Anyone who is a Baby Boomer -- those of us born between 1946-1964 (full disclosure, that includes me) -- hates the word retired. We aren't old, dammit.
Here's the funny thing: We aren't! That's because if you are reading this column, you are in all likelihood just halfway through your life.
Welcome to My Third Half Life.
Our First Third began when we were growing up -- under the benevolent dictatorship of our parents -- birth to college, 0-21 years of age. The Second Third started when we began our careers, got married or moved in with our significant others, when we started having kids, and raising families, from about 22- to 44-years-old.
My Third Half is when we finally each take a chance to live the lives we've always wanted to live. It's when we can think, and do, all things that makes us happy and fulfilled, when and how we want to do them.
The average American woman today lives to be 81.2 years old; the average American man, 76.4, according to the Center for Disease Control. The important word here is average. According to a 2015 report put out by the National Academies of Science, Engineering and Medicine -- as reported in the Washington Post - the richest American women and men live to be 91.9 and 88.8 years old; as for the upper middle class -- 83.1 years old for women, 87.8 for men; and the middle class -- 83.1 years old for women, 83.4 years old for men.
We never have been told to think that the third part of our life is actually half, or more, of the total time we are on this Earth -- until now. Maybe this is what Bruce Springsteen was really getting at when he wrote "Born in the USA:" "Till you spend half your life just covering up." Boss (who by the way turns 67 this month), the cover is now off.
So now, here we are, in our own personal My Third Half lives, which began somewhere between 45- to 50-years-old and runs easily into our 80s, and with a little help from continued advances in medicine and technology, well into our 90s and possibly beyond that.
My Third Life is our personal calling to really live life, fully, each and every day, for the entire second half of our time here. There is no Fourth Life (on Earth, anyway).
I'm up for the calling. Are you?
I have no excuse not to be. My kids are pretty much fully grown. My oldest, Seth, graduated college with a comp sci degree and is gainfully employed in the tech industry. My younger one, Isaac, is in his junior year of college studying acting.
I'm an empty nester. I'm divorced. My Third Half, then, is my own, to do as I choose -- or lose. So today, I am making a commitment, to each and every one of my fellow Third Half-ers out there, to share with you, through this column, how I'm living, and gonna live My Third Half. My goal is to make this column a place where other Third Half-ers come to share their own personal My Third Life journeys as well, so that, together, we can make our Third Halves the greatest lives ever lived.
By now, we've all gotten at least one wake-up call that it's high time to fully live the My Third Half life. That wake-up call may have been when your mom or dad died, when your last child left home for college, or when you had your first major medical issue. Whatever it was, your wake-up call forces you to answer one very important question: "Am I going to keep moving, or just fade away?"
So what's it going to be? After all, you only have one precious Third Half Life.