Posts

Mantra and a Youtube Channel

Wikipedia says that a mantra is a sound, syllable, word, or group of words that are considered capable of “creating transformation.”

 

We all have a mantra or mantras, things we say over and over, that have the power to change us…or to keep us stuck.

Not all of the things we tell ourselves are good for positive change.  A lot of them are very damaging:

  • I look fat.
  • I worry too much.
  • I don’t make enough money.
  • Other people are better/ more successful/happier/luckier than I am.
  • I have no control over my circumstances.

When we say the same things to ourselves, over and over, the worst part of negative thoughts and self-talk is that we eventually come to believe what we are telling ourselves.  And when we believe the negative things we say to ourselves about ourselves, we are in grave danger of becoming stuck right where we are.

My mantras mostly come from life moments when it became acutely and frighteningly obvious to me that I was just about to become stuck in a way of thinking, reacting, living, that was making me shrink….instead of growing.  My “mantra moment” was when the things I was telling myself over and over were recognized for what they were… and replaced.

  • It’s easier to keep it off than to take it off.
  • I will no longer be insecure.
  • I know what will satisfy me.
  • Perfection is highly over-rated /Know your limiting beliefs… and replace them.
  • Change something.

As I am working on my next book, Mantras for Your BEST ThirdThird, I am reading through old journals to get perspective and to see the difference that changing the way I was thinking has taken me forward.  It is deeply satisfying to see that I have become intentional and purposeful and satisfied….instead of fearful and worried and sad.

Some of my mantras are already in blog posts at YourBESTThirdThird.com.  And there are more to come, more to share, more to learn.

In the meantime, I am adding to my Youtube channel with stories of women and men who are living their BEST ThirdThird.  

Are you someone who has a story to share that will inspire and encourage others to be designing their life to ensure a ThirdThird that is the BEST Third of their life?  

Or, do you know someone I might meet and interview about their ThirdThird story?

Tell me!  Debbie@YourBESTThirdThird.com

 

 

 

 

 

Photo by Lukas Budimaier on Unsplash

We All Have a Story

We all have a story.

In preparation for a book my husband and I are working on, “How to Stay Married,” I have been perusing old journals.  I have a lot of them! I started keeping a journal many years ago when a woman I respected encouraged me to keep a chronicle of life lessons. Her reasoning was that someday, I would write.  I so appreciate her nudging. She told me that when I was ready to write about my journey, my journals would give me accurate recall. To pass along truth is important to me, so I am deeply glad that I took her advice and now have written accounts of experiences and lessons that have brought me into my ThirdThird.

Last week, I spend some time in the 1980’s. The 80’s were full years for me.  Our last 2 children, one miscarriage, a diagnosis of cervical cancer while I was pregnant with #5, our only daughter. After her birth and subsequent surgery, I spiraled into a puzzling physical weakening that was eventually (after 2.5 years of doctors and testing) diagnosed as myasthenia gravis. In spite of those difficulties, those years had some deeply positive results for me.

Those years brought me to several of my life mantras.  

Refusing to be “controlled by others’ insecurities” came from these days.  Other women close to me did not believe that I might actually be sick. I grew weary of hearing others’ complaints and the ensuing competition for who had it harder with their life as wife and mother.  I determined not to talk about my difficulties and went on with my life. I learned to face my own insecurities and to seek health for myself.

Deciding “I would not be insecure” also grew from this time.  I knew my body and my history and I had to be determined to get to the bottom of my weakness…even if my friends doubted me and doctors tended to scratch their heads and suggest another test or specialty. I learned to trust myself and my own experience.

I learned and grew through weakness.  I remember, especially, learning to be thankful for my own experience of being weak because it helped me understand people who are not strong. Weak people had always annoyed me, rather than elicit sympathy. Until I experienced weakness myself. I learned to prioritize my responsibilities and to take “one step at a time” towards learning to live with the reality of the day.

Good things came, but it was a hard time.

Reading through those journals last week took me back to some very difficult and sad times as well as reminding me of all the good and positive.

In the 1980’s, I found myself not in conformity to the organization we were deeply involved with and that led to much angst on my part. I was (am) strong willed and opinionated and a challenger. While I was committed to the stated goals of the group, I often was at odds with leadership because I didn’t naturally or easily conform. I brought my own self and my own experience and my own opinions. But, I was misunderstood, not respected. My stories were not honored.

