How To Be The Star of Your Third Act!
We spend our First Act growing up, our Second Act meeting the expectations of, and caring for, others. Our Third Act is the time for us to do the things we’ve put off, enjoy life in a way we’ve never allowed ourselves to, and reflect on what’s important.
If you are in your Third Act, or approaching it, you deserve to be the star. Are you?
Don’t Watch Your Third Act from the Wings
I began my Third Act with the trip of a lifetime to New Zealand. New Zealand is a land of incredible beauty and a lot of it can’t be seen from the road. It makes me sad to think how much I missed because I couldn’t walk more than 10 minutes without stopping to rest.
I was overweight, my knees and feet ached and I had no energy. But missing a lot during that trip had a silver lining, it was the catalyst for me to begin searching for a strategy that would help me reclaim my life. I was done with a lifetime of dieting, but I wanted to get out from under the hold food had over me.
Are achy knees, lack of energy, or excess weight keeping you from doing the things you want to be doing at this time in your life?
What do you want to do with your Third Act?
I wanted to explore New Zealand, and while I wasn’t going to take that trip again, I didn’t want to miss out on future adventures. I didn’t want to get left behind, because I couldn’t keep up. I wanted to be able to explore new places, try new things.
What you want to do with your Third Act is what matters most. “I want to stay active” or “I want to be healthy” isn’t enough. Do you want to explore New Zealand off road? Do a triathlon? Climb mountains? Dance at weddings? Keep up with your kids or grandkids? Putter in your garden?
Make a list of the things you want to do in your third act.
The list above is a pretty active list, and things that require mobility, strength, flexibility or stamina should definitely be on your list, but include all the things. You don’t have to go to New Zealand to need stamina to walk on vacation. Even sitting on the beach involves some walking and schlepping over uneven terrain. So list it all. It may include places you want to go, things you want to learn or create, experiences you want to have, people you want to spend time with.
You can think of it as a bucket list — or a new way of being. Either way, getting really clear on what you want is the why that helps you forward. The thing you keep coming back to when you are wondering why you’re going out for another walk or giving up cheese (or whatever food you are addicted to).
Get Ready to Shine in Your Third Act
When we get to our Third Act, we may stop worrying about some things that seemed important for so long. With a different perspective it’s possible to let some things go. But there are other things that stick with us — old ideas and beliefs we have trouble shedding.
For me, changing my relationship with food made a huge difference, and a key tool for me was mindfulness. I’m going to be talking more about mindfulness and how to bring it off the cushion and into the kitchen. If food has kept you from shining the way you want to, if you don’t want weight or feeling beholden to food to hold you back in your Third Act, I hope you’ll stick with me.
Mindfulness can help get you ready to shine during this stage of life, and it’s also the way to be really present in your Third Act, whatever it brings. It’s the Third Act of your life. Notice what’s happening and how you feel. Stop judging yourself. And live it as fully as you can.