The Third Third

Thoughts on The Third Third

The terrain is rocky on this journey. It may not be a place you want to go alone. It helps, actually, to know you’re not alone. At the same time, you need to be free, and to travel light, and you need to be strong, at times defiant and, at the least, purposeful. In an effort to help better understand – and better live – the third third, Dallas therapist and teacher Mary Anne Reed **(** gathered together a group of women to discuss their feelings about the third third and to explore their needs moving into this new developmental stage of life, a developmental stage they hope to help define. Their comments: *“There’s a group of older people – old people – but I don’t want to be there yet.” “What you do is who you deeply are.” “I feel invisible a lot. I have to work harder for anyone to take me seriously.” “Is this all there is?” “No, there’s more. There’s so much more. I am so happy.” “Every now and then I get scared. But I believe that God created me. And I’m doing what I want to do.” “I found that there was some grief associated with acknowledging that I had moved to a different age.” “I thought things were going to be one way; they turned out to be another way.” “I find women our age hysterically funny.” “I felt grown up when I realized my children were going to be who they were and not what I wanted them to be—and that they were happy.” “I will be 80 soon. Just last month I let my hair grow out gray. I’ve always considered myself a blond.” “This period is about putting it all together. It’s rich for me. I’m really passionate about it. I’m a play therapist. It’s all about getting to the core of who we are and letting other people see us as we are.” “You do come full circle. There are things you love as a kid. Then Life happens to you. I am finding myself going back to the things I loved as a kid – like art, and painting.” “I am re-membering, too. I am bringing back aspects of myself that I left behind.” “I had to ask myself, ‘Who’s running this show?’ I had to get my Board of Directors behind me. Sometimes I’m the child; sometimes, the parent.” “When you show love and respect, you will go home with many new friends.” “Part of our legacy will be how we impact the culture.” “I hope that I will change the way people think about aging.” “What is my commitment now? To whom is my commitment? I need to know.” “I have been actively involved in a profession – different ones – since high school. I have a bunch of pieces. I no longer have to prove anything to anybody. But I want to know how all the pieces come together. Then I will have accomplished a certain authenticity.” “Fatigue has a message for us. If you are doing something you love, you have a lot of energy.” “This day I want to have a dinner party. Tomorrow I don’t want to see anybody. I can only be true in this one moment.” “I was burned out. Then I was rekindled.” “We will need to explode the myths, shift the perception. This is a new developmental stage.”*
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