Interestingly, a few years ago, I stumbled onto a website for people who had similar experiences to mine in that same organization.  It was mesmerizing. While I had been able to remove myself and find self-respect and health long before finding that website, it was a powerful experience to read that others had very, very similar situations to mine.  I lurked…not joining in by posting. I was past needing to express my own painful remembrances. Yet, even with that being true, it was hugely validating to see that others knew my pain, honored my story, even if they didn’t know me.

I felt that my story had been honored.

Fortunately, my marriage survived those years and those people.  Thankfully, I learned during those days to listen without becoming defensive, to look for the truth in spite of the messenger, and to forgive.

Unfortunately, I spent several strategic years in fear and dread. I lost joy and had physical repercussions. Our children were affected by the difficulty that their parents faced.

I have moved on.  

Thankfully, with grit and determination over a long period of time, I rarely consider those days now.  But recent remembering has made me acutely aware of the fact that there are people who have discounted my feelings and perspective then and now.  There are relationships that I think I would enjoy having now, if those people could honor my story.

I would be interested in knowing some of their story now.  I would honor them. Even if they were vastly different from my own. Reading my journal accounts of those interactions long ago, with time distancing my sight, I can honor the stories and understand some of today’s reality.

In the organization where my hurtful story exists, others have a different story. Some have left. Some have remained.  Others have eased away through job relocations or other life changes. Some legitimately do not see harmful practices. Others choose to ignore them.  Still others call them out and suffer the consequences. I believe that there are some who honestly do not see how their actions might be hurtful.

The one thing I would wish for is if we could all learn to honor each other’s story. Not in that organization, but on a daily, personal basis.

Wonderful stories of healing and acceptance.

    Difficult stories of pain and struggle.

         Happy stories of reconciliations and forgiveness.

        Moving stories of abuse and distrust.

         Redeeming stories of self-acceptance and solid understanding.

I heard Brene Brown say in an interview that she believes in the goodness of people…but that it is hard work to stay out of fear and to stay good.

Hearing and honoring another’s story is a way to do the good, hard work that will make us better. To face our own fears and to look for the good.

Let’s honor each other’s story.

 

 

 

 

Photo by rawpixel on Unsplash

Love to Read

Your Best Third Third

I love to read. And I love to encourage others to read.  

Here is a short excerpt from my book, Which Old Woman Will You Be? from the chapter on Be A Reader.  

Today, my top five novels are:  Jane Eyre, Christy, The Chronicles of Narnia, Memoirs of a Geisha, The Kite Runners.  

From these, I discovered that …..

I actually can be a romantic.

    I want my home to be a refuge and place of comfort.

         I can enjoy fantasy, even though I am more naturally a realist.

              There are unbelievable obstacles women can overcome.

                   Cultures are deep and full and very multi-dimensional.

I said five, so I won’t go on to mention Three Cups of Tea, The Lacuna, The Hobbit and George McDonald novels……or Grishom and Patricia Cornwell (Scarpetta) and Maeve Binchy or The President’s Lady and Mr. Audubon’s Lucy.

I have nonfiction favorites, too.  Like any of John Maxwell’s books on leadership, One Minute Manager by Ken Blanchard, Five Dysfunctions of a Team Patrick Lencioni, When Fish Fly by Joseph Michelli and John Yokoyama.   The Purpose Driven Life would be #1 on the non-fiction list if I had to choose.

BIG life-changing books for me have been The Dip by Seth Godin. That book actually was a catalyst for major adjustments for my husband and me. Including (but not limited to) changing jobs and relocating 11 hours away.  

Younger Next Year (and Younger Next Year for Women) by Chris Crowley and Harry S Lodge, M.D. has prompted significant daily alterations for me and my husband. Moving from casual to intentional daily exercise and getting serious about our diet so that we can stay fit and active into our 80’s and beyond came from this book.

These books helped us imagine our lives differently.

One of the few regrets I have is that I have not kept a list of all the books I have read.  

Be discriminate with your time. Read books that teach good lessons that are well-written.  

                 Not to escape, but to explore.  

Reading will keep your mind sharp.  It will give you something to talk with others about.  It can get you thinking about larger issues. It can make you smile and weep and empathize and wonder.

