Monday, August 29, 2016

Act Three

My tagline about “It never being too late” is catchy” and I am sure many of you have given it a passing cursory nod. We all know what the actual “being too late” would entail, so if you are reading this, you fit into its up side premise. 

I mentioned earlier that I lost my parents at a very young age and was raised by grandparents. They were wonderful and loving and I had an idyllic childhood. The only negative is that I lost them too soon.  

However, there were two dynamics put in place in my adolescent mind, both of which were false. I saw old age commencing at about the 6 decade, and based on parental permanence, I did not see myself living much past age 50. Wow was I wrong!

It has not been that long ago in human history that lifespans were so short, that three generations did not to live side-by-side.  Health advancements and wellness has changed so much that it is common today that four generations live side-by-side. We live almost a complete generation more than our grandparents.  I already have lived one-half a generation more than my grandparents and fully expect to live in good health as much as a full generation longer – possibly/hopefully more.  

I watched a video (below) that called this additional time "Act three".  Many of us after growing up built careers and family – "Act one".  "Act two", involved seeing our family mature, and enjoying an active life while still working.  Now what do we do with our “Act three”?  Do we continue or reinvent?  It is your option.

We baby boomers have never accepted passively the enviable.  So now what do we do with the gifted time? Our grandparents were not given an act three, thus no reinvention, planning or action.  Our past does not determine the future. The past involves memories – hopefully good ones.  However our future is unwritten and available. 

I got an early start on reinvention about 20 years ago. Not the one you are thinking, but was forced into rethinking all that I considered sacred. I put down quite a wake as I changed direction. I knew that continuing was going to make me an old, disillusioned, bitter and unhappy individual - Thus no regrets.  

I have been on job interviews where they ask the question “Where do you see yourself in twenty years?” Let us all suppose twenty more years and ask ourselves that very same question. 

Within this generation, an extra 30 years have been added to our life expectancy -- and these years aren't just a footnote or a pathology. At TEDxWomen, Jane Fonda asks how we can think about this new phase of our lives.


  1. One of my boyhood heroes, the great NY Yankee Mickey Mantle once quipped that if he knew he would live as long as he did he would have taken better care of himself. His father, grandfather and most male relatives all died in their 30s or 40s so he live life at the edge. Of course, he did not live too long and his heavy drinking got to his liver but he did outlive his original expectations.