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Type ‘A’ Executives Leave Behind Rich, Merry Widows

The headlines in the Globe & Mail: "Heeman’s wobbles as more lawyers leave" One of Canada’s prestigious law firms has fallen on bad times and has to restructure."

I love the quote by Ms Pychon for Forbes Magazine. " Now lawyers are like trophy wives - they don’t marry for better or worse. They marry for better. When hunger comes a knocking at the door, the partners start looking for new addresses. They are here for the good time and not the long time partnerships."

Reminds me of a column I wrote for the paper after reading a article in the Globe of "The High Life" on the lifestyle of two merry widows who are sisters-in-law. "Nancy Penser, wife of deceased Gerry Penser of Cott Corp. fame has been looking fabulous lately. She recently purchased an unfinished sub-penthouse in Toronto for seven million dollars plus. A mink’s coat away, her sister-in-law Judy Penser, wife of the late Sam, bought a penthouse for only five million dollars and change."

Don’t point a finger: It’s hard to find a decent place to live in Toronto’s upscale Forest Hill 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 at age 69.

Were these deaths and anomaly for men? Stats Canada statistics for acute myocardial infraction (heart attack) has 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 related to stress. high blood pressure, diabetes, cholesterol, ulcers, insomnia, hemorrhoids and anxiety attacks.

Men are goal orientate to WHAT they are: President, Chairman of the Board, Executive Director.

Women are more 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 their age.

Recently I counseled ‘Robert’, an executive from Toronto, who told me that he had the gold-plated hand-cuff 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 the 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 a very 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.

The sages teach us that: "A young man gives up all his health for wealth. Too late: An old man will gladly give up all of his wealth for his health." Often times the mind forgets but the body sure remembers with a vengeance.

Len Lesser

Len Lesser posts a report every week

You can email Len at lenlesser@hotmail.com