In a way, I discovered the feisty, strong girl I had always been.Moving from a focus on oneself to caring about things greater than oneself makes us whole and strong so we won’t be overwhelmed by the inevitable losses that come in later life.Never has the phrase ‘You are what you eat’ been truer than in the Third Act.
A lot of it – in fact, most of it – has to do with lifestyle choices and how willing we are to live with real intention, instead of just drifting.
On average, I get eight or nine hours of sleep every night and, frankly, I don’t do well on less. But as you get older, your sleep lightens progressively.
Many older people say they spend more time in bed but sleep less; when they do sleep, it’s what is called ‘dream sleep’, as opposed to deep sleep.
Deep sleep is important throughout life, but it is essential when we are older, when our tissues need replenishing, yet our human growth hormone and testosterone levels are diminished.
Having friends, loving partners and strong social supports have long been demonstrated to have a direct positive effect on health, better cognitive functioning and longevity.
Almost all the people I have met who are in their 90s or even older seem to have one thing in common: positivity.The ingredients that keep us vital, happy and continuing to grow are there for a majority of us.During our last three decades, as we move from being the ‘young old’ to becoming the ‘old old’, we can have some of the happiest years of our lives, and the best news of all is that it is never too late to start making it happen.I am conscious of this happening to me in my Third Act, which shows that what the experts say is true: we can attain these positive attributes even if we didn’t start off with them!Generativity refers to older people’s responsibility to care for younger generations by giving of oneself – one’s knowledge, experience, time, resources and values.This can mean a focus on your community, your nation, or the planet.