ASK JIDOH

Dear Jido,

I am 74 years old and my wife of 53 years is 71 years of age.

Our marriage is solid, and it is my strongest desire to support my wife in every way possible, especially giving her things that we may not have had resources for in our younger years.

I am blessed to be very healthy, and I am an avid exerciser, now getting into
short-distance triathlons.

My wife was an exercise trainer but now has injuries and aches and pains that prohibit her from joining me in my training. She is opposed to me partaking in triathlons, even though I know my physical limits and want to “complete” rather than “compete.”

She fears that I will die or be severely injured, thereby “ruining” our golden years. I love the sport and want to partake. She remains angry and adamantly against it.

What is the best way to handle this?

Signed, Senior Triathlete

Dear Senior,

Let’s remember that women have this special intuition given to them by Hashem where they can judge a situation, not necessarily a business deal, but anything involving human dynamics, better than a man.

That being said, you state you are blessed to be healthy. The first thing I would recommend is to get the okay from your doctor and cardiologist. Also ask them for whatmight be ANY early warning signs that indicate that you have to stop training or even stop participating on the day of the triathlon.

Discuss these with your wife. Promise her that you will follow doctor’s orders and take every precaution.

If she still objects, see paragraph number one.

Jido

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Dear Jido

My husband sold his business two years ago and made enough money to retire. The problem is that he’s only 36. He now spends his time doing mostly leisurely activities: playing sports and video games or hanging out with friends. This seemed fine for the first few months, but I feel like he needs to be more productive. He feels like his early retirement is a well-earned reward and that nothing is wrong with his new lifestyle. How can I convince him to act like a grownup again?

Sincerely,

Mrs. Retired

Dear Mrs. Retired,

Retired at the age of 36? Wow, your husband must have smarts, talent and mazalif he was able to accomplish that at such a young age! You might call his trajectory an “American Success” story.

Of course, everyone has their own definition of “success”. For some, it’s all about making money.
For others, it’s about making friends.  Andfor others it means making a difference.

Pirkei Avot, Ethics of the Fathers, says the world stands on three things – Torah, Avodah and
Gemilut Hassadim.

A life of Torah means using every spare moment to delve into the depths of Hashem’s words. Of course, not everyone is cut out to do that.

Avodah, in this context, means prayer and devotion. It also means working hard, L’Shem Shamayim, to support one’s family and community. Your husband obviously accomplished that.

And Gemilut Hassadimmeans giving of yourself to help others; giving back your time, your expertise and your resources, each to the extent that you are able. What a blessing it would be for other young men of our community to benefit from your husband’s experience and to follow in his footsteps.

You are concerned that your husband is not being “productive” right now.  Consider that he did something right in building his business and flipping it for a profit. A person with that level of ability will likely not be satisfied remaining idle for long. He will want, and needto get back to a life of challenge for his own well-being. An agile mind will want to remain active.

It is possible that the last few years building his company were hard and grueling and that is why he considersthis brief respite a well-earned reward. It could also be that, at the same time that your husband is “hanging out,” he is also networking for other business opportunities.

The best way to find out what is really going on inside his mind is to talk to himabout his long-term goals. His answers will likely put you at ease. If not, carefully suggest some valuable short-term activities to him – early morning classes with his peers at Shaare Zion, consulting with the Exceed Network of Bikur Holim or teaching abusiness course in our high schools.

A mind is a terrible thing to waste. Trust me, your husband knows that.

Keep in touch,

Jido

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