The Third Age

How does one gracefully move from one stage of life to the next? Transitions can be hard work!

I never really bought into the capitalist idea of working extremely hard to gain a lot of money so that I could keep working hard to gain more money and possessions.

Spring in the Village 014 (Copy)

I worked primarily to:

  • provide a home for me and my three sons
  • pay the mortgage, the utility bills and food and clothing
  • meet some good outcomes for the unemployed and disadvantaged members of society
  • try to make a positive difference through the work I did each day.


Now I am no longer in the workplace I wonder how I can make a contribution. Sometimes I “go with the flow” but at other times I feel an urgency to do something useful or to make good use of my time and this stage of my life.

I am exploring being more creative; I am studying; I get some contract work from time to time; I joined a few not-for-profit community groups; but I still have time and energy on my hands. I even have a vegetable garden now but it doesn’t take much looking after.

Melbourne Cup Day 2012 022

My extended family aren’t in need of my support and both of my parents have passed away. I can enjoy learning new things such as calligraphy, taking videos and photos, sewing … and I will do those things.

I don’t think western society makes the most of the resources of our ageing baby-boomers. Many people my age are still working or busy with their families. Some are happy to follow their hobbies or to travel the world.

Roses 004We gain useful skills and knowledge in life and work and then we fade into the sunset without finding adequate use of our experience. It seems such a waste of resources. I only wish I could come up with an idea to capture these resources (mine and those of many other semi-retired people) and use them to the good of our society.


Any ideas are welcome on where to from here?

15 thoughts on “The Third Age

  1. When you figure out how to capture the babyboomer resource for the greater good – including ours – let me know! Seriously, you’re doing all the right things in my book. I’d throw another type of activity into the mix: doing stuff that doesn’t necessarily relate to achievement. Sometimes, when I’ve ticked off everything on my job list for the day, I take myself off to the beach (or pool) for a swim, wander into town to mingle with the crowds, check out a neighbourhood I haven’t visited for a while, pick up a book, go to the movies, etc. The energy charge from doing this kind of stuff – for me anyway – is simply huge. Good luck with it all.

    • Yes I agree it is good to mix the activities up and get outside. I sometimes forget to do that. I had some interesting responses to that blog post. It seems there is a movement in the US called Encore – and it seems to address the issues I was raising. I am going to look into it a bit further ๐Ÿ™‚

  2. Pingback: Encore Careers Australia | Welcome to allaboutwordswa!

  3. This post was timely for me because just as I was about to sit back and enjoy that sunset my whole world changed and that is now denied to me (for quite a few years at least). So over the past two years I have been thinking quite a bit about what I can do to start over and at the same time make my life meaningful. Now I see the advantage of where I am is that I am now thinking of new beginnings rather than the ending of what had been. This has given me a new lease on life, just having that image in my head of a new beginning and I am really looking forward to this new life – my third age – even though I have NO idea yet what it will be exactly.

    • Thanks for sharing your thoughts on this Elizabeth! I have been grappling with these issues for the last 3-4 years. This week I decided to set up another blog at I am hoping it will be interactive with people sharing their experiences as you have just done. I think we need to start look at our lifestyles through 21st Century vision ๐Ÿ™‚

      • Hello. I have looked up your new blog and pressed follow for it, although I have not yet had time to read any posts. It looks interesting though and I am glad that you have started it.

      • That’s great. Thanks for signing up Elizabeth. Please feel free to express your thoughts in the comments area. I would love to her your point of view!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s