The December issue of Esquire magazine has a feature called, “2013 Best + Brightest Second Acts” (p.131) and focuses on “the promise of the second act… it’s not a reinvention. It’s a reveal.” (p. 25) Nor is it a comeback. Rather a second act “has been within the person the whole time. The actor becomes the writer (Steve Martin). The comedian emerges as a painter–an an exceedingly good one, at that (Martin Mull, believe it or not)… They keep right on after something new, based on what they like doing and what they can do, rather than what they once did well enough. That’s the second act.”
I love this definition. As the creator of my own second act I am relishing the reveal. Today after a delightful day in the Sutter Bypass helping people connect the dots about salmon floodplain and an relatively unknown landscape, then coming home to ride my bike in the sunshine to mail packages to friends, then returning home to work, write and bake cookies with lemons Sarah Harriet gave me from her tree, I am so thankful for the turn in my life that affords me so many blessings.
The best part of the second act is that it can be followed by a third act and, God willing, a fourth act. Because unlike our physical bodies that stop growing and then begin to decay, there is no reason why we cannot keep revealing ourselves until the end. My friend Barry Bridgman is biking his last leg of his bicycle trek across Australia as I type–and he’s in his 3rd act. Hip hip hooray!
P.S. Took me a day or two to post this and so… today is my birthday. I am 51 now. This is also the start of the Thanksgiving holiday and I have so much to be thankful for: my friend Ray who called and sang me Happy Birthday, birthday loot from Cameon, Jim and UK Sarah, a day traveling with my Auntie J to my brother’s house in Yucca Valley, making pies tonight with Heidi, and all of my friends and family whom I love. Oh and the silly things like Google customizing my Search to say Happy Birthday Julie. I hope your Thanksgiving holiday is as full of blessings as mine.