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On Your Own 3rd Act

Updated: Oct 5, 2018

I am at the age where I could leave a long-term career to start something that for me has more significant meaning. Having a new coaching career is exciting.

While work is vital to me, it is only one part of life. I hadn't planned on being divorced in the latter 3rd of mine. Fortunately, I am not alone nor are grey divorces unique. Since 1990, the divorce rate for Americans over the age of 50 has doubled, and more than doubled for those over the age of 65. In fact, 55 percent of grey divorces are between couples who’d been married for more than 20 years.

My formerly crystal clear vision for my 3rd act (the latter third of life) is cloudy. Married 3rd actors take stock of life together. Together they celebrate 2nd act successes and identify patterns of behavior that influenced their personal and professional growth. Healthy marriage partners let go of beliefs and practices no longer needed in their 3rd act. They have intimate and reflective explorations into which roles they want to carry forward. They work on their beliefs about aging, community, health, money, work, and where they will live together. Should one or the other fail at a new endeavor there is an implied spousal safety net.

Single, I rely on good friends and family to help guide significant decisions. I am clear on the type of mom I want to be to my newly married son and daughter-in-law. I'm selecting aspects of my second act I want to bring forward into my 3rd act. My commitment to fitness will be higher. I'll continue to own my own business and work. I'm tossing behaviors and relationships that don't work any longer.

I've come to realize what those of us who are planning our 3rd acts on our own will rely on our curiosity, intuition, wisdom, and friends to keep us moving.

Are you planning your 3rd act on your own? Please share your insights and resources.

Books that are helpful:

Managing Transitions. Making the Most of Change. William Bridges

Life Reimagined: The Science, Art, and Opportunity of Midlife. Barbara Bradley Hagerty

The Desire Map Experience. Danielle LaPorte

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