Life In Three Acts, Part 2

Live Like You Can

By Janis McDonald

The message is everywhere! Don’t give up because now is the time to go for it. I just finished reading AARP’s article on Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, the basketball legend, social activist, and writer. His new documentary will reveal what life after basketball has taught him. Kareem, at 67, talks about how he is enjoying a renaissance in many genres, including being a movie producer and prolific writer. He finds storytelling fascinating and hopes what he has to say is relevant. His views reminded me of my own “great experiment,” standing on stage and telling a story about my mom, her lifelong attitude towards death and how it imprinted me.

Last year I decided to challenge myself by joining the Storyteller’s Workshop, wanting to discover what’s next in my life, even though I felt a bit of discomfort and fear. I think of this as having “a pebble in my shoe” that keeps me from getting too lazy and comfortable in my life. A slight irritation that reminds me to stay “awake” and mindful about each choice I make now. I am an introvert by nature so being on stage was very much outside of my comfort zone. Yet somewhere in my 65 years, I seemed to have let go of (at least partially) my concern about being perfect and what others might think of me.  Desiring to explore what’s possible for me now in my Third Act without the past roadblocks, I stepped up onto the stage to tell my story.

In my work as a wellness and life coach, I see people who are ready to let go of perfectionism and listen to their own drummer. These key steps are essential to finding the freedom to explore and the energy to keep reaching out for new experiences, which are at the heart of what the Third Act is all about. When I experiment with something new and interesting, I ask myself, “Does this path make me forget about time? Does everything else fade away while each moment flows into the next? Does it feel like my heart and head connect, creating my purpose or calling for this part of my life?”

My Storyteller’s experience gave me confidence in my ability to share curious ideas that can start conversations. Another door appeared, and as I walked though it, I found myself writing the Live Like You Can column for Atención. When asked about his blueprint for getting older, Kareem said, “The continued pursuit of goals and dreams.” I agree with him completely and I know I needed to step out onto the stage in order to realize I wanted to be a writer.

Janis McDonald, Certified Professional Coach, Functional Aging Trainer, Private Gym-152 0457. Follow the Live Like You Can Blog! Go to:


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