Act3 – The Art Of Growing Older

By Adrian and Judy Reith

Friday, 12 January 2018

The Act3 Back Is Broken

Thanks to you, we’re well over half way fundraising the making of our book Act3 – How To Life A better Life After 50.

Some have asked when will it be out, and we’re saying ... well that depends on when it's funded, so when it's good and ready. 

An Early Chat About Growing Older

To breakfast the other day in London with 85-year-old leadership guru Charles Handy and his wife Liz.  A joy.  Charles is now 85, and still going ... strong-ish, I’d say.  (The great man had a bit of a sniffle that day).  They talked about their marriage of 50-plus years and how they’d renegotiated their marriage on several occasions in that time.  “I’ve had three marriages”, he says.  “It just happens to have been to the same person.”

Judy and I shared many perspectives with Liz and Charles on work, family, growing old, living with less, the concept of enough-ness, reinventing your marriage, and what success is or isn’t.  He really hates the word.  I was quite surprised.

We're including in the book a chapter on the Marriage MOT.  How come we service the boiler annually, and fix the car, but how and when do we appraise our relationship?  After it breaks down, usually.

The Joy Of Breakfast

Lots to enjoy in the Handy conversation. And so much better to have this kind of conversation at breakfast time, rather than full of wine in the evening, stifling yawns and wishing to fall into bed.

So we’ve stolen the idea of a Open Breakfast Invitation for people we don’t know to come to our home for a chat about their own experiences in Act 3.  Since meeting the Handys we’ve already had one stimulating such breakfast, and Judy and I are planning to have more in the New Year.

Please email us if you want to come.  It'd be great to see you.


“Old people are everywhere.  And expensive”, said daughter number 3 to me today.  Yes, I’m old, expensive and forgetful, because until recently I’d hardly heard the Official Oxford Dictionary Word of Last Year – which apparently is “youthquake”.  I mentioned the word to Judy, she raised an eyebrow and went back to stirring the Christmas pud. (This was last year - she's a great planner, but not that ahead of things ...)

Is this an etymological reaction to the gerontoquake that allegedly created Brexit? 

Aftershocks from that quake will be felt for years – and the main event hasn’t happened yet — these are the foreshocks.  With such big change coming down the tracks for us in the UK, us old gits are up for facing the future positively.

If you've not read Being Mortal by Atul Gawande, try it.  In it he says:

the chance to shape one's story is essential to sustaining meaning in life

My Shape

And my eye was caught by another new book Just Move - A New Approach To Fitness After 50  by James Owen - who looked in the mirror on his 70th birthday and hated what he saw – a guy overweight, with bad knees, bad back and a frozen right shoulder. He thought "the next 15 years will be much worse if I do nothing", so he did.  At 77 he’s now fitter than he was in High School (yes, he's american).  He says, "it’s not about looking like Arnold Schwarzenegger it’s about being functionally fit."

So I, groaning, look in my mirror, asking: "what am I doing to positively improve my health outlook aged 62? "

With age the natural loss of muscle mass slows metabolism and time diminishes bone strength so I’ve signed up with the YMCA gym who are offering a cheap deal for the over 60s.  (OMCA surely, Ed?)

Is not a diet, it’s a new way of life - is what I’m hearing.  Maybe from Tibet.

Eat half. Walk double. Laugh triple. Love without measure. (Tibetan Proverb)

Enough yak.


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