Recently I heard this called “the second life.” You might have heard the phrase “midlife crisis.” And you’re probably aware of baby boomers turning 60, and boomer entrepreneurship. Retirement? Golden years? Hooey.
Amazing fact: Humans have existed for a few million years, but it’s only in the last century or so that we have this second life. In 1900 the average life expectancy was 47 years, and only 1 in 25 people reached 60.
Think about it: most of us spend our first adulthood marking a living, pairing up, building careers, raising children, and having not a spare moment to think about anything but work, kids, problems, and getting by. We hope we’re developing and growing, but we don’t have a lot of time to reflect.
Then, in what seems afterwards to have been in a blink of an eye, you’re 50 something, and wondering what’s next. Maybe you buy into retirement, and the lure of the golden years, and maybe not. But when you reach 60 you still have a life expectancy of another 25 years or so. And that’s a lifetime. A second lifetime.
I don’t buy the golden years idea, sitting around, beaches and rocking chairs … normal people need something to do. And it has to be something they believe matters.
A couple of Saturdays ago I attended a seminar given by James Hollis, author and psychologist, during which he brought up his version of the second life. It was an interesting day. Hollis has done a lot of writing, analysis, speaking, and teaching about how we deal with the second life. This seminar was built around his latest book, what matters most.
I think I’ve been lucky. What I do now — this blog, twitter, several books, speaking, and teaching — seems as important to me as what I used to do. And I really like it. I posted earlier here Why I’ll Never Retire, and I’m sticking to it.
But what about you? What are you going to do with your second life?