Nobody like listening to themselves talk.

However, the experience this summer of taping the audio version of my book, “So What Are The Guys Doing?” was an enjoyable, re-affirming — and it some cases, painful experience. I read the entire book in about eight, two-hour sessions. The finished version is due out before Christmas.

It’s a book about mid-life, specifically, what I went through (troubles with my marriage/considering an affair;  burned out on my newspaper career and feeling lonely because of my lack of friends),  and what I did to successfully deal with those issues.

In addition, the book contains comments and stories from 50 guys I interviewed between the ages of 40 and 60 on such subjects as loneliness, the importance of friends, sex, the younger women thing, our bodies, faith – and the middle age bogeyman (fear of being laid off, fear of taking a risk in one’s career at this time of life).

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I started using the words after years of frustration with my dad, who as a result of his second marriage and living in Florida, seemed to be was drifting away from me and my siblings.

I can’t remember the exact occasion, but I do remember his pause and stilted reply.

I ended a phone conversation with Dad with a simple, “Love you.”

A couple seconds of silence followed. “Love you too, son,” he replied.

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I read once that most men take better care of their cars than they do their bodies.

I can relate. For years, I had trouble sleeping. I snored loudly, tossed and turned and got up numerous times  to go to bathroom. It got to the point where my wife had to wear ear plugs to sleep in the same room with me.

I did nothing about it. I knew it was not good for my health. I ignored the problem.

This past year, I decided to do something about it. It was a multi-step process, but I finally did connect with Mr. Sandman. I now sleep soundly and quietly each night.  Read the rest of this entry »


My brother-in-law, Tom, reminded  me recently that I’m “getting to be that age.”

“It used to be that all you were going to was weddings,” he said. “Now it’s starting to be funerals, more and more.”

I had just come from a memorial service for Rick Augustine, a good, childhood buddy.  Rick (pictured above) passed away unexpectedly from a heart attack on Halloween, while jogging on a treadmill at an exercise place in Albany. He was 59.

Middle age marks the onset for many of us of dealing with aging and dying parents. Add one more big development – the death of friends. Read the rest of this entry »


I was 30 years old and living in California when my barber, Lynn, surprised me one day by refusing to cut my hair.

“You’re losing your hair and there’s nothing you can do about it. You’re combing your hair forward with bangs and it looks absolutely ridiculous,” he said. “Either you let me cut it the way I want so it looks good, or you’re going to have to go somewhere else.”  Read the rest of this entry »

We all have divorced male family members or friends.

Early on following the divorce, it’s not unusual for guys to be acting out of sorts.  Some get depressed and sink into a hole. Others engage in denial. Others start partying and sleeping around like there’s no tomorrow.

I won’t go into any specifics about my brother’s divorce a couple of years back, or how he dealt with it.  Instead, I’ll talk about how I dealt with it.  Read the rest of this entry »


Jim’s comment came as a complete surprise.

“You know, it’s scary,” he said during a recent phone conversation. “It’s scary because I don’t know if I’m going to have another chance like this. It just seems like the right thing to do, though.”

Jim was talking about his recent decision to switch jobs at age 55. It wasn’t an easy decision. He had been working more than 30 years at a local college in the informational technology department, thinking he was going to stay there until retirement. Read the rest of this entry »


Middle age ushers in a number of changes and realizations.

Among them:  You’re now the parents, the leaders in your immediate and extended family – the ones that the kids are looking up to.

You’re old enough now that family responsibilities that used to fall on your mothers and fathers, and your aunts and uncles, now fall on you. Read the rest of this entry »


So, what’s going to happen with my body after I die?

Early in my life, when competitive running played such a big part, I was all set on being cremated and having my ashes spread around Maine-Endwell High School’s cinder running track. I had a lot of great memories there.

Problem is, the school decided to turn it into an all-weather, Tartan track a few years ago. If my ashes were spread there they’d just blow off and spread on the surrounding grass.  Read the rest of this entry »


We all come to “forks in the road” throughout our lives. Moments where we take a new path, a risk.

My daughter, Katie, is in that position. Having finished a job in Seattle.  She decided, after much thought (prompted to a large degree by her unhappiness with that city’s weather) to relocate to sunnier climes — Berkeley, Ca. to be exact.

I couldn’t be prouder. Read the rest of this entry »

David J. Figura

I'm your average middle age guy who loves the outdoors, sports and his beer. I'm also balding, fighting the battle of the gut, taking high blood pressure medication and getting nagged by my daughter and wife to start using teeth-whitening strips.

My hope is that this blog will help other men my age know that they're not alone in what they're facing, inspiring them to make needed changes in their lives.

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Other Links

-Good Men Project: A site that features a wide variety of columns about men written by numerous guest columnists. See