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.
Technorati tags: retirement, writing, creativity, leisure, spirit