The Third Chapter

Reading The Third Chapter: Passion, Risk, and Adventure in the 25 Years After 50 schooled me in the truth that making incremental changes is the way to go.

Getting infirm and living with declining health is NOT the inevitable outcome of old age. Illness in later years often comes down to inactivity, loneliness, and being sedentary. Plus lifestyle factors that cause disease like inadequate sleep and fast food forays.

Of course for some of us getting ill is “the luck of the draw” and not influenced by unhealthy habits. As I near the cusp of turning 58 I’m aware this holiday season of the loved ones that are gone from the table.

The missing plates. The truth that at the end of their lives every family member of mine was in a coma or had cancer or heart disease.

With a personal history like this you can see why I’m not taking chances. Forgive me for focusing on the holidays if you do not celebrate one at this time of year.

Since a lot of us gather together at a table with friends and family I want to talk about this here.

Living for today is not a cliché—it’s the only way to live when your life is getting shorter. Dwelling on the past or worrying about the future saps your mental energy. It wastes precious time you could be using to Bake a cake. Sing in a choir. Ride a skateboard.

The end of the year is not the time to start something new. This is what I’ve realized. I’ve also learned the life lesson that trying to force things to happen quickly is a mistake. Rushing, cutting corners, or taking shortcuts will result in a shoddy outcome.

Instead making incremental changes is the way to go. Slowing down and pacing yourself. Having patience. Remembering that Rome wasn’t built in a day.

The Third Chapter technically lasts 25 years. That’s too long to fill up your thoughts with negative perceptions about what you can and cannot do with your time left.

We don’t need another Sun City! We need more Authors of our Third Chapters to defy the expectation that we will age and fade into the sunset willingly with no hope for an active, vibrant life.

In coming blog entries I want to talk about what it’s like to be a Generation X girl living in the Third Chapter. Plus in the coming week I should be able to post new Upper and Lower Body routines.

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