Some studies even show that reading reduces stress and can slow our heartbeat. Take a “reading vacation.” You don’t have to go anywhere or spend anything. Just block out some time to “go somewhere” by reading a book.

So…a short excerpt from Which Old Woman Will You Be?  To encourage you to read!!!

What books are on your summer reading list? 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Photo by Emily Marie on Unsplash

5 WAYS TO SIMPLIFY AND FOCUS ON WHAT IS IMPORTANT

5 Ways to Simplify so that you can Focus on what is important…

In 2002, my husband asked me to meet him for lunch. It wasn’t our custom to meet for lunch and especially not a nice restaurant. I should have known he was up to something!

“We need to focus and simplify,” he told me.  

Focus.  Simplify.  

We were living 35 miles from his work, where he was pastoring a growing church.  We maintained 40+ acres of woods and prairie where I ran a busy retreat and training center with ropes courses and paintball for team building.  

We were driving, preparing, mowing, maintaining, training, marketing, inspiring, selling, planning….all the time. Together and apart.

At ages 50 and 53, Dave saw that we were at a crucial point of planning our future.

My husband saw we should Simplify and Focus our efforts as we entered our 50’s to ensure our ability to live fully in our ThirdThird (ages 60-90).

We did it.  

And we continue to do it.  Simplify. Focus.

Our focus is to live life as fit and healthy as possible, to contribute and not burden others, and to enjoy one another as long as we are alive.

By focusing on what is most important to us in the long run, simplifying doesn’t feel like denying ourselves or like carrying a burden.  It is freedom to head where we want to be with less to encumber.

Here are some practical ways we Simplify:

 

  1. We eat to live, not live to eat.  

This simplifies our eating, cooking, and dining.  We have made a sort of hobby out of cooking at home. When we dine out, we try to go to a restaurant that is within walking distance (1.5 miles is ideal). When we shop, there are a number of items we simply don’t buy because they don’t fit our live long and healthy plan.

 

 

  1. We buy what we need and get rid of what we don’t need.

If I haven’t worn it in a year, I probably won’t, so out it goes (unless it is that really great red cocktail dress that I MAY have a need for another time!).  If we need a new skillet, an old one has to go. The old chainsaw died?  When it is replaced, find a home for the old one at the metal recycling place.

This is our version of “use it or lose it”.

 

 

  1. We look for low maintenance options.

We bought a car that should last a long time with little maintenance. It gets great gas mileage and is rated high in safety.  We tried leasing, but I go way too many miles in my real estate job.

Our garden has a few tomato plants, plenty of basil and kale and radishes, and, this year, some cucumbers and winter squash. Morning watering and a bit of weeding are all that is required for a very adequate harvest.

Our fitness needs are pretty basic. Good shoes for running and walking. A gym membership that includes classes, machines, pool, and indoor track. And a commitment to do something daily to get our hearts pumping and our legs moving.

 

 

  1. We have agreed to “need less” so we can “give more.”

One reason that we are able to make adjustments to keep us focused on simplifying is that we agree on our main purpose.  We like to contribute to others’ efforts.

My husband is the consummate “servant.” He loves to show up and boost someone else along. He will build a website, chop down a tree, haul off yard waste, or till up a garden.

I love donating to a youth softball team or to a music program for low-income students. I really enjoy writing out a tithe check to our church. If we can be generous to allow all of our family to get together for a week, it is with a genuine smile.

Focusing on what is important to us makes simplifying to make it happen easy.

 

 

  1. We remind each other of our desire to Focus and Simplify.

Just today, as we are planning a “cabin” on some of the property we kept, we agreed to stick with our approach of “focus and simplify.”  What it means with this project is that we will approach it for efficiency (both in the process of building it and in the aspect of living in it) and that we want it uncluttered and comfortable.  

Simple doesn’t have to mean rustic. Focused doesn’t have to mean sparse.   

 

Agreeing to Focus and Simplify has become our approach and is making our ThirdThird our very BEST Third.

What is your Focus? What are ways that you have learned to Simplify? Or, what splurges do you really look forward to?  It isn’t about self-denial!

 

 

*Originally posted at Sixtyandme.com.

Change the Way You Think

Saying daily affirmations, out loud, is a very effective way to live on purpose.  Having true, positive statements you say about and to yourself is rewarding, energizing, focusing, and, actually, can change the way you think.

