Thriving in our third act... turning on our light!

Ocean view HawaiiEver since I heard Jane Fonda's speech about making a difference in our third act of life (after 60 or so), I've been fascinated by the topic. I've spent the last 40+ years educating people about natural solutions to maintain optimal health and achieve a longer 'healthspan'...what's that you might ask?

Your 'healthspan' is different than your lifespan. It describes the years of aging while you are still active, productive, and healthy. It's important for me because I have no interest in spending my last decade as a semi-invalid. You probably don't intend to either, but for so many Americans, that is the result of years of the sad American diet, inactive lifestyle, and exposure to toxins. However... This post was not meant to be a lecture on preventive health strategies, but an encouragement to thrive in our third acts.

One of the favorite characters in my Poppy MacKenzie stories is Tia, Poppy's great Aunt Maureen. When I started writing her she was about my age. Now that it's taken me many years to finish Book One, she's still stuck in her late 60s, while I have advanced well past that. Add two years of pandemic living and I really started to feel my age, like many of you. But, I can feel the changes coming...

Somehow, finally publishing my first novel has put a new fire in my expanding belly (no, I'm not pregnant!) I ask myself, how many places can I travel to, how many books can I write, and what great adventures can I enjoy with my granddaughter? I need more time for all the ideas in my head. More healthy time!

What about you? Are you enjoying your third act? Here's what I'm thinking...
  • Take a class on something you've always been interested in. Yes, you could learn it on YouTube, but learning goes so nicely with interacting with live people. And throwing a pot on a wheel just doesn't work on the Internet!
  • Rediscover your creative self. What are the talents you set aside for career, kids, aging parents, and other responsibilities? 
  • Find pleasure in nature. After two years of semi-lockdown have you gotten out of the habit of road trips to the mountains, beach, or desert (ooh...wait for October for that one!)? Maybe it's time to go, even if gas is a little pricey right now.
  • Do something you've been afraid to do. What have you been procrastinating about, maybe for decades? I dreamt of writing a novel for 50 years... imagine if I'd actually started back then, but still... better late than never!
  • Time to refresh your concept of 'exercise'? What used to be fun may not be working for us now.
As I wrote in the intro to this blog, I'm using it to write what's in my head at any given time, and also hoping it inspires others.
Here's what I'm planning for myself:
  • Sign up for that pottery class I've been talking about for years. 
  • More road trips! I have one planned to go solo camping in August. Yes, I said solo camping... wish me luck! I expect little challenges, but big rewards.
  • Write Book Two of the Poppy MacKenzie series. I already have the basic story, my favorite characters will all be back, with a few troublemakers arriving to create some havoc in Poppy's life... so fun!
  • Become semi-fluent in Spanish, since my next dream trip will be to Costa Rica.
  • Sign up for Pickleball...finally! I've been a lifelong lover of tennis, but my knees don't love it anymore. Pickleball seems like a great alternative.
  • And last... the things I'm not looking forward to... decluttering, reducing my boxes of photos to digital, and other tedious projects that make me wish we had long, supercold winters to work on such things. Instead, I'm going out into the garden now.
I hope you enjoyed thinking about adding some fun and even excitement to your third act. There will be bumps in the road... if you followed my April solo trip and river cruise in Europe, you know what I mean. But, as Poppy is realizing... getting out of your comfort zone, and turning your life upside down, has consequences but also surprising benefits!

Until next time... turn on your light!

Photo courtesy of Sean at