Life Changes, Difficulty, and Growth

There’s a crack, a crack in everything. And that’s how the light gets in.

I’m sending you greetings for the very best holiday season and for a wonderful, Happy New Year!

Oh, my goodness. This has been a tough year. I remember last January thinking about what the possibilities might be for this year. With it being 2020, I envisioned being able to see things more clearly than I had before.

Well, I had no idea how clearly I would begin to see things and it wasn’t what I expected.

I got to see some of the real difficulties and challenge in my own life and in lives around me and in our counties and in our country.

It’s been really, really difficult, but we elders know that through difficult times, we learn a great deal and we learn how to be resilient. We learn how to be flexible, and that’s, that’s been the challenge this year is how to stay strong and stay centered during this time.

So even though we’ve seen lots of difficulties and lots of problems, those problems and challenges help us to see clearly where we need to go.

I often think of Leonard Cohen’s great lines. There’s a crack, a crack in everything. And that’s how the light gets in. And a lot of light has come into our world this year. We can see really what needs to be fixed and what needs to be addressed.

Lessons learned from 2020

I’m Still Learning in The 3rd Act

And when I think about what I’ve learned this year, and this is something I recommend that all of you do at the end of the year, is to take a look at what’s happened in your life. What are the takeaways for you? What do you want to take with you as you go into 2021 and further? What lessons have you learned?

For me being somewhat of an extrovert, it’s been a real challenge for me to stay socially distant and to stay home. But the gift of that has been well, one, I’ve gotten to understand my very introverted friends much more. But also it’s helped me to stay more connected with my own interior world.

One of the things that I’m going to take with me as I move forward into 2021 is the process of doing some kind of practice every day. That keeps me connected to the core of myself, the soul of myself.

For instance, during this pandemic, I’ve been keeping a journal, and I also did The Artist’s Way, and I’ve been taking meditative walks. Those are some of the things that I’m going to take forward with me.

The other piece that really came to the forefront for me this year was the importance of simplicity and beauty in my life.

And I know all of you probably have had as an experience similar to this, where you’re spending so much time at home, you begin to look around and see things that really don’t bring you joy and don’t feel really well-placed.

I spent some time clearing out and cleaning out and beautifying my home with my partner, David. We’ve created a beautiful space inside and outside and in our garden as a process of being home more and we noticed things that really lifted our hearts and things that didn’t lift our hearts.

I suggest that you take a look yourself in your own life and see what changes you want to take going forward with you.

Life Changes in The 3rd Act

Grateful for Lessons in The 3rd Act

“My heart is very full with gratitude at the end of the year.”

I also want to touch back into a message I sent out to The 3rd Act community at the beginning of this pandemic of really profound gratitude, to younger people for taking such good care of us, the elders here in their community by wearing masks and social distancing.

Once again, here we are at the beginning of the vaccination period. And, and once again, elders are being put first, for instance, Margaret Keenan, the 91-year-old British elder was the first one to get her vaccination in Britain.

So, I feel my heart is very full with gratitude at the end of the year, and with hard-earned lessons from the difficulties that I’ve seen in our community and in our nation and in my own family. I’m taking those lessons and making changes in my life to make it even a better and more complete and full life and joyous life going forward.

Again, my very heart felt wishes for you for wonderful holiday season and a very happy new year



The 3rd Act was founded and is led by Patricia Cavanaugh — a seasoned psychotherapist and licensed coach who has helped hundreds of retirees find their path and purpose in this phase of life.

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