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Type ‘A’ Executives often leave behind rich, merry widows

Recently a report on Business magazine had an article, “The high life:” a little blurb on the lifestyle of two merry widows who are sisters-in-law. “Nancy Penser, wife of deceased Gerry Pencer of Cott Corp. fame has been looking fabulous lately. She recently purchased an unfinished sub-penthouse in Toronto for seven million plus. A mink’s coat away, sister-in-law Judy Pencer, wife of the late Sam bought a penthouse for five million and change.”

Don’t point a finger: It’s hard to find a decent place to live in Toronto for less then seven figures.

Gerry died at the age of 52. His older brother Sam saw the writing on the wall and retired the same year but heart problems and diabetes led to his premature death four years later, age 69.

Were these deaths and anomaly for men? Stats Canada statistics for acute myocardial infraction (heart attack) had a disturbing message:five men to every women dies from heart related causes.

No wonder there are so few men living in the retirement homes. The numbers show that we males are not great in the longevity department. Most of us never make it to the centennial club.

While middle aged women are in their prime, we macho men are suffering from all of the maladies of old age-high blood pressure, cholesterol, ulcers and hemorrhoids.

Men are goal orientate to WHAT they are - president, chairman of the board, executive director.

Women are concerned with WHO they are - happy & healthy. It has always amazed me when 50-ish women refer to their girlfriends as “girls”. Their youthful exuberance seems to transcend age.

Recently I counseled ‘Robert’, an executive from Toronto, who told me that he had the gold-plated career that he hated. A six figure salary, stock options and bonuses didn’t help. He barely slept. Fortunately his wife called for help. She was determined that her husband was not going to die on the 401.

Most men are achievement driven; mission statements, aims and objectives are the basis for their raison d’etre. Time is of the essence with Black Berries captivating executives harried lives. Working lunches and fast food dinners are the daily diet. Half-heartedly we men promise that to-morrow we will take the time to get into shape.

I am always amused to read the Companion Wanted ads in the Globe & Mail. “ Lawyer’s widow, well educated, financially secure, physically fit seeking generous, professional, middle aged male with a desire to travel.”

Maybe, it is time that we men learned a little from the girls on how to enjoy life? One can find inner peace and contentment from marveling at a beautiful sunset or taking a leisurely walk in the park. It is all a matter of priorities.

Len Lesser

Len Lesser posts a report every week

You can email Len at lenlesser@hotmail.com