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Midlife Crisis Or Not

By Paul Tincello
October 2001, Wrexham
A digital story from Capture Wales

Crisis, what crisis?

Paul's manager of the Plas Madoc and Cefn Community Enterprise Centre in Wrexham.

"In June 1997, my father - at the age of 64 - was diagnosed with terminal cancer. He never knew this. One day he asked me if he was dying. I didn't answer. He then explained he couldn't die now. He had so much more he wanted to do. Two weeks later he died and whatever he wanted to achieve went with him.

He was 64 when he died. As I approach my 40th birthday, his words are haunting me. I must admit I don't like it. Everyone who really knows me says I'm having a midlife crisis - especially my wife - who, incidentally, says this is true - providing I live to be 80. Is this really my age forcing me to be more reflective now than at any other time in my life?

Some years ago, my eldest daughter bought me a key ring describing the name Paul - the name given to me by my parents. The description is so accurate and truly reflects the way I've tried to lead my life. The name Paul, from the Latin meaning 'small' - we'll skip over this if its alright with you. But if you must know, I'm not the tallest person. Me and my brother Mark, who incidentally is smaller than me, grew up in a small village full of a typically Welsh community spirit and togetherness.

Chapel on Sundays - with its vibrant congregational community - was a regular thing and family values meant a great deal. These values are important to me - with my wife and two daughters providing my stable platform. But if I'm honest, my chapel attendances have declined over the years. Still, having a midlife crisis has its compensations.

Most definitely, like my father - apart from the moustache - I'm prone to chasing dreams. I've always had an interest in boats and the freedom of the sea and have now started to develop this, having recently restored a boat originally built in 1957.

Dad, an accomplished woodworker, would have been proud of me but, if still here, would not have given me that accolade. Family communication was never his strong point. Yet he worked hard to influence and develop the community he lived in.

A year ago, I was seconded to Manager, Community Enterprise Centre. Just a mile from where I was brought up. Like some twist of fate, I am now employed doing exactly what my father did voluntarily. However, it is ironic that the reason I was identified for this new role was because of my communication abilities, which I've adopted from my mother. Whenever we are out, my wife and daughters ask, "How do you know so many people?" I say it costs nothing to smile, say hello, occasionally pass the time of day with someone.

Midlife crisis or not, I look at those around me, those who know me best - those who've influenced me the most and I hope the way I've gone about my life leaves a positive mark on my children."

Paul Tincello

Where are you from?
I was born and brought up in Ruabon, a small village full of typically Welsh community spirit and togetherness. Family values still mean a lot to me today.

And now you're based in Wrexham?
Yes, I've managed and delivered a variety of training courses for local residents and have a strong commitment to improving the life chances of people in the Wrexham area.

So Paul, are you really having a mid-life crisis?
I wonder if it's my age that's forcing me to be more reflective now than at any other time in my life? I look at those around me - those who know me best, those who influenced me the most - and hope the way I've gone about my life has a positive mark on my children.

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