Friday, July 19, 2024

Living My Third Act: The 3 P’s

HomeFeaturesLiving My Third Act: The 3 P’s

This is not a significant birthday year for me (one that ends in a 0), but at this time in life, every birthday is significant. It is also a time to reflect on the seasons that brought me to this point and the part I now want to play.

Act I – Preparation

I am one of those few Jacksonville natives, and grew up in the Avondale area in the home my family owned for fifty four years. My family situation was like the one depicted in Father of the Bride II – my parents became grandparents three days after I was born!

This is where we develop our hobbies (mine was music, music, and music), complete all our schooling, learn how to drive, perhaps head off for those college degrees, begin our first jobs and begin to experience life as an individual. One could also call this the time of discovery – I only changed college majors five times before settling on Business Management/Labor Law.

Act II – Possibilities

Armed with that education, training and experience, we begin to explore how to make a life and a living, and pursue those job accomplishments we set out for ourselves. I wanted to be a Vice President in a large company, and realized that goal in my thirty-third year. Now what?? On the personal side, it was about getting married, becoming a homeowner and starting a family – did that, too!

Becoming a Mom to my son, Michael was that time when I realized that my heart will forever walk around outside my chest, and was the ultimate feeling of responsibility and vulnerability. During this time, you also come to realize that with each goal accomplished, there is another mountain yet to climb. It is about constantly asking “What do I want to do next?” “Where do I want to do it?” The striving is relentless.

Act III – Purpose

So I am at the beginning of Act III. After over forty five years in the corporate world, I took the leap to start my own business two years ago. I’m delighted to report that I had my first client the next day after I made that transition. Retirement? Not in my plan – what would I do with myself? It is exciting to be able to leverage all the knowledge, experiences, and information I have accumulated in my “she shed” and see it make a difference for those clients with whom I am fortunate to work.

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Elaine’s son, Michael, enjoys the funny faces his daughter makes.

It is also time to engage in volunteer activities, as it is less about accumulating wealth as it is making a difference and leaving a legacy. And it is a time to cherish faith, family and friends as there are more years in the rear view mirror than there are in the windshield. What’s next? Well, I’m still learning and making music as I did in Act I. I’m dreaming and enjoying parenthood (on a “grand” scale) like I did in Act II. And I’m ready to have fun, step out, and make Act III count!

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