I watched Jane Fonda’s talk about The Third Act..
She has done a lot of research and writing about aging, as it has happened to her. She calls it The Third Act. I like that metaphor. If I view my life as a play, Act I is childhood, Act II is my (young, productive) early adulthood, and Act III would be these retired years.
When the curtain comes down and I’m exiting the theater, I want to be humming the overture and feeling like it was a good experience. I need to find role models for how this can be an introspective, peaceful, interesting, fun and productive time. Jane Fonda said that today, women are living 39 years longer than their great grandmothers. That’s a whole other lifetime to use!
Sometimes in my life, I’ve needed to have space to think and feel and understand events, and my reactions to them: geographical space, or the space of time passing. I’m really good at finding my answers at ten o’clock the next morning, or ten, twenty years in retrospect. Maybe this time though, “doing a geographic” will be a good thing for me. I need to step away from my home, my friends and family, my routines, and my stuff, to just strip it down to basics, and be. I’ve spent much of my life as a human-doing instead of as a human being. Valuing the stressed overly-busy workaholic, care-taking other people, being generous with my time and energy—always involved in projects at home, writing, reading, quilting, cleaning. I’m tired of it. Don’t want to spend the next 39 years like that. So I need to transition into this journey in my own way. Yes, the journey as a metaphor still works for me.