Tuesday, January 23, 2007

The Third Half of the Show


The Car Talk guys coined that phrase, “third half of the show,” but as I took a walk today in the winter woods, ice crunching underfoot, I thought Yes, that’s what this time of life feels like. The first part of life, maybe up to age thirty, was growing up and getting educated. The second half was work and family. I’m not sure how it feels to other people, but when I hit 60, I felt a strong sense of coming to the downward arc of my life. It’s not downward in the sense of despair or depression, but it’s clearly moving towards an ending. I am conscious of mortality nearly every day, even though my health is excellent.

I’d never planned for the third half of the show. People tell me it’s time to do the things I’ve always wanted to do and they ask if I am traveling to colorful places. But really, the work of creative writing is an exotic land to me. I don’t so much yearn to see the Amazon as I wish to allow unformed and creative parts to emerge and do their dance.

It’s time to develop my spiritual life, which I see as connection within myself; connection to nature; a new, less goal-oriented way of being with other people; and attunement to the creative process. These inter-connected elements make up the core of my third half life.


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5 comments:

Shae said...

I like to call this the second half of life...basically, whatever time is remaining.

But I don't see it as a gradual process of decline. Check out my site for a different perspective on growing older...www.sereneambition.com.

Ann McNeal said...

I'm quite surprised that you read my entry as predicting "a gradual process of decline"--it seems to me that means you didn't really read it.

What's exciting to me about this time of life is the new possibilities that open up when we are freed from a lot of expectations. As you'll see an earlier post, I feel "this segment of life is about enjoyment, sharing wisdom, and further integration."

Cheers, Ann

Grammie said...

Hi Ann....I came upon your site via "The Ageless Project" and I am so glad that I did. Your writing is so perceptive and your thoughts are so well-stated.
As a 58 year old woman, I can so identify with so much of what you have to say. It seems as of late that I have been doing more pondering about this "third trimester" (as I call it) of my life.
Sometimes I look at it with total surprise....could this really be happening to me? Other times I just want everything to stop going by so quickly so that I can take it all in one moment at a time.
Through this process, I usually end up looking forward to the years ahead with a sense of excitement and clarity as I begin to take advantage of the freedoms that this point in my life affords me.
It sounds like you, too, share some of those feelings.
I applaud your honesty and look forward to reading more of your blog in the future.
Come and visit mine anytime and see how I am dealing with having just become a new Grandmother!
Fondly,
Grammie

princess said...

Hi, Ann,
The Ageless Project guided me to your site. Wish I could express my thoughts the way you do. Pardon me if I couldn't. I want you to know that I think I will enjoy coming back to your posts.
Take care....
Princess

Brenda said...

A lovely and thought-provoking post...