If you google “affirmations” you can find lists of suggested affirmations to tell yourself to make yourself feel better, think more positively, have greater success.   

“My heart is overflowing with joy.”

“All is well right now.”

“I nourish my body with healthy food.”

No doubt, those affirmations can be helpful.  

 

But I have a better way.

Rather than googling for words from someone else to say to yourself daily, instead, take a moment and consider your limiting beliefs.  The most effective affirmations will replace those limiting beliefs with affirming statements.  

I have been doing this for the past ten years and it is a life-changing exercise that just keeps on giving.  Replacing my limiting beliefs has been a practical way to keep growing, keep learning.

+

Identifying your limiting beliefs is the first and necessary step.  

For me, as I walked the halls as CEO of the young company I was charged with making profitable, I was challenged by a coach to recognize my limiting beliefs.  I found that I had a number of them! One very limiting belief was, “I really don’t know what I am doing and I hope no one finds out!”

Truth was, I was leading a group of people into a new way of doing things with great help from the franchise, receiving information and training that was beyond adequate. I was absorbing new information easily and readily and we were off to a great start.   By telling myself that I was clueless, even in a fleeting moment, I robbed myself and the investors of this company, of some of the energy and confidence required to succeed.

+

Replace the limiting beliefs with true and possible affirmations.

I replaced the above limiting belief with this affirmation, “I am a confident, successful business woman who knows where I am going and who is meeting the people and developing the skills to become outrageously successful.”  Gradually, as I repeated this, I became confident that everything I needed was available and that I was the best person to be at the helm for that time.

+

Repeat them, out loud, at least once a day.

I partnered up with a younger man from a different state to do daily affirmations.  One of us would call the other and dive in. “Good morning, Andy! I am a confident, successful business woman who knows where she is going and who is meeting the people and developing the skills to become outrageously successful.”  And so on, for my 5-6 statements. Andy would say, “You rock, Debbie!” Then Andy would say his 5-6 statements, addressing his limiting beliefs. I would say something encouraging to him, we would hang up and go into our day. 2 minutes, average, was our investment.

+

You will see positive results.

In those 10 years, Andy stepped out into some risky (yet rewarding) ventures that have brought him a sense of significance. He has increased his productivity and grown his business and improved his relationships. He is making more money and living with purpose. Also, he has lost a significant amount of weight and has made fitness a regular part of his life.  

Me? My affirmations gave me the courage to build that new company with a good foundation, then move to another that needed a turn-around. I have been willing to risk some investments after telling myself that “I am wise with money and have multiple sources of income.” I once recognized an opportunity when I was told they were “creating a role” for me since one of my affirmations said that exact thing…. that I “attracted ethical, successful people who recognized my strengths and created opportunities for me.”

I don’t believe that thinking about them made any of these things happen. I simply see that by changing my thinking from limiting beliefs to possible realities, I was able to see and hear and respond to possibilities when they came along.  

+

Keep your affirmations current.

Affirmations need to be current and personal to effective, so adapting them is key.  

I recently revisited my limiting beliefs, since I am doing new things.  And, I wrote new affirmations. One of them that I say daily is, “I am fulfilled and happy, living on purpose and making my ThirdThird my BEST Third”.  Feel free to borrow it!

It really is possible to change the way you think.  Just recognize those limiting beliefs and replace them with truthful affirmations that are possible.  

Say them, out loud, daily, at least once, and begin to notice the positive changes in your life.  

What are your limiting beliefs?  Can you replace them with positive, possible affirmations?  Do you have examples of changing your thinking? Please go to YourBestThirdThird Facebook and share your thoughts!

 

 

 

 

 

Photo by Gaelle Marcel on Unsplash

Seven Ways to Make Food Prep Exciting

Eating at home can be better and more fun than dining out every day.  Here are seven ways to make home food preparation interesting.

For many years, it was my responsibility to feed our family of seven three healthy meals a day.  I decided to approach meal preparation as a hobby to keep myself engaged. Now, my years of others relying on me for meals are gone.  

BUT, eating out presents some challenges to maintaining the healthy approach to life my husband and I are intent on following.  A focus on nutrition and some food allergies and our slowing metabolism that seems to accompany the accumulation of birthdays make eating out a lot a challenge.   

