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Photo courtesy of deviantart.com

Photo courtesy of deviantart.com

I just celebrated my 60th birthday and according to the latest Canadian retirement planning advisers, I’m on the threshold of the third third of life (Canadian women should now prepare to live until at least 91!)

I’ve been giving some thought lately to how I would like to live these next 30 years.  To that end, I’ve been thinking of older people I know and how they are living/lived their third third, I’ve been reading relevant books and articles, and participating in free online courses.

I thought I’d begin by taking stock of what I have.  Over the past few weeks, I have sorted through almost everything we own. I removed unused items from our kitchen cupboards and hutch. I looked through every box in our roof space (NZ homes don’t have basements) and through everything in our hall and linen closets.  I ended up donating many items to a garage sale, which some local intermediate school students were having to fund their trip to Las Vegas (they are participating in an international hip hop competition there).  The remaining items are now all safely stored in labelled stackable plastic bins.  I have identified a number of additional items, which will be donated or sold within the next few years, unless retrieved for our own use. Through this exercise, I’ve realized just how much “stuff” we have and it has confirmed for me that in the third third, I want to continue to divest myself of things.

I have centralized all my craft supplies now, so I am poised to once again explore and express my creative side. Those who are familiar with our blog, know of my desire to have a craft business.  I’ve now identified 5 product lines, 2 online retail sites and a couple of “real” markets to get me started.  I have decided on a logo and lined up a graphic designer.

Writing has always been something that I enjoy and I would like to write a book or develop a website – informational, not fictional.  I have several projects in mind – all I need is time!

Although I’ve been working since I was 12 years old, I hope to continue to work as long as I gain satisfaction and make a difference.  Although, I always expected to work full-time until I retired, when I couldn’t find a rewarding full-time position in New Zealand, I accepted part-time hours and really enjoy my schedule now. I am quite entrepreneurial and can easily see myself self-employed during my third third.

I’ve moved a lot in the past and because of living and working internationally, I’ve been fortunate to travel extensively. At last count, I’ve toured more than 30 countries (some I’ve been back to multiple times).  Therefore, unlike many Boomers, travel is not a top priority in my third third. I’ll be happy to accompany Mr. Boomerlifetoday anywhere he wants to go, but I’ll also be content to stay close to home.

Also because I’ve moved around a lot, once retired, I would like to experience a real sense of community and continuity. I hope we can realize that goal in London, Ontario, Canada.  Voted as one of North America’s best cities by urban guru, Richard Florida, London has many things going for it  – parks, bike trails, a world class university, world class medical facilities, large events centre, international airport, proximity to Toronto, Southern Ontario and the US, good transportation links, great shopping, affordable and attractive housing and most importantly, close to family and old friends.

In the third third, I’d also like to focus more on relationships – with Mr. Boomerlifetoday, my family, and friends.  I’ve experienced some very disappointing relationships in the past, which made me hesitant to seek out the company of others.  But, I have a small circle of loyal friends and family, to whom I am extremely grateful.

I have spent the first two thirds of my life driven largely by career and money, which saw me moving a lot and living/working in positions and places considered unacceptable to many of my peers. I’m not complaining because my life has been quite extraordinary so far. But in my third third, I’d like to do a few things differently.

I recently bought a decorative item for our home that sums up how I want to live now. It says “Live each moment, laugh out loud, speak kindly, be thankful, trust, help others, keep promises, try new things, say I love you and take a moment to breathe.”  Sounds good to me!

Until next time,

Your Boomer Life Partners

References:

Travels with Epicurus : a journey to a Greek island in search of a fulfilled life / Daniel Klein

Who am I– : now that I’m not who I was? : conversations with women in mid-life and beyond / Connie Goldman

All books by Richard Florida.

Happy money : the science of smarter spending / Elizabeth Dunn & Michael Norton

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