Life’s Second Act
Life’s second act is basically living life past a “certain age” which I believe can be the most powerful part of your life’s journey, not the wind down.
I have noticed that there are loosely three categories of people over say, 50. The first, is just floating along waiting to expire. The second, is still productive and working but on the treadmill of life. The third, and I am sure there are many others, are the people who are truly alive. They may have always been that way or they may be consciously choosing that now.
Those are the powerful people. The conscious creators of their lives. They have a “Spiritual Aliveness” so to speak.
About five years ago, I paused in my life and took stock. The old Peggy Lee song, “Is that all there is …” kept playing through my head. Just that small portion of the song. Nothing else. I knew something was off and I had to consciously make a change. The key word here is “consciously.” I had to change my thinking.
I realized that I was trapped in a loop of victim thinking and the more I lived in the story of why I was a victim, the more a victim I became. I was a victim of my circumstances, the people in my life, the recession, but more importantly, aging, my thoughts.
Getting into Action:
The author Robert Heinlein once said, “Happy people plan actions, they don’t plan results.” I had to get into action in my life which would naturally change the results I was creating. The focus had to be the journey, not the destination. To do this, I realized that I had to change my thinking completely.
So I made a decision, a choice, to do things differently. That meant I had to stop seeing myself as powerless to change and take steps toward living full again. I had to find a way to feel alive again.
Everything around me shifted when I shifted my perspective. Everything around me changed when I changed. I began to see what the people in my life were doing from a different angle.
I was able to have compassion and I also saw that what was causing me pain and unhappiness was not them or their behavior but the the story I attached to it. We can attach any story to any event but what serves our Higher Good? To attach a negative story or to remain neutral? So I decided to let go of the “list” of why my life sucked and start thinking and doing my life differently.
If I am not my list or my story, then I am not tied to a fixed reality. I could create a new future, a new me. I figured why not be the best (insert age) year old I could be? I was never going to be younger than in that moment. How many times have I looked at a photo of me at 25 or 30 and thought, wow, I wish i could have enjoyed looking like that back then or enjoyed the strength of my body, or the people in my life instead of looking at what was lacking.
I understood the old saying, “Youth is wasted on the young.” In ten years, I want to look back at me now and say, I enjoyed that body, that face, those relationships instead of lamenting the wrinkle or the sag or the lost relationship. I am younger now than the me in the future and that will always be true. Why not enjoy being this “young” now?
I got into action. I “acted as if” I liked myself and my life. I started attending ridiculous music festivals, and exercising, and eating well (not dieting) and saying yes to friendships and adventures. I found a spiritual path to aliveness. Eventually, I went from having to pull myself up off the floor (literally and figuratively) by holding onto the furniture, to leaping off waterfalls and river rafting. I am living at a vibration of aliveness that I once coveted from afar. I am looking into the eyes of the souls around me and really seeing them.
So, no, life is not winding down. It is just gearing up. Who knows how much more is out there? I choose to find out. I choose aliveness. I choose connection. I choose love.