Cooking for fewer people has required some adjustments. But, I am finding that cooking at home for most of our meals is not only better for us but it can be fun and give us some new shared interests.

Here are some ways we keep meal prep from becoming boring.

Find new recipes

Cooking shows on television can inspire new recipes. Themes, slants, approaches, points of view….any time of day on multiple channels, there are cooking shows to inspire.  

Websites can help!  Pinterest is a great source of recipe inspiration.  Have coconut milk in your cabinet and need the inspiration to use it?  You can find a multitude of options there.  Want to make gluten-free, vegan brownies?  There will be a number of recipes to choose from.  Want a new take on meatloaf or spaghetti or need to know how to use that mystery ingredient that your gardening neighbor bestowed?  Find it online.

My daughter has almost replaced me with AllRecipes.com.  She has found family favorites there that for me were hand-written on 3×5 index cards.

We subscribe to at least one food-related magazine at all times.  When it comes, I sit and peruse all possibilities and tear out the pages with foods we might like to try.  If we try it and like it, it gets filed.  If it is forgettable, out it goes.

Try new foods  

By “new” I don’t necessarily mean “weird.”  (Unless weird sounds good!)  

Growing up, the vegetable choice was pretty much green beans, peas, corn, or carrots.  I remember broccoli showing up when I was in my 20’s as a “new” veggie.  Zucchini came a little after that.  Now, with improved refrigeration and shipping and preservation methods, you can get all sorts of foods that were unknown to you even a few years ago.  

Try something new!  You might like it!

Explore different cuisines  

When we moved the small-ish “micro-urban” community we live in, more years ago than I can believe, there were 3 restaurants in town, not counting the common fast food places.  One was a chain family restaurant, one was locally owned and had good burgers and sodas and soups, and the third was a more-upscale Italian-ish place.

Now, same town, we can choose from a long list of places to eat different cuisines. Thai, Indian (from different regions), Mexican (both authentic and Tex-Mex), Chinese (buffet, sit-down, carry-out), Korean (especially if we are willing to brave the campus area), and others that I am sure I am not currently aware of.  

So many options for so much fun and exploration!

Buy unusual (to you) ingredients

My husband is an avid runner.  As he has had more birthdays, he has gotten more interested in the mechanics and technology of long distance running. Several books he has ordered have opened us up to new ingredients.  We now have several types of miso in our refrigerator. Seaweed. Tahini. Quinoa. Agave syrup. Chia seeds. Various types of “milk.”  And we are learning how to use them successfully.

Turmeric is a new spice to us.  We now have Garam Masala and Cumin on the spice shelf. I discovered Ginger Juice that I use regularly. And the oil and vinegar stores know me by name. (Wild mushroom and Sage Olive Oil are my favorite. Balsamic fig vinegar is all I need on a salad.)

Learn new techniques  

Back to television, watching competitive cooking shows has taught me a lot.  PBS has great cooking shows for techniques, as do other broadcast channels.   Even simpler television cooking shows have introduced me to smashing garlic cloves with the side of a knife to easily remove the skins and having a “discard bowl” nearby to save time when chopping and preparing.

Googling recipes for gluten-free bread has given me the information I needed to have a measure of success in baking yeast bread with flours that are not made from wheat (which required me to buy and learn to use unusual ingredients).  A simple technique I ran across online made my bread go from flat to raised, actually resembling the wheat bread I made for years.

Remember old favorites

Don’t forget those family favorites.  I remember once when I was on a roll to make meals interesting to our children that my husband requested spaghetti—at least once a year.  I had gotten so into meal prep that for one whole year, I never repeated a recipe.  Variety being the spice of life and all that, he just wanted an occasional “comfort” meal (even though he did assure me he enjoyed my creative efforts).

Now, with me being gluten-free and us both watching our caloric intake, we can substitute spaghetti squash with a favorite sauce. Chili is easily accomplished in the crockpot. He has perfected nachos that are healthy and tasty.  Sometimes the old favorites hit the spot.

Divorce yourself from perfection.

Food prep and dining at home should be fun and nutritional, not perfect.  When you are trying new ingredients, or preparing new recipes or learning new techniques, sometimes it comes out less than what it looked like on television or online.

No worries!  If it is edible, then that is a success.  If it is not (which will happen rarely, I promise!) then, don’t eat it.  It’s as simple as that.

