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Four Areas Worth Reevaluating: Your Encore Self
Posted By Suzanne Braun Levine On December 7, 2012 @ 5:00 pm In Notebook | No Comments
I have always dreamed of going on a safari – the elephants roaming, the lions stalking and the luxurious tent and campfire meals! This would be the moment to go for it – my kids are grown, my freelance work gives me the time flexibility, I am still healthy, and I have enough financial backing to take the trip of a lifetime.
The problem is that now that my dream trip is an option, I am stunned to discover that my wish list is outdated. Conventional wisdom states that the years after adulthood and before old age are when you are able to do some of the things you “always wanted to do.” Besides travel, the list often includes: learn a language, read serious books, play tennis (or golf or pick-up basketball), or establish a regular poker game. So you are surprised when, given the opportunity, you don’t want to do any of it. But, why?
This new stage of life is less about doing what you have always wanted to do and more about becoming who you really are. That wish list was composed by the person who had roles to fulfill and responsibilities to live up to.
Those days are gone. But because we are pioneers in the new stage of life – referred to as the encore stage – we have no guides or role models. We also have no prescribed standards to measure up to. Navigating this experience is much more challenging than learning a new language.
Revising our priorities and expectations to suit our encore selves can shake up our behavior and shock not only ourselves, but our friends and especially our children.
Here are just some of the areas in which all bets are off:
Getting older isn’t about taking who you have always been to the next stage, it is about reconsidering the elements of your life so far and deciding what you are going to do for an encore.
Photo Credit: Arias Levhita
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