F. Scott Fitzgerald said,

"There are no second acts in American lives."

Most people think he was crazy.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

New Thirteen...what does it mean?

It's the dawn of a new decade, and as superstitious creatures, we believe it's a perfect time to make changes. Most of these changes are personal--losing weight, getting organized, exercising regularly, and the like. But occasionally, there are those who want a "do-over." And that means change on a large scale. That's not just a "do-over," that's a "second act."

Second acts are life-altering changes. Second acts don't just change who we are, they change the way we live our lives. They may involve a job change, a big move, an empty nest, a changed relationship status. Sometimes there isn't anything we can pinpoint--we just need a change. But if we're not sure what that change should be, where do we start?

"Let's start at the very beginning...A very good place to start."

If it was good enough for Maria Von Trapp, it should be good enough for us. But that means going back in time...and until they build a machine ala H. G. Wells, it's a journey that we're going to have to take ourselves, enlisting the help of some of our friends and relatives to help determine the path our change should take. And that means having to find out who we were when we were most ourselves. For me, that was when I was thirteen.

And I've decided to be thirteen again. Only a new thirteen. A thirteen who has made some trade-offs---I now have to pay bills, but I don't have braces---someone who is going to embrace the qualities that are authentic. Qualities that I wasn't afraid to put front-and-center at thirteen, but locked in a trunk shortly thereafter. It's an enormous do-over, to shed the skin I've worn for the last thirty years, but I believe I will be happier, enjoy life more, and perhaps those two things will create new opportunities in other facets of my life--places that could use some "do-over."