Do you enjoy cooking at home?  What have you found to be successful for at-home meal preparation? What new ingredients have you tried?  What will you never try again?!

 

 

 

 

 

* This was originally posted by Debbie at SixtyandMe.com

 

Photo by Brooke Lark on Unsplash

Less Stress and More Joy

I’m in my ThirdThird now (ages 60-90) and I find there are things I used to care a lot more about than I do now.  Priorities, experience, wisdom, adapting… whatever the reason, I am much more flexible in my thinking.

The result? Less stress and more joy. A greater appreciation for each day, each opportunity, and each interaction.

Here are five ways that I can be much more relaxed now that I have lived long enough to recognize what is truly important to me:

 

Fashion “rules.”

 

Rules that try to dictate details like you have to wear brown with navy or that you can’t wear white after Labor Day (or before Easter) or that after a certain age you “shouldn’t” wear leggings or high heels.  While I care about my appearance and want to be (relatively) stylish, I am much more inclined to be motivated by comfort and common sense now that I am older.  Put myself together in a way that I feel confident and off I go.

 

Grocery store attire.  

Continuing on with a clothing theme, I care much less what I wear to the grocery store, even though I have lived in our town for a long time and there is a good chance I might run into someone I know.  If I know them, they should not be distracted by my casual attire and we should be able to enjoy an exchange of pleasantries in the aisles, with or without makeup.

 

Other people’s opinions about my family.  

Once, my husband and I made a decision that (evidently) seemed rash to outsiders without much information. We both quit our jobs and headed in separate directions, temporarily, to take opportunities we were excited about. Pretty soon, there were all sorts of rumors. One of us was dying. We were splitting up. There was trouble brewing. None of it was true. We were just taking advantage of the trust we had built over many years that allowed us to each seek our own for a period. Since then, I don’t try to explain.

 

Keeping up with the latest.  

Technology, slang, exercise, diet. Trying new stuff that is going to disappear or be replaced before I fully understand it is an exercise in futility that I no longer am tempted by.  I am dependent on technology, but try to make what works for me last as long as possible. Slang, I just try to avoid so I don’t misuse, much to my grandkids’ amusement. Exercise and diet, I know what works so being consistent is the best approach at this point.

 

Everyone agreeing.

Ha! In the current political climate in the US, there is obviously little hope of everyone agreeing. But even in a family or social or work environments, I am much more willing to adapt to someone else’s idea than I used to be. For years, I have been considering a family vacation that involved passports and planes and trains and mountains and beaches. Our kids, however, asked if I would consider, instead, a week at a Florida beach. 17 people. No passports. No train. Just sand and sun and relaxing. They all agreed, so exchanging my plans was simple.  That they all want to be together AND they want their parents there, too….that was a fine adjustment for my thinking to make.

 

Life is simpler now that I can let go of a lot of the rules and expectations and assumptions I had when I was rushing around and holding things together in my FirstThird (ages 0-30, mainly focused on learning) and in my SecondThird (ages 30-60, mainly focused on earning).  

This is one key to me making my ThirdThird my very BEST Third.

 

 

 

* first published at Sixtyandme.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Luca Upper

It’s Here!

I’ve been telling you about my new book and now it is ready! 

I’m excited to share with you that my ebook is available for purchase on Amazon for just $2.99!

 

 

I’ve been gathering content for a long time by keeping journals to record life lessons and significant moments. This book, “Which Old Woman Will You Be?” is my first. It takes a practical look at ways to be sure you are becoming the person you want to be in your ThirdThird of life, ages 60–90.

As we age, two things happen.
1. We have less energy to pretend, and
2. We care less what others think of us.

The result is that who we really are, who we have been at our core, is what comes out. By living on purpose and determining who we want to be when we are younger, we can intentionally become the “Old Woman” (or Old Man) that we want to become.

I think you will enjoy the book and I am thankful for your support!  Purchase your copy here: http://a.co/9FEn4bg

If you enjoyed the book, write a review on Amazon or share with somebody you know who would benefit from this book.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Six Ways to Prepare for a Great Life After 60

 

If someone asked, here are my top 6 ways to prepare for a great life after 60….

Now that have celebrated my 65th birthday and have my Medicare card, I am enjoying being a gray-haired, older woman who has learned a lot and has arrived at a pretty good place.  

I’ve made a lot of mistakes and learned from most of them.  I’ve had my share of successes with business and family and marriage and friendships.  I’ve been through some rough spots with business and family and marriage and friendships.  I have good ways that I can continue to learn and to grow in my ThirdThird (ages 60-90).  

I’m mainly smiling and enjoying life.  I enjoy good health and am blessed to have a long-term husband who “gets” me and who keeps me moving and trying new things.

If someone in their SecondThird (ages 30-60) were to ask me for advice on planning their best ThirdThird, here are a few things that I would tell them.

A few simple life adjustment to prepare you for living well in your ThirdThird (ages 60-90):

 

Think About Living To Be 90

We are the first generation that can plan with confidence to live into our 80’s and beyond. Medical support and knowledge of health makes living longer the norm.  My parents planned to retire at 65, travel a few years, then die around 72 since that was as long as anyone else in their families had lived.  I, however, realistically expect to live into my 90’s (which my mother did, surprising her a lot!).

It can catch you by surprise if you aren’t thinking about a longer life.  An extra 20-30 years brings a lot of opportunity and a lot of responsibility, so it is good to be preparing for it.

Stop Gaining Weight

When I was 40, I realized that I had unwittingly, been gaining about 3 pounds a year. Noticing someone I knew to be 10 years older than me had unwittingly put on about 30 pounds made me pause.  3 pounds a year, 10 years….yikes!  I was going to have that 30 pounds if I didn’t consciously keep those 30 pounds off.  

The older we get, the harder it is to lose extra weight, so it makes more sense to consciously keep it off.  I remember hearing an interview with Jimmy Carter when he was in his 70’s. Asked how he kept so fit, he talked about riding a bicycle and said that he weighed himself daily.  If he was a little heavier that day, he ate a little less.  

Whatever works, halting weight gain in the SecondThird will have benefits in the ThirdThird.

Save Some Money

Decide to put some money aside and let it become a habit.  As you stick with it, watching it grow is pretty encouraging.

However, you can find a way to put some money away for your longer life.  Direct deposits from your paycheck is a pain-free way to save since you don’t really see those dollars.  Taking advantage of matching savings plans if you are so fortunate to have an employer who offers it will pay off in the long run.

If you are planning to live longer, you will need more money, so save some while you are making it.


Eat At Home More

Cooking seems to be a dying skill, but it can be a lot of fun and is satisfying to produce a tasty meal in your own home.  And if you are eating at home more, you can control those things that are not beneficial and that you probably want to avoid. Less fried food, less sugar, fewer empty calories.

How to get started cooking at home? A subscription to a magazine with recipes gives new ideas and inspiration. Taking a risk on a CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) and having weekly ingredients delivered to you opens new doors.  Joining or creating a “supper club” with friends provides motivation and accountability.

Eating at home more can help you with those first 2 suggestions, too, saving money and keeping the weight off.

Move Every Day

If you are going to live into your 80’s and/or 90’s, you will be glad if you have kept moving in your 40’s and 50’s.  Make it a habit to walk the stairs or to walk around the park at lunch or to walk around the block in the evening.

And after making moving every day a habit, find a way that you will occasionally stretch yourself a bit. Classes at a gym? Kayaking on the town lake? Walking or running in 5K’s? Yoga videos? Tennis or swimming or softball?

It can seem like there isn’t time for exercise, but as it is often said, “Use it or lose it.”  If you move every day, you will help ensure that you will be able to move along well into your 80’s and 90’s.

Clear Up Relationships

Clearing up doesn’t always mean being able to reconcile or to come to an agreement. It might just mean being realistic about the relationships you have had and investing in the ones that are helpful to you.

By the time you are in your 50’s, you have known a lot of people.  Some you have enjoyed, some you haven’t.  Some have enjoyed you.  Some haven’t.  It’s okay.  Life has seasons and seasons bring change.

Learn in your SecondThird to have quality relationships.  Keep a short list of offenses. Apologize when you are wrong. Allow people to come and go in your life but keep clear relations.  Forgive and move on.

Go forward with no regrets.

 

Hindsight being 20-20 vision and all, those are the things I would tell someone younger than me to do in their SecondThird to make their ThirdThird, after age 60, great.  

What would you say if someone in their 40’s and 50’s asked you for advice on living well in your sixties and beyond? What did you do in your SecondThird that you are glad for now?