awarding you with my Best of the Net Award. You may choose to link it to my page, or not--- it is yours to do with as you wish.


The last one is about to leave on life's journey and I keep asking where has the time gone? Happy family life but now it seems like the end...Friends say this feeling will end but for now the loneliness lingers--Anonymous

My response: March 16, '98

Hey thanks, Denise. Don't think we've received a Net award yet at Best Years. As John Denver would say, "Far Out!"

Anonymous--I know what you mean. The last of our five has recently moved on. I think your friends are right, and I wouldn't worry too much about the present loneliness. Give yourself time to grieve; then move on to the new relationships God will give you with your adult children (You might also read my Letting Go column if you haven't already).

Everyone--I checked out Denise's site and she has a lot of useful info on parenting teens. So I've linked to her on the Best Years Links page (just look under "other things"). Also you'll find new conversation on the Midlife Crisis Forum, and I'll be putting up new Q & A's just as soon as I can find the time. Have a good week.--Mike

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March 20, 1998

Hi everyone. You'll find new stuff this weekend on the Midlife Crisis Forum and the Q & A Page. See ya later--Mike

March 23, 1998

Hi. There's new stuff today on the Midlife Crisis Forum. Thanks for visiting. Also, I am working hard to get the new members-only section up by April 1. You're going to like this. One more thing--I give my dissertation defense this week for my Ph.D.. Wish me luck!--Mike

March 27, '98

Dear Mike, Thanks for the great site. It has lots of great info. I read it every week and hope there will soon be someone in the chat room when I try again. The questions and answers are quite helpful. I pray my own marriage will survive this situation that I am just trying to understand. Thanks for the excellent site. Kathryn

Hi Kathryn. I'm glad you are finding the site helpful and thanks for dropping by regularly. My new members-only portion (which should be online in about a week) will have a much improved chat area.

Everyone. You'll find new conversation this week on the following discussion pages: Bellah's Laws of the Lotto, The Stories We Tell Ourselves, Letting Go, and Messy Mangers. I'll also try to post some new questions and answers over the weekend. By the way--I passed my defense. I'll graduate in May. Yea! It's been a long time coming. Thanks to those of you who wished me well.

Have a good weekend--Mike

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March 30, 1998

Mike: Congrats on your good news. I was pulling for you!! But I never doubted you for a minute. I wanted to tell you that I agreed with the woman who awarded you for best web site on this subject. I have been to a lot of sites and this is the easiest to navigate and has been most helpful to me. Thanks! Rena


I am a 38 year old woman and I read your question and answer page religiously. My husband seems to be having a crisis. Just by luck I found the "Best Years" web site and I can honestly say that knowing that there are other couples going through exactly what I am, and that I am not alone in my situation, has been helpful. I think the world would benefit greatly by knowing more about midlife crisis. I am truly convinced that the divorce rate is so high because of the lack of knowledge on the subject. You have really helped to open my eyes on the issue and how my husband has no real control over what he is going through! Mike I love my husband dearly and hope we will rise above all of this. I believe your web site has helped me to understand that time and understanding could be what we need to see this through. I applaud you for the courage that it must have taken to start this site and I thank you from the bottom of my very broken heart.


Kelly in Illinois



"Congratulations on your success". Great job there as well.


My responses: March 30, 1998

Rena and Lakshmi, Thanks for the congrats. I appreciate it.

Kelly, I do hope things work out with your husband, and I'm convicnced they will work out for you. Thanks for writing.

Everyone--You'll find new conversation on the Midlife Crisis Forum, the Messy Mangers and Lotto Discussion, and on the Q & A page. Thanks for dropping by--Mike

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