In Her Own Words….Kris Schaeffer
We spoke to Kris over 2 years after she attended the 2-day 3rd Act Workshop.
Why were you interested in the 3rd Act?
I was like a fish floundering on the shore…I had financially been able to retire at 55…my husband had been diagnosed with cancer, and I thought it was important to spend as much time with him as possible. Cancer scared the socks off me and I was afraid of losing him quickly. But, I retired too quickly; I wasn’t prepared…I had nothing else in mind except being with Jack. When I didn’t need to be a caretaker, I took on heading up two non-profits. Since I was floundering, I went to my therapist who I hadn’t seen for many years. I discovered that what were missing were purpose, meaning, and my legacy.
Why did you decide to attend the workshop at this time in your life?
My “bag lady” fears were gone with my security needs met but when I quit work, I had no place to go. Without purpose, there is no passion… I am not good at wandering unless that is my purpose. Going to my therapist had not been complete. She said “you will find it but I didn’t know what “it” was. That is where I was 2 years ago at age 60.
What did you value most about the workshop?
Having complete days not just having 1 hour to focus on my questions. And to spend 2 complete days was really valuable! I liked that you used different ways to come up with the answers… drawing got me to be more creative. I got a lot out of the workshop! I really found “it” .and found myself. My purpose is about education in some shape or form. Once knowing that, I consider myself in a “soft” retirement, because retirement is not about turning off the lights and punching out on a time clock.
What were the outcomes for you in attending? How have you acted on those? Or how has that impacted you since the workshop?
The best outcome was being crystal clear about my passion and my purpose. Being congruent and serving my purpose gives me great joy! Retirement is totally redefined for me. I will continue to do my 3rd act with as much passion as my 2nd act. It will look like I am working to outsiders. But I do some of my projects for free. A recent one was totally fun and exciting, working with really smart people and really rich material. Being aware that education is my passion and my purpose, also allows me to take all sorts of educational adventures that I would not have taken. I recently got a credential which gave me validation and I found that “old dogs” can learn new tricks. No longer needing to work has made me fearless to take on projects that are interesting and challenging. Another possibility I am considering is to take something overseas. I am already involved in two organizations that are reforming African schools. It is not about the money. Another project involves training for non-profits. So many opportunities! The world is my sandbox…education and education reform! The choicefulness in the 3rd Act is wonderful. The 3rd Act totally redefined “retirement” for me. Choose your bliss…I am ecstatic!
Anything else you would like to say?
For anyone going through a transition, it is really important to be deep, authentic and insightful. For me, it was important to have a respected facilitator, a wise guide, someone who can hold a safe and sacred place so I could do the work I needed to do. You (speaking to Bev) had already retired and had already gone through your own process. You were in your 3rd Act and you helped chart the map or taught me how to chart it and see inside myself. You asked the right questions..laser questions from the beginning… to see inside myself. You enabled me to define what the 3rd act means to me. So much better than “retirement”…which has too much baggage. Retirement is not about having more time to do trivial projects. The 3rd Act is a time that needs to be as purposeful, meaningful, exciting and joyous as my career was in my second act.