When your man has designs on a garden shed and he flicks through the gardening magazines and Sunday supplements for just the right one, don’t raise your eyebrows in mock surprise, he probably has a reason and a very good one at that.
Many older men talk about their ‘retirement’ project, something that they will have the time to do only when the blessed day finally comes and they are released from the daily chore of going to work.
. In recent studies it has come to light that ‘sheds’ a word that originates from the old English word, sceadu, which means shadow or darkness may have a far deeper attraction for men.
Often when men finally leave their work and their uniform, be that a suit, boiler suit or any other form of working identification, they lose who they are, who they have always been. Without the social networks that women tend to weave so well, men often turn in on themselves and retreat to the shadows or shed. After a few weeks of inspired and dedicated work on their retirement project, it is often finished all too quickly. Then the question, ‘is that it?’
Nature seems to have dealt older men a bit of a raw deal when it comes to longer term health issues, because they just don’t talk about them normally until it’s too late. If it comes to mental health issues, men feel they can work it out themselves rather than showing weakness by asking for help. It may seem odd for most women that men do this, but it’s hard wiring.
So here’s both the good and bad news, men tend to isolate themselves and statistically are more likely, by three times, to take their own lives than women in this country and often in their sheds…
However there has been a slow but growing movement worldwide for shed dwellers to unite. The UK sheds association is counting more than 450 sheds being planned and its much bigger in Ireland. As summarised by Irish writer ‘Donal O’Keefe’ ‘In essence, men’s sheds operate around the admission that, left alone men are utterly useless at dealing with the day to day stress’s that women seem to take in their stride, they talk and it makes you human.’
Now there is a way for men in sheds to be a part of a network and still have their privacy and manhood, but they are not alone.
Who would have thought?