Sunday, September 9, 2012

Why the Third Quarter of Life Matters

Today's blog is dedicated to a special cousin who is celebrating his 52nd birthday today.  No matter how far apart we may be, geographically speaking, we enjoy sharing stories about each quarter of our lives.  The majority of my blog readers are in the 50-something crowd and many are in the process of implementing half-time adjustments.  Here are some reasons why I think the third quarter of our lives is so important:
  1. We have been on the planet long enough to know the value of our lives.  Mark Twain says, "the two most important days of your life are the day you are born and the day you find out why."
  2. We are shaping the next generation who will be in charge of the football when we leave the game of life.  The lessons we teach our children will impact our world.  The best way to teach them is to show them how to live, not tell them.
  3. All those mistakes we made in the first two quarters help us to make better plays in the third quarter.
  4. The first quarter was all about learning the play book.  The second quarter was about understanding our team-mates and our opponents.  The third quarter is about making the adjustments necessary to find the end zone.  If you didn't re-evaluate your life at half-time, take a timeout and review where you've been and where you want to go.
  5. This is the best time to prepare for the final quarter of your life.  Get serious about making a commitment to be debt-free.  Thanks to a couple of fumbles and a few interceptions, I will be spending almost the entire third quarter on this play.  Every player on my team knows the importance of this and we will keep moving forward even if it's only inches at a time.
  6. Stay in shape.  What you do now will affect how you play in the final quarter.  There is no off-season when it comes to physical fitness.  If your home team is in a climate like mine, you may have to adjust your routine in Winter.  I  found a place where I can play indoor racquetball on snow days.
  7. Your food choices in the third quarter will play an important role in the final quarter.  Every minute counts.  Make the adjustments while there is still time.
  8. Experience matters.  Make the time to volunteer and share your life experiences with anyone who will listen.
  9. Find some team-mates who share your passion.  They may be cousins, fellow writers, neighbors, or people who play your favorite sport.  Seek them out and spend quality time with them.
  10. Don't exit the game early.  You may find yourself injured.  Get some rehab and get back in the game.  Find a coach if you are having trouble holding on to the ball.  The game of life is played for four quarters.  Use this quarter to set yourself up for a great fourth quarter.  Too much focus on the fourth quarter will cause you to miss out on the joys of executing plays today, in the third quarter.  It doesn't matter if you are on offense or defense right now.  There are plays to be made.  I know my cousin is living his life to his fullest on his birthday today, and every day.  He is a great example for me.  
Happy birthday, JM.  Thanks for inspiring so many of my stories.  BTW, it was really special to hear your second quarter bro sharing a verse you inspired him to write about our VW days.  Happy birthday.

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