Recently I have had the massive privilege of working on a project with TWR-UK to record a thirteen week radio programme for blokes. It has been a collaboration between TWR-UK and CVM and the vision behind this project has been to talk about some of the big issues facing ordinary blokes who want to stay gripped by Jesus. The series will be aired from October and will be worth tuning in, if only to hear a certain Nathan Blackaby’s rendition of Arnie Schwarzenegger.
It was during the recording of this series that we had the immense privilege of reading Nick Page’s The Dark Night of the Shed, and then interviewing Nick himself. During that interview I got to observe first-hand as my co-presenter James Maidment-Fullard and Nick Page developed the shed brothers bond. This was something I did not fully understand at the time but I have since found myself in my own garden looking wistfully at my current unremarkable shed and dreaming of what it could yet become. The reason behind this is that Nick Page with great skill and humour uses the shed as a euphemism for the male mid-life crisis.
On the night that Nick woke up and realised that he needed to rebuild his shed, he described the moment like this:
‘Life as a middle-aged man had become complicated and confusing. At a time when I felt as though I should be confident and assured, I often felt anxious and afraid. I seemed to be dog-tired and exhausted, yet my nights were restless and disturbed. Aches and pains which used to disappear quite quickly now hung around for months. I carried within me a simmering pot of grumpiness which boiled over at the slightest excuse.’
The Dark Night of the Shed is a book that records the author’s journey from the realisation that something is happening within him that both frightens him and fills him with hope and expectation. The book is littered with observations, anecdotes and wisdom that Nick has attributed to his mate Steve (he refers to everyone in the book as Steve largely due to an inevitable mid-life loss of memory).
This is an immensely good read, and not just for those of us who may be either on the brink of the mid-life crisis but for those of us who may feel like this stage of life has enveloped us already. Nick unravels that is the moment when we face the truth that our ‘gods’ have failed us and that life is not entirely what we hoped it might have become when we first set out all those years before. This is the moment that provides us with the choice of ‘mid-life crisis’ or of second half growth and a new adventure.
I really recommend this read for all blokes no matter what age you are. Nick is a very funny guy, but that humour is also underpinned with a wealth of understanding that every man can benefit from.
Buy it now – Kindle: The Dark Night of the Shed: Men, the midlife crisis, spirituality